Four Day State Park Road Trip

In need of a quick and safe getaway? Explore Hamilton Branch, Calhoun Falls, Hickory Knob, Sadlers Creek and Lake Hartwell state parks with this four day itinerary. Perfect for a road trip with a few of your friends or an extended-weekend family vacation, visit these parks conveniently all parallel to Highway 20, for stress-free fun.

Day One: Begin your journey at Hamilton Branch State Park. Spend the day swimming at Lake Strom Thurmond or bring your bicycle and hop on the Hamilton Branch Connector for a spin on an extended bike trail. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one from the park! Before you leave, check out the Hamilton Branch General Store to pick up a cool drink, ice cream or any last minute camping needs.  That evening, drive about 40 miles northwest to setup camp for two nights at Calhoun Falls State Park. Whether you’re tent camping or glamping in your RV, Calhoun Falls has gorgeous campsites that are perfect to spend the evening watching the sun set over Lake Russell.  

Calhoun Falls State Park

Day Two: That morning, set out on a day trip to Hickory Knob State Park. Be sure to pack your swimwear or golf gear for a fun afternoon on Lake Strom Thurmond or golfing at the 18-hole championship golf course. If you’re visiting on the weekend, don’t worry about packing a lunch, place a to-go order at the Hickory Knob State Resort Park Restaurant. Grab your to-go order and take a short 11-minute ride down to Baker Creek State Park where you can enjoy your lunch at the pavilion or by the lake.  After eating lunch, hunt for geocaches within the park. (Check out this YouTube video to learn about geocaching.) Once you find your geocaches, head back to Calhoun Falls State Park for a much-needed evening of rest and relaxation.

Baker Creek State Park Picnic Table
Baker Creek State Park Picnic Table

Day Three:  When you’re ready to begin your morning, head out to visit Sadlers Creek State Park.  Grab your South Carolina fishing license and cast your line into Lake Hartwell from the 100-foot fishing pier. If you don’t have fishing gear, no worries, you can request rods, reels and tackle boxes at the park office through the Tackler Loaner Program.  Head out and support locals by having lunch at a local restaurant. If you didn’t catch anything at Sadlers Creek, another quick 30-minute drive will bring you to Lake Hartwell State Park. Try your luck at this pier or just enjoy nature and birdwatch from the Nature Trail. If you’re not too tired, try and catch the beautiful sunset. As you plan out your day, leave about an hour for you to travel back to Calhoun Falls State Park.

Sadlers Creek State Park Fishing Pier
Lake Hartwell State Park

Day Four: Wake up refreshed at Calhoun Falls State Park with a morning hike on the Cedar Bluff Nature Trail or a quick game of tennis or basketball on the courts to wrap up your 4-day road trip. Be sure to pack up all of your camping gear and on the way home, reminisce about the last four days! If you're in the passenger seat on the trip back home, share those fun road trips photos with us on social media by tagging us at #SCStateParks.