Review of Broyles Recreation Area on Lake Hartwell in Townville, SC
Where is Broyles Recreation Area?
Overview of Broyles Recreation Area
How Much Does Broyles Recreation Cost?
Day use at Broyles Recreation Area has a $4 fee per vehicle, regardless of how long you stay, even if it is all day! The picnic shelter can be reserved in advance for $40. Reservations for the picnic shelters can be made by calling the the National Recreation Reservation Service toll-free at 877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov.
Things to Do at Broyles Recreation
I visited Broyles Recreation Area on July 5th, 2014. Being fourth of July weekend it was quite busy.
Broyles offers a designated swimming area that is large in comparison to other Corps locations. They also have a nice size beach area. The park offers two boat ramps along with a courtesy dock. Being on the lake you will find plenty of places to bank fish if you don't want to go out on a boat. There are several picnic tables with grills. There is also a playground for the children to play on! If you are planning a get together there is a large covered shelter that can be reserved in advance.
Day Use at Broyles Recreation Area
The biggest use of Broyles Recreation area is the large beach area. Unlike several other Corps recreation areas with designated swimming areas, this one is a mud hole! Much of the sand that you can tell was originally there has washed away. The beach still has plenty of sand and is large enough to keep up with the over whelming crowd. Unfortunately there are too few picnic tables and grills to accommodate more than 20 or 30 families. The picnic shelter was a bit of a hike uphill with no sidewalk from the beach. The parking area is split into three sections. One for the boaters, another right in front of the beach, and the larger one in front of the picnic shelter. This means if the small parking spot is full you have to walk down a pine cone covered hill from the second large parking area just to get to the beach. I'm not sure what they were thinking when they did the design for this park. They certainly weren't thinking of small children!
After walking the banks I did see several great fishing spots. A couple of them even had that fish like smell. Several areas beside the large parking area could be hiked down to for bank fishing away from the crowds. Also on the side where the boat ramp is there is a great spot to put a few chairs out and fish, no hike required!
Will you swim in muddy water?
Overall Review of Broyles Recreation Area
To put it bluntly, I will not be returning to this recreation EVER! There are too many quality Corps recreation areas to waste my day at this one. If you want a quality one near by check out River Forks.
The water in the swimming area was so red that it stained 3 out of 5 of our swim wear. Not light staining either! My son's shorts had white words on them that after being washed twice are still orange. The waves at this location were horrible, making it very hard for my three year old who has just began swimming.
I realize it was Fourth of July weekend but between July 3rd and July 6th we visited 4 different recreation areas and this was by far worse than the other three locations. It was not set up for children. The bathroom was a long distance from the swim area.
Overall we were just very dissatisfied with Broyles.
Lake Hartwell is a man made lake bordering both Georgia and South Carolina. The lake is close to 56,000 acres! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages 9 campgrounds at Lake Hartwell. They also have another 15 Corps managed recreation areas for people who want to spend the day (or maybe just an hour or two...) at the lake. Because camping is not allowed within these areas, they are commonly referred to as "day use" areas. In addition, the Corps manages 29 "access" areas on Lake Hartwell. Access areas are smaller recreation areas that usually have a boat launching ramp only, however, some may have restrooms and picnic tables. Many of these will have great places to fish and sometimes even places to swim (though not designated). There are also four state parks, five marinas, and several city/county recreation areas located around Lake Hartwell for everyone to enjoy!