Freshwater Diving at Strom Thurmond Lake in Old 96

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freshwater divingJust north of Augusta, GA, on the South Carolina border, is beautiful Lake Strom Thurmond.  This 71,000 acre lake, renamed in 1988 to honor Senator Strom Thurmond,  is also known as Clarks Hill Lake, it’s original moniker.  The lake was formed in 1951 by the J. Strom Thurmond Dam, at the confluence of the Savannah River the Little River.  Originally, the project was called Clarks Hill Dam, and has created the third largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi.

Known for it’s abundance of striper and large-mouth bass, Thurmond Lake is popular among professionals and amateur fishermen alike who flock there to compete in tournaments throughout the year.  In addition to offering some of the finest fishing in Old 96 District, SC, freshwater diving at Lake Thurmond has become quite popular.  Diving at Lake Strom Thurmond is a pleasurable experience and an excellent adventure.


Freshwater Fun

Over the years, freshwater diving has been overshadowed by the more celebrated deep sea diving. However, freshwater diving offers far more, and closer, venues than ocean diving.  More over, diving in lakes and rivers, springs and sinkholes offers the diver a chance to view diverse landscapes, see unusual aquatic life, and see it all through crystal clear water.  Exciting Freshwater Diving at Lake Thurmond boasts all of these attributes, as well as a few more.

Diving at Lake Thurmond is a treat for experienced and novice alike.  All skill levels can enjoy a day of diving at Lake Thurmond.  Very near the dam, on the South Carolina side, is a sunken airplane.  The Cessna two-seater lies 35 feet underwater and is in fairly good shape.  It’s recommended that those diving at Lake Thurmond bring a dive light for a better view inside the airplane.

Not far from the sunken airplane , those diving at Lake Thurmond will come upon a series of ledges ideal for exploration.   From there you can drop down to the old river bed, 100 feet  below.   You’ll see a fair share of Strom Thurmond Lake inhabitants and explore interesting sites you’d never witness under the sea.

Divers can enjoy freshwater diving at Lake Thurmond throughout the year.  Most of the year the water temperatures are extremely tolerable, and, with depths to around 110 feet, or 33 meters, dives are quite safe.  Diving at Lake Thurmond is a relaxing way to pursue your hobby.


Endless Enjoyment

With 1,200 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty to do above the water as well.  There are nine day-use, and 29 limited-use recreation areas, six state parks, boating, fishing, camping and swimming.  In and around the Old 96 District, historic sites abound.  When you come up from diving in Lake Thurmond, be sure to check out some of the excitement on dry land.


Before You Go

For those interested in freshwater diving at Lake Thurmond,  you can access the lake from several locations, but most divers agree diving at Lake Thurmond is best near the dam.  Divers can park at the South Carolina side at the visitors center for free, and shore entry is a short distance away.  A day pass at the day-use areas will cost 4.00 and limited use areas, such as boat ramps, will run 3.00 per day.


If you’re a diver whose passionate about your hobby, don’t put off a chance to enjoy the thrill of freshwater diving at Lake Thurmond.  The lake is an easy drive from Atlanta and Charlotte, NC, and is a great destination for group dives.  Why wait? Come on over to Lake Strom Thurmond and dive right in!

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Outdoor Adventure
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Old 96 District
June 8, 2015
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