The sounds of crickets and cicadas mix with the honking of a flock of geese flying low over the water. The sky is a mingling of orange and purple and the rumble of outboard motors is finished for the day.
As the sun goes down families with wet hair come trailing back from beaches and boats, dragging inflatable alligators, swim noodles and bedraggled towels behind them. Campfires get started and mothers warn children to stay back. Dogs bark but soon settle as the days activities take their toll and sleep comes. Children begin nodding off while holding their hot dog roasting sticks. There is so much to do that by the end of the day, everyone is tired in the way you only can be after spending a day on the water.
Camping at Lake Murray State Park offers a lot of opportunity and only a small price tag. RV-friendly campsites with water and electric run $15, premium sites on the lake are $18 at the Marietta Landing Campground. Throughout the park there are 9 RV-friendly campgrounds with over 300 campsites available. Prices range from $10-$25 depending on the campground and the location. If you pick near the lakeshore you’ll pay a small premium. Look on the electrical box and if you’ve chosen a premium site it will be noted on the box.
RV sites seem to be pretty level – we were able to get our little trailer perfectly on the bubble. There are a few pull-thru sites – most are back-in sites but they are pretty straightforward with a gravel pad. Sites that aren’t level themselves have the gravel pad built up with railroad ties to make sure you can get things just so.
If you’re in a tent, or have some tent campers joining you, there are hundreds of tent sites available. Costs vary, but an example – at the Buzzard’s Roost campground $10 gets you a site for up to 4 tents. You’ll also have a great view of Tucker Tower and a boat launch nearby. The best part? If you get there early you can grab a site that adjoins the swimming beach – perfect for a family with water-loving kids. Tent sites have a variety of features. Most have a fire ring, picnic table and grill. And if you do some scouting you can find many right on the water with swimming access available.
Most of the campgrounds have at least some shady spots, while others – like Marietta Landing – feature almost exclusively shady campsites. We found lots of little trails that led down to the lake or off into an open field that were great for walking the dog and doing a little exploring.
The park also offers a golf course, airstrip, resort hotel and 56 cabins. The resort has several restaurants, mini golf, water toy rental and Jet Ski rental nearby as well as a marina where you can dock or rent a boat. It is the type of place you can bring your whole family, no matter what their interests and everyone can find a place to enjoy.
Lake Murray is a great place to go to see the stars also. If you get to the lake edge the view is phenomenal. It looks like God tipped over the saltshaker and littered the sky with stars. If you live near a city and only ever see the very brightest stars, grab a spot on one of the beaches or find a rock to sit on late at night. You won’t be disappointed in the view.
Posted by: Chris