9:00 - 7.1 miles / 14 minutes - 9:14
J. Strom Thurmond Visitor Center
Stopping by the J. Strom Thurmond Visitor Center will be half the fun of any trip to the reservoir. Here, interactive displays show visitors what the lake is all about. Learn about the different type of fish anglers can search for during their fishing adventures. Listen to the distinctive calls of local birds in preparation for bird-watching activities. A large circular map just outside the entrance of the visitor center gives a bird's eye view of the lake. Other exhibits on safety and the history of the reservoir remind visitors of what it's really all about - having fun!
9:59 - 0.1 miles / - 9:59
Once the home of the Willington Academy established by the famous educator Moses Waddel, Willington still offers a taste of history in the Old South.
10:19 - 5.5 miles / 11 minutes - 10:30
Hamilton Branch State Park
Imagine waking in the morning to the sunrise reflected over the lake. Tall pines separate you from other neighbors, creating a tranquil solitude. This 731-acre state park is a peninsula reaching into Strom Thurmond Lake, making many lakeside campsites available. Wildlife-lovers will adore the opportunity to view a variety of animals and fowl while the fisherman will head to the lake for a chance at catching dinner. Easy access to water recreation also makes Hamilton Branch ideal for those who can't wait to get in the water.
12:30 - 12.6 miles / 25 minutes - 12:55
Think only the West has a history of gold mines and railroads? Not if you're from McCormick. This historic town built on gold mine tunnels still maintains the flavor of the past.
Several years after South Carolina's second richest vein of gold was discovered on the site of the present town of McCormick, Cyrus H. McCormick bought the property. After discovering the mines did not bring any profit, McCormick planned a town instead. He also brought the junction of the Augusta and Knoxville Railroad with the Savannah Valley Railroad to the McCormick Depot, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Along with the historic depot, other hotels from the turn of the century have been restored and preserved. They now function as an integral part of the McCormick atmosphere. The McCormick Hotel now satisfies hungry customers as a local diner, and the Keturah Hotel hosts the McCormick Arts Council, offering free monthly exhibits and a gallery shop. Strom's Drug Store on Main Street still offers fountain cokes, ice cream, and shakes for those visitors in need of refreshments.
16:55 - 82.5 miles / 2 hours 44 minutes - 19:40
Savannah River Scenic Byway - end