Lake Russell Dam

The last of of three dams built on the Savanna River separating South Carolina from Georgia is not far from Calhoun Falls. Straddling the line between the two states, you’ll find the Lake Russell Dam. Part of the Savannah River system and built by the US Army Corp of Engineers, the dam holds back the water of the 25,000 acre Lake Russell.

Because Lake Russell is conservation lake and is largely undeveloped, the dam stands in stark contrast to the unspoiled beauty surrounding it.Completed in 1983, the Lake Russel Dam stands 210 feet high and over 5000 feet in length, you can’t help but look up in awe at its sheer massiveness from one of the overlook areas.

The main concrete section of the dam measures almost 2000 feet long and is flanked by an embankment on each side. From the Georgia side, you can walk out onto the embankment and right up to the main power generating concrete structure. Here you’ll be stopped by a rather imposing chin linked fence with warnings from the US Army Corp of Engineers that further trespassing is strictly forbidden.

Nevertheless, the embankment gives you a great view of both Lake Russell as well as the Savanna River valley down river from the dam and the northern edge of Lake Thurmond.

Both sides of the dam have overlook areas with picnic tables and offer great views of the entire dam. Because it isn’t located near the main recreation areas on the lake, it’s an amazingly tranquil place for lunch or just a little relaxing.

As Russell Dam is what’s known as a peaking facility (only producing power during peak times), the tailrace carrying water away from the dam is often fulled with fish. Bank fishing in this area is permitted and a popular pastime.

A visitor center located on the Georgia side of the dam and offers brochures, maps, information about Lake Russell, and has people to answer any questions you might have to help you enjoy your visit.

Fast Facts About Lake Russell Dam

Type:Hydroelectric Dam
Location:4144 Russell Dam Drive, Elberton, Georgia 30635
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Things to do: Picnicking, Fishing, Sightseeing

Map to Lake Russell Dam