Russell's Lake Hartwell & Lake Russell
Sailing & Windsurfing Website
Russell on Lake Hartwell
animated gif, a relic from the early days of the web
Avocation shift Due to knee and shoulder problems, I'm going to be switching from windsurfing to other forms of sailing.

There are a number of lakes within a short drive from Athens. This website describes some of the sites I've explored for sailing & windsurfing at two of the lakes which are both on the Savannah River. The red dots on the images indicate places from which I have sailed.

Lake Hartwell:    
Lower Lake Hartwell
Lower Lake Hartwell

The lower part of Lake Hartwell (Corps of Engineers Project) near the dam, is favorable for sailing, with 1 to 3 miles of open water. Several peninsulas stick out into the Lake. One of these is Long Point Recreation area, my favorite spot for windsurfing or sailing in the region. Long Point is close to the town of Hartwell, GA. Other good locations, depending upon wind direction, include Elrod Ferry, Singing Pines, and Sadler's Creek. When the Corps of Engineers sites have been closed, I have sometimes sailed from Hart State Park which is on a narrower body of water, but can work in a W or NW wind.

While Lake Hartwell is my favorite sailing place, its water levels vary quite a bit depending upon rain and drought conditions, so I should qualify that to say its my favorite spot when it is within 5 feet of full pool. When the level is below 10 feet low, you end up standing in a lot of thick bottom mud, and dodging the tops of trees that were submerged 50 years ago. Unfortunately budget cuts have also induced the Corps of Engineers to close Long Point and some other sites on Hartwell just after Labor Day, instead of keeping them open into October (otherwise prime sailing time).

Long Point
Long Point Recreation Area


Hence, I have also explored Lake Russell which is nearly always close to full pool, and have found several boat ramps which work for different sets of wind directions.

Lake Russell:    
Shuck Pen Eddy Boat Ramp
Shuck Pen Eddy Boat Ramp


Lake Russell , also on the Savannah River, is a very pretty lake, with less development than Lake Hartwell. There are two boat ramps I've tried on the lower part of Lake Russell. This seems to be the widest part of the lake. Shuck Pen Eddy on the Georgia side works with somewhat easterly winds. Manor Creek on the South Carolina side works with somewhat westerly winds. Both required a bit of tacking to get out from shore towards the middle of the lake.

Both locations are just a bit above the Lake Russell Dam, on opposite sides of the Lake. Shuck Pen Eddy is easily reached from Georgia 72 by going south on Bobby Brown Park Road. Manor Creek is a bit tougher to find; you cross the 72 bridge into South Carolina, go south on SC 81, then take some back roads to get to the boat ramp.

Manor Creek Boat Ramp
Manor Creek Boat Ramp

Middle Lake Russell
Middle Lake Russell
The Elbert Boat Launch was one of the first places I tried. Its location is reasonable for most wind directions, except SW, although the lake has some narrow spots, and there are bridges which can lead to unpredictable wind gusts. Elbert Boat Launch
Elbert Boat Launch

Closer to Atlanta:
Lake Lanier, closer to Atlanta, is the home base of the Atlanta Boardsailing Club. Lake Lanier suffers from the same up and down water levels as does Lake Hartwell.
Maps & Directions:
Athens to Lake Hartwell Hartwell Town to Long Point Athens to Lake Russell Elberton Town to Elbert Boat Ramp
From Athens to Long Point, Lake Hartwell From Athens to Elbert Boat Ramp, Lake Russell
Russell on Lake Hartwell