South Carolina has an abundance of freshwater lakes that are excellent for boating. Whether you are interested in fishing, beaching, watersports, or cruising, these five lakes will have something for everybody. Enjoy time on the water in early spring and late fall in this southern state. Locals and tourists will have a multitude of options. What are the five best SC lakes for boating?

Lake Marion

When you’re searching for the biggest SC lakes, Lake Marion is the largest lake in the state.This giant has 315 miles of shoreline and 110,000 acres in size. Most important, it is conveniently located at I-95 and not far from Charleston, South Carolina.

Here you will find excellent fishing opportunities because Lake Marion is known for big fish. Beyond fishing, explore the waterfront dining options that you can dock the boat and enjoy the views.

For the camper, explore the many campgrounds along the edge of the lake. One great campsite with a boat ramp is Santee State Park.

Lake Wylie

Situated on the North Carolina and South Carolina is the nearly 12,500-acre lake. Even more impressive is the 325 miles of shoreline.

When you’re out boating on the waters of Lake Wylie, enjoy the incredible views of the surrounding wooded shoreline and mountainous terrain.

During the fall months, enjoy the scenic change of colors as the leaves turn from green to gold, yellow, and orange while operating the boat along the shore.

Lake Jocassee

One of the deepest SC lakes in the state is Lake Jocassee measuring up to 300 feet. This lake is nestled in the mountains and because of this has impressive views of the woods and mountains surrounding the shores.

The lake is not overly large, totaling 12 square miles. Its small size does not lack in beauty. The mountain-fed streams that pour into the lake keep the lake’s wasters crystal clear for excellent visibility.

While you’re boating on Lake Jocassee, be sure to venture off to any of the seven stunning waterfalls.

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell is yet another lake that borders a neighboring state. Boating on Lake Hartwell is another of the sc lakes that is divided between South Carolina and Georgia.

Measuring in at 56,000 acres and 962 miles of shoreline, Lake Hartwell is large in size. The lake is considered one of the top recreational lakes in the southeast because of the excellent fishing opportunities and fantastic fishing.

The lake has numerous islands, some of which are available for camping and offer a beach. A boat is required to access these islands to enjoy.

Lake Greenwood

This 11,400-acre SC lake is situated centrally in the state between the cities of Columbia and Greenville. The lake was created in 1940 and boasts 212 miles of shoreline.

When you’re in the area, make sure to check out Lake Greenwood State Park. Here you will find 944 acres to explore. If you’re camping at the state park, boat ramps are available for use.

Paddle the Lake Greenwood Blue Way. On this 34-mile water trail, you will learn about the history of the lake and its wildlife.

Seasonal Boating In South Carolina Lakes

Keep in mind that boating through South Carolina lakes is highly seasonal. The mountain lakes are more susceptible to cold weather when compared to those closer to the coastal regions. When planning to visit the lakes, the late spring, summer, and early fall are ideal.

Water Temperatures In South Carolina Lakes

Similar to air temperatures the water temperatures will dip significantly during the coldest of winter months. When planning to swim or engage in watersports, I highly recommend planning a trip for the summer and into the early fall. The spring is not ideal because it takes time for the water temperatures to rise after a cold winter.

The water temperatures also have an impact on fishing. Fish will move based how warm or cold the water temperature is. I recommend reading local reports before casting a line as targeting the fish be dependent on water temps.

So It’s Time To Book The Best Lake In South Carolina For Boating

All of these SC lakes won’t disappoint. When choosing one, you can save yourself a drive a pick something within close proximity to your home. Depending on the activities you prefer to engage in, some lakes can be better than others. Keep in mind that temperatures in the northern portions of South Carolina will dip down cooler in the fall, winter, and early spring, so plan your season accordingly.