Locate It: Thomson

Fishing and Fox Hunting are Prime Outdoor Activities in Thomson, Georgia

No matter how you choose to spend your leisure time, Thomson, Georgia and the surrounding areas of McDuffie County have plenty of activities to keep your interests engaged.

McDuffie Public Fishing Area (PFA) is an excellent choice for a fun-filled day outdoors with the family. Pit yourself against bass, bream, and catfish at the McDuffie PFA, open daily from sunrise to sunset, with overnight tent and RV camping at designated sites. Seven lakes from 5-37 acres are open for public fishing. All ponds have concrete boat ramps with courtesy docks.

Visitors can also enjoy covered picnic pavilions, tables and grills, a variety of nature trails, and an archery range and tower with 3D targets. A 12-acre dove field is managed for quota hunts permitted on Saturdays in September. The West Valley lakes are available for waterfowl hunting during December, Saturdays only.

You must possess a fishing license, hunting license, or a Land Use Pass to use the area. Visit the GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com website to purchase licenses and make campsite reservations.

Outdoorsy types will love the recreational activities around Clarks Hill Lake, including camping, fishing, boating, skiing and other water sports, hiking, swimming, and much more. Clarks Hill Lake’s massive 71,000 surface acres sit on the border of Georgia and South Carolina just north of Augusta. Completion of the J. Strom Thurmond Dam in 1952 created the lake along the Savanah River.

Five state parks, seven US Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds, and at least seven other day-use parks facilitate the recreational activities around Clarks Hill Lake. Six commercial marinas on the lake and more than 20 boat ramps around the lake can handle all your boating needs.

Contact the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers J. Strom Thurmond Project Office at 800-533-3478 for more information on recreation facilities – including Amity Recreation Area and Big Hart Recreation Area and Campground – and shoreline use.

Amity Recreation Area – Clarks Hill

This wooded day-use area on Clarks Hill Lake boasts 1,000 miles of shoreline, beaches, boating, fishing, softball fields, a ballfield, and more. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, ospreys, and deer.

5782 Thomson Highway

Lincolnton, GA 30817

Big Hart Recreation Area and Campground– Clarks Hill

Drop a line where Big Creek and Hart Creek flow together on the western end of Clarks Hill Lake. The area offers great fishing, swimming, boating, and camping among a mix of pine and hardwood forest that provides shade in the summer and vibrant leaf color in the fall.

Sweetwater Park

  • 85 acres and a half-mile walking track
  • Sweetwater Park Veteran’s Disc Golf Course
  • nine baseball/softball fields and two football fields – lighted with scoreboards
  • two basketball court gym
  • two playground systems and picnic shelters

Want to hit the links? Belle Meade Country Club in Thomson features a recently renovated golf course, fine dining, fully stocked golf shop, pool, and tennis facilities. Belle Meade Country Club is the perfect choice for those wanting to experience a fun and challenging golf course in a relaxed atmosphere. Each hole has its own distinctive personality and is challenging for golfers of all levels.

If you love the thrill of the hunt, don’t miss the Belle Meade Hunt. One of North America’s premier fox hunting venues, Belle Meade features a pack of 50 foxhounds and plentiful game throughout the nearly 40,000 contiguous acres that comprise the hunt territory. Trail rides in spring and summer and coyote hunts in fall and winter offer four mounted equine groups to suit every experience level from beginning riders to advanced.

Cultural Pursuits

Discover local artists at Thomson area art galleries. Immerse yourself in our local history. Explore our scenic paths, forests, and waters at numerous parks. Join in the fun of a local festival. Scratch your shopping itch at a downtown boutique. Treat the family to great local pizza or barbecue. You’re sure to find an activity in McDuffie County that will appeal to your interest.

Set aside time to tour Hickory Hill, a 256-acre historic site and home to a magnificently restored, fully furnished Greek Revival mansion with farm buildings, woodland gardens, walking trails, and fountains. Visits and tours Monday-Friday by appointment.

Develop an appreciation of McDuffie County’s heritage and the importance of local history when you visit the Thomson-McDuffie Museum (free admission). The museum has hosted two exhibits – “Key Ingredients: America by Food” and “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” – that came from the Museums on Main Street division of the Smithsonian Institute. Most importantly, the museum tells the story of McDuffie County’s first inhabitants, the American Indians; its Quaker colony in Wrightsborough; and famous residents such as Senator Thomas E. Watson, 12-string guitarist Blind Willie McTell, and others who played major roles in the county, state, and nation.

Thomson-McDuffie County has a long agricultural history that continues today. Several local farms and nurseries have been in operation since the 1940s, such as Dudley Nurseries, Hillcrest Farms, and McCorkle Nurseries. Farming and growing continues to be a family affair in McDuffie County.

McCorkle Nurseries began as a one-stop retail, landscape, and growing operation, and in 1977 the McCorkle family expanded into a 5-acre plant farm and landscape company. Another family, the Dudley’s of R.A. Dudley Nurseries, has been growing for around 80 years. If you are driving by the nursery, they invite you to stop by and let them show you around. By focusing on family, their customers, and the future, these inspirational operations are great examples of how to maintain tradition alongside growth and progress.

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Thomson - Locations

Big Hart Campground – Clarks Hill Lake

Classic South
5258 Washington Rd.
Thomson, GA 30824

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Clarks Hill Lake Wildlife Management Area

Classic South
Smith Mill Rd.
Thomson, GA 30680

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Clarks Hill Lake/J. Strom Thurmond Lake – McDuffie County

Classic South
Clarks Hill Lake
Thomson, GA 30680

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Hickory Hill

Classic South
502 Hickory Hill Dr.
Thomson, GA 30824

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McDuffie Public Fishing Area

Classic South
4695 Fish Hatchery Rd.
Thomson, GA 30808

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