Lake Russell – Calhoun Falls, South Carolina


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Lake Russell in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, formed as the result of the construction of the Russell Dam in 1983 by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Named for US Senator Richard Brevard Russell, the 30-mile lake is a popular spot for both camping and fishing.

Lake Russell

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The 210-feet-tall Lake Russell Dam is a half-mile up the Savannah River, which was impounded to create the lake. Together with Lake Hartwell and Lake Thurmond, the three man-made lakes have established a nearly 120-mile long stretch of reservoir habitat along the Savannah River.

Lake Russell Dam

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The shoreline of the lake, which is owned and managed by the US Army Corp of Engineers, is federally protected against development. Lake Russell’s status as a conservation lake makes the reservoir one of South Carolina’s more beloved fishing destinations. The surrounding habitat creates prime wildlife viewing opportunities, which also contribute Lake Russell being one of the state’s favorite public lakes.

Russell Dam

Mark Clark of Winnsboro, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on Lake Russell


Photographer James Jenkins shares this experience with us: “I was returning from a photo session in Union and Abbeville Counties. As I approached the bridge on Highway 72 when leaving Calhoun Falls, SC, I noticed the sun was setting. I stopped my truck while I could still see the full sun, but by the time I walked on to the bridge and set up the camera on my tripod, the sun was beginning to drop behind the trees. It was a marvelous sight to see in person, and I was lucky to get this shot.”

Contributor Mark Clark adds this about the Lake Russell Dam: “There are several picnic areas with tables in the overlook area. Unfortunately there are no restroom facilities at the overlook area, but there are two rather new large convenience stores ten minutes away in Calhoun Falls. Tours of the dam are offered, but the road to the office area is located on the Georgia side of the dam. You just have to take Hwy 72 across the lake and look for the signs. I took the tour a long time ago and it is well worth the trip.

“I used to ride my motorcycle over here on many a Sunday afternoon while I was attending Lander University way back when. It was nice to enjoy the sounds of the hum of the dam punctuating the natural peace and quiet of theremote area. It was, and still is, a good place to go and clear your head.”

Add your own reflections here.

Lake Russell Map



Lake Russell – Add Info and More Photos


The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Lake Russell, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


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One Comment about Lake Russell

Margene OdomNo Gravatar says:
July 25th, 2013 at 8:07 am

Stunning shot.






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