The South Carolina National Guard operates this facility at Lake Thurmond on a peninsula that is not open to the civilian public. Only 35 miles from Augusta GA, home of the Masters Tournament. The CG is on a gravel loop road with street lights. The ten gravel-buildup pads are 12' wide and vary in length from 16' to 28'. Each pad is back-in and includes water, 30 amp, picnic table, a grill, and partial tree shade. A clearing in the center of the CG offers ample room for multiple party canopies. Across the street is a community picnic area under a hardstand canopy.
Clarks Hill Training Center
Type of site
21 - 29 December 2014
I returned for my annual sabbatical and, as usual, I was the base commander by default on many nights. The price for RVs remains $7/night. Although there’s no dump station*, you can now call the Port-a-Potty company to see if they’ll service your RV when they visit the RV park. They now offer free wifi at the nearby cabins, close enough to get online from inside my RV. Cellular coverage remains decent. New road pavement leading up to the base is so fresh it hasn't been striped yet. Unusable RV site #96 has been deleted and the following sites were renumbered. Sites #93, #95, and the site formerly known as #97 received gravel just before I got here, so fresh that no one had parked on them yet. The boat dock shows recent maintenance and the boat ramp looks good. Once again, the showers on "Signal Court" remained open throughout my stay. *One of the folks who maintains the base said they now have plans for a dump station in late 2015 at or near the RV park.
24 Dec 13 - 5 Jan 14
I returned here for my annual sabbatical over the holidays. As usual, I was the base commander by default on many nights. The base lowered the price for RVs to $7/night! The drought is over: the boat ramp is fully submerged and you'll get your feet wet to reach the boat dock. Once again, the showers on "Signal Court" were open throughout my stay. The porta-potty in the RV park remains clean & well maintained; the contractor serviced it on 31 Dec 13. Cellular coverage remains decent: I used my 3G wifi to upload this review. Drive carefully to avoid herds of does that graze day & night. I'm still stunned by the minimal hunting pressure around here.
22 December 2012 - 1 January 2013
Once again, I returned here for some "me" time over the holidays. As usual, I was the base commander by default on many nights. Every site (excluding useless site #6) has both a new concrete slab and a new wood grill which is itself set in concrete. Some trees have been removed around the military hut that sits inside the park. Bad news for site #5: I detected a ground fault at the electrical box and its grill has seen too much use. The boat ramp is now closed as the lake continues to recede, but shallow-draft boats can still use the dock; you can enter the water from a nearby public ramp. Once again, the private shower on "Signal Court" remained open throughout my stay. The porta-potty is clean & well maintained, and the contractor serviced it right after Christmas. Cellular coverage remains decent: again, I used my 3G wifi to upload this review. Hunting pressure around here appears minimal and I'm stunned that no hunters park RVs here at this time of year. Herds of deer pass through this base on their way from "A" to "B" and there's a report that feral swine have entered the area. To borrow the old joke: "if I were a deer hunter, I'd be in hog heaven right now."
22 Dec 11 - 2 Jan 12
I returned to this campsite for some "me" time over Christmas & the new year. I was the only RVer the whole time and I was the base commander by default on nights & weekends. Repeating what I said four years ago: "this place may not look like much on the surface but the whole installation is kept up well and it's very clean." They repaved the main road through base just before I arrived; the shoulders didn't even show animal tracks. Road signs, pavement markings, and speed bumps will return after I leave. They didn't pave the campground road but they did lay down new gravel on many of the RV sites. Each site has a nice picnic table and two sites gained a cement pad. The water runs clean with good pressure and it tastes good. The campsite's 25KVA junction box delivers rock-solid power. One private shower room on "Signal Court" remained open throughout my stay. Dumpsters are a leisurely walk to the headquarters building. Cellular coverage is decent enough to support YouTube: in fact I used 3G wifi to upload this very review. There is no dump station, so I relied on the campsite's porta-potty to stretch my holding tanks for a long stay. It's in very good condition and the contractor serviced it while I was here. Catering businesses know this training base and you can get everything from BBQ to Chinese. Look for business cards on the countertop when you check in. If your group is too small for catering... Evans, Georgia is a straight shot 27 miles and provides everything you need along one key intersection. Gourmet burgers? Turn left for Five Guys or Red Robin. Department store? Turn right for Super Wal-Mart. You want multiple large grocery chains? Turn right. RV supplies? Turn left for Acadamy Sports. Propane? Turn right for Ace Hardware. I saw boaters many days using the ramp & parking for day trips. I suspect they're just guardsmen who know about the facilities. No speedboats got close enough to bother the campsite. I saw a sheriff's deputy use a porta-potty by the boat dock, so, yes, they do patrol the area. You'll find many hiking trails on base for troop marches. Hunting is forbidden on base but, if you (literally) cross the street outside the gate, you can hike & hunt an expanse of base-owned forestry with clearings. The staff here claims few hunters know about those tracts, which stay open except for military exercises. A half-mile down you'll find an access road to a state trail with fresh signs of squirrel, skunk, deer herds, coyote (!), etc. It even offers a parking lot at the trail head. I hiked this state trail multiple times and never saw another vehicle in the lot. You can drive 15 miles to a free public rifle range and zero your scope @ 100yds or plink around @ 25yds. One final note of caution: drive carefully on & near the base. These healthy deer graze freely in herds of 2-3 dozen.
April 3-6, 2010
This is a very quiet, out of the way campground. The pad I used, and looking at the others, was not very level. It sloped toward the rear and because it was gravel and not that well maintained, it was very uneven from side to side. The campground itself is in a very nice location on this facility. The office staff is very friendly and helpful. All the sites have a great view of the lake. The site I was in had a water problem that maintenance was looking into on the Monday I was there. It seemed to be a leak just underground at the spigot. Dish worked well, although I had to put it quite a ways from my trailer and close to the lake. Verizon cell worked just as well for phone and internet. There was one trash can in the campground, I did not see the showers. It is a place I would stay at again if I were passing through the area.
5-6 Jan 08
We took a big rig out here to collect intel on this "secret campground." To paraphrase a movie line, "it's on a penninsula that can't be found, 'cept by those who already know where it is." It's tucked away in a National Guard bivouac site -- and we had the entire installation to ourselves this weekend. It's fun to be the base commander! :-) This might be the cheapest place near Augusta during the Masters Tournament. It will certainly appeal to vets with small rigs looking for an overnight retreat on the very popular Lake Thurmond. But if you just need a stopover near Augusta, go somewhere else. This CG is roughly 30 miles north of I-20 and doesn't have full-time gate guards. The lack of a dump station & dumpster makes this truly a short-term CG. (You'll find a dumpster at the maintenance building near the gate entrance.) The CG's port-a-potty was clean & stocked and looked almost new. The nearby "standard issue Army" bath house was warm & clean with communal showers for men and private showers for women. If you can put up with that, it will stretch out your holding tanks. Campers are authorized to use the bath house but it might be off-limits during bivouacs. Pads 5393, 5394, and 5395 sit 40' off the waterline and offer the best view. Every pad is built up with gravel and most of them look level along the sides, but they tend to slope from front to rear. Pad 5397 is crumbling at the rear; the others look good. Big rigs should request pads 5390, 5391, 5394, or 5395 and should walk the site to decide which end of the loop you'll enter. If you overshoot the CG for any reason, there's a paved circle just before the boat ramp. Being the only ones here, we heard no sounds of freedom, but the CG does sit right next to the heliport and the "Alpha Company" bivouac zone is just up the street. Civilian speedboats probably won't get close enough to bother the CG. The CG itself has decent cell phone coverage, plus you'll find a pay phone at the "Charlie Company" picnic area. The boat dock was resting on land thanks to the drought, but the boat ramp itself has been lengthened twice. The mess hall is only open during bivouacs and is probably off-limits then. The staffers have that friendly southern hospitality you'd expect. They say they've actually got plans for sewer & electric upfits. This place may not look like much on the surface but the whole installation is kept up well and it's very clean.