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It’s Here – Our Lake
Clarks Hill Lake, also known as J. Strom Thurmond Lake and Dam at Clarks Hill, is the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi and is one of the Southeast’s most popular public recreation lakes. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1946 and 1954 as part of a flood control, hydropower, and navigation project, millions of people use the many public parks, marinas, and campgrounds conveniently located around the lake to pursue a variety of outdoor recreational experiences – making Clarks Hill one of the 10 most visited Corps lakes in the nation.
The lake extends 39.4 miles up the Savannah River, 29 miles up the Little River, and 6.5 miles up the Broad River in Georgia, and 17 miles up the Little River in South Carolina. At normal pool elevation of 330 mean sea level, Clarks Hill comprises nearly 71,100 acres of water with a 1,200-mile shoreline. The entire “Project” contains 151,000 acres of land and water.
It’s Here – The Lights are on in Grovetown
Lights of the South in Grovetown, GA, welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors during the 2009 holiday season. Founded by Deborah and Benjamin Bell, the thousands of lights were viewed by visitors who were escorted through the delightful holiday scenes via hayride. In their first year of operation, Benjamin failed to mention to Deborah that he had invited over a few folks…several thousand folks that is! Now that Deborah’s on board, the whole family participates and would be thrilled to welcome visitors of all ages, including accommodating large groups.
It’s Here – A Close-up Look at One of Hollywood’s Funniest People
Looking for laughs? Visit the hometown of Oliver Norville Hardy. The Laurel and Hardy Museum is in downtown Harlem, Georgia and showcases artifacts that pay tribute to the comic duo. The museum is free to the public and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The museum includes a screening room where visitors can take a step back in time to when comedy was slapstick and jokes were “punny”!
It’s Here – A Different Kind of Golf
Columbia County is the home of the Professional Disc Golf Association. The organization’s Hall of Fame, the International Disc Golf Center, a combination Pro Shop and Clubhouse, as well as three championship disc golf courses are at Columbia County’s Wildwood Park on Clarks Hill Lake. Several major tournaments are held here each year with visitors coming from all over the world to visit the sport’s “Mecca”.
Bartram Trail – The Bartram Trail was named for William Bartram. He was America’s first native born naturalist/artist and the first author in the modern genre of writers who portrayed nature through personal experience as well as scientific observation. His travels from Augusta, beginning in May 1775, took him north to Fort James on the Petersburg Road paralleling the Savannah River, but about three or four miles away from its banks. On this he passed through Columbia and Lincoln Counties in areas now covered, at least in part, by Clarks Hill Lake.
Stallings Island – This 25-acre island in the Savannah River has been studied by archeologists since 1873 and was inhabited by Indian tribes for thousands of years. Pottery found on the island is some of the oldest found in North America and dates back to about 2,500 B.C. The island is protected by the Archeological Conservancy.
River Island – A “Conservation Community” on the Savannah River, as designated by the Central Savannah River Land Trust. Greenspace in River Island is part of the Land Trust for the River.
Reed Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center – Columbia County’s Community and Leisure Services Division took a “swampy area” that was an eyesore for local neighbors and turned it into a dual use facility available for rent as well as an educational center.