Dreher Island is a wonderful place to escape for a couple days away from the rat race. Just outside Columbia on Lake Murray. The campsites are fairly large and all situated close to the bath houses, and are well set up for either tent or RV camping. The grounds are well maintained, and the staff is quick to answer any questions and help out if they can. There is a marina on the grounds with a fuel dock and bait store. The towns of Chapin and Prosperity are nearby and both have grocery and hardware stores, and the city of Newberry has a Walmart for those unforeseen needs that always seem to arise.
Been coming here for several years but this is the first year that we have seen mice & rats running through the campground!!
My husband booked Villa #4 so that our family could have a weekend getaway. We have two elementary school age children. Check in was at 4pm, but we had requested an early check in if possible. The park staff called us to let us know the villa was ready early. When we arrived we drove to the main building to pick up keys and pay balance. Check in was easy. We drove to the villa and were very pleased. We selected a 2 bedroom style villa which included 2 queen beds, 2 full bathrooms, a screened porch, woodburning fireplace, an outdoor fire pit with park style grill. The furniture in the villa was fine, decor was what one would expect. Everything was clean and in good working order. Firewood was left on the front porch of our cabin. There were enough towels for everyone to have two. The showers/bathrooms left something to be desired. However, if you are staying at a state park it is important to note it is not a luxury hotel. The park is PERFECT if you love to boat or fish. I imagine the lake is pretty busy/loud in the summer. We stayed in February which made it very quiet and serene. We hiked on a few short trails, played on both playgrounds, enjoyed having time away from work and electronics. The cabin did include a few games (fishopoly, apples to apples, trivial pursuit, and a puzzle). There were some cooking supplies, but not a lot. There were enough dishes for four. I was glad we brought paper plates, etc. along. Also, make sure you bring your own paper towels. Kitchen included a coffee pot, toaster, microwave, stove/oven/ fridge/freezer, basic pots/pans (although you will want to bring foil along to line them). The water in the kitchen tasted strange and looked odd. We used the water from the bathrooms instead or bottled water we brought along.We saw deer, beautiful birds, had fun sitting on the porch and around the fire. The hikes were enjoyable for the kids (not satisfactory for a serious hiker). I think this park is mainly for people who enjoy boating/fishing or have children who need an easy outdoor experience.We enjoyed our stay and would definitely come again. Facilities were well-maintained and kids enjoyed everything.There is a small store on site that has: basic camping supplies, basic fishing supplies, t shirts, a few toys, fire wood, and candy/chips/sodas. No milk or eggs etc. You would need to leave the park and drive several miles to find those things I imagine. I think two or three nights is a good amount of time to spend here, any more than that and you would run out of things to do in the park. We enjoyed our stay very much.
We camp here several times a year, with a tent. The tent pad is plenty big enough for our 10-person tent (only 4 of us but we like room). There are fire pits at each location. However, during the cold months I strongly suggest another heat supply (small space heater, electric blankets, etc.) We were right on the water and caught several small fish, using night crawlers. The workers are very friendly. The restrooms and shower stalls are usually pretty clean, but this time were a little lacking. I'm old enough to not be shy about taking a shower, but if you're modest, you might bring an extra shower curtain. They have a nice playground for the kids. We always feel safe and have a good time enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
I visited and hammock camped here for the first time this past weekend. Our group (Palmetto State Hangers) reserved Primitive Group Site #5. The main building (office, camp store, tackle shop and boat ramp area) is where I register and pick up my hang tag. Check in is easy. I receive a park map and directions to the primitive group camping area. This is the most remote area in the park and is accessed carefully maneuvering your vehicle down a rutted, rocky, packed red clay road. We spent two nights: Friday and Saturday, and checked out at noon on Sunday. Twenty persons attend. This number includes members and first-time guests. This event is our group's summer season membership outing. Site #5 was spacious and well shaded. There are lots of trees for us to suspend our hammocks. A huge fire circle with benches around the circumference is ideal for our evening chat. This site has four picnic tables and one grill. A panoramic view of the lake through the clear spaces between the trees provides a picture of all the lake action. There is no electricity, and no flush toilets inside bathhouses in this area. However, there is one central potable water supply available to all campers in this area. We are spoiled since none of the other group sites were being used this weekend. We had it all to ourselves. Three port-o-lets are available on the road close to Site #5. We are blessed. Saturday afternoon many of our group enjoy swimming in the cove by Group Site #3. There is a boat ramp here. Here is a small sandy beach just wide enough to gradually walk into the water without having to deal with rocks. Since most of the shoreline is so rocky getting into the water at other places becomes an art of balancing on roots, hanging from limbs, holding onto trees, then lowering yourself down onto those rocks before you plunge. There are quick drop offs in practically all areas no matter how close to the shoreline. A Bass Tournament was taking place (one of the best striped bass fishing lakes in the country) so there is plenty early morning boat noise at the crack of dawn by the fishermen getting the jump on the competition racing to their honey holes. Throughout the day and early evening the lake is busy. A few kayakers and canoeists glide by. Most of the lake traffic is primarily motorboats with big engines wide open. One large young crowd blasting music, partied hardy on pontoon boats, strung together. A person in our group referred to them as, “Wild ones enjoying the Redneck Riviera.” Another frequent scene is watching kids being hauled behind boats holding on during either skiing or riding tubes. Then more fishermen pass, families cruising, and jetskis racing. Watching this watercraft menagerie of folks having fun from the shoreline up at our site is thoroughly entertaining. It was quiet and serene around 10:00 p.m. while we watch moonlight shimmering on the surface of the lake. Because of the full moon there are moon shadows in the wood. We ate like kings and queens the entire weekend because of Tony and Tonya with their fabulous trailside gourmet cooking. For those persons not interested in a group camp, the park has numerous offerings and alternatives. You can book a Villa, reserve a picnic shelter, stay at an individual campsite at the two separate campgrounds, enjoy lakeside swimming and fishing, and of course sail, motor, paddle, or row your boat. There are several nice playgrounds with spacious green lawns for yard games. Dreher Island State Park on Lake Murray is about thirty miles West outside Columbia, about twelve miles from I-26, about ten miles from Chapin, and Prosperity is nearby. Do all of your shopping for supplies before you come, but should you forget something there is a Walmart in Newberry.
We stayed here in the summer and it was a really great place to camp and swim. We tent camped right next to a bunch of RVs, which was a little weird, but was great fun, nonetheless. We asked the locals about a good place to swim (we didn't bring a boat) and some teens recommended a little alcove that we spent HOURS in. It was great. We brought our dogs with us and they were just as welcomed as we were. The store on site had anything we had forgotten.
The park is very nice and situated on the lake so that almost all of the camps spots are on the water. Loved the views! The road, however, is very narrow and not ideal for biking or walking as there was usually a lot of traffic through the camp ground.
This is a great place to camp and fish on beautiful 50,000 acre Lake Murray. Close to the nicw city of Columbia, S..C. where you can find anything you want.
I recently visited this park with my husband and 3 small children. We camped in our travel trailer and really enjoyed our spot - 83 - which sat on the lake. My kids swam and fished right from our site! We hiked the main trail (just me and my oldest, who is 7) and played at the nice playground. Great spot, but remote, so don't forget what you need!
We visited Dreher island early June 2014 - and i can honestly say i wish i was back at the Villa right now. We booked Villa #4 (2 bedroom) and fell in-love with it - it beat all the hotels we have ever stayed at. It seems like the other villas would have had their views blocked by trees, but #4 has a beautiful view from the screened porch and we sat every night and watched the sunset. Its not really a cabin, its more like a ski chalet! The 2nd bedroom is a huge loft with ceiling fans and doors that open to a standing perch that overlooks the lake. The kitchen was well stocked with plates,cookware and even had a beautiful flat top range. (the town of Chapin isnt too far away, and it has a large grocery store with anything you might need) There are two dinning tables - we chose to eat out on the screen porch every night and watch the water. The only part that seemed a little dated was the bathrooms - there was just no place to set anything down - no counter tops, just sinks, but we made it work! Outside there is a picnic table and fire pit right on the waters edge - another great spot to sit and watch the sunset. We only saw a couple motor boats out on the water, which was surprising - we had expected it to be much busier. It was great to enjoy the peace and quiet. The only thing we were missing was our kayaks - it was too far for us to drive them down from New York, and they didn't rent them at the park which was disappointing. The Forest ranger and all park staff were FANTASTIC. One of our showers was actually broken (they were waiting for a part to come in) but they let us know about the issue in advance and it wasn't a big deal, being it was just me and my husband. The forest ranger even called us during our stay to make sure we were enjoying ourselves - that was such a kind gesture and totally unexpected! I would recommend this place to everyone - especially out of townees - don't book a hotel - book a villa.