Lake Murray is one of South Carolinas most popular recreational lakes. Located in the midlands region just west of Columbia, Lake Murray is a favorite of boaters and anglers. The lake is well known for its excellent largemouth and striped bass fishing. Its 500 miles of shoreline make Lake Murray a prime recreational destination. Several public parks and recreation areas provide convenient access to the lake.
Dreher Island State Recreation Area is the largest public park on Lake Murray. The park consists of 348 acres on three islands, with 12 miles of shoreline. A causeway connects the islands to the shore. The first island contains a campground. The second island has a marina and boat ramps. The third island has picnic areas, nature trails, lakeside villas, and additional camping areas. Other park amenities include three playgrounds and a small store that offers snacks, bait, ice, and camping supplies. There is no designated swimming area in the park, but visitors may swim at their own risk. The park entrance fee is $2 for adults. Children ages 15 and younger are admitted free. Day use areas are open from dawn to dusk.
South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) operates two recreation areas at the Dreher Shoals Dam. The South Recreation Site, located on the south end of the dam, has picnic tables, restrooms, a boat ramp, and a swimming area. There is no lifeguard on duty. The North Recreation Area, located at the north end of the dam, has picnic tables, restrooms, a boat ramp, and a fishing pier. A 1.7 mile paved pedestrian walkway goes across the top of the dam, connecting the two recreation areas. The walkway is popular with walkers and joggers, and it allows spectacular views of Lake Murray. The Dreher Shoals Dam is located on SC Hwy 6, between Lexington and Irmo. Summer hours at the SCE&G recreation areas are Monday-Friday from 11am-8pm and weekends from 10am-8pm. Another SCE&G Park is located in Saluda County, west of Lexington. This park offers picnic tables, restrooms, a boat ramp, and fishing. The park is located on Koinonia Road, off SC Hwy 41-400. Admission is free.