View of Lake Murray from dock.

Relocation Guides for Columbia, South Carolina

Living at Lake Murray, SC

The Lake Murray area is home to one of Columbia's finest recreational assets. The lake covers an area of 78 square miles or about 50,000 acres of land. It is 41 miles long and 14 miles at its widest point. There are 520 miles of shoreline, which is more shoreline than the entire Atlantic coastline in South Carolina! All this is just 15 miles northwest of columbia.


Lake Murray is accessible by I-26 at the Irmo and Chapin exits and by I-20 at the Lexington exits. Since the lake is so big, many main roads lead lake area residents into Columbia, but interstate travel is by far the most popular.

Communities & Neighborhoods

There are many upscale housing developments around Lake Murray. Many of these feature boat slips, launch and dry dock facilities for residents.

Chapin and Lexington are the two largest towns close to the lake. Chapin is one of the fastest growing communities in the Midlands. The population has been expected to grow by 95% since 2000.

Best Ways to Spend a Sunday Afternoon on Lake Murray

Dreher Island State Recreation Area

Explore Dreher Island State Recreation Area. What a lovely way to experience the lake! Just 30 miles from Downtown Columbia on the shores of big Lake Murray, the park consists of three islands linked to shore by a causeway and two bridges. In addition to woodsy hiking trails and lots of places to fish from shore, Dreher Island offers picnicking, camping and lakeside villas. A tackle shop and boat ramp also is available. The park has long been popular with recreational boaters and fishermen, and has been a launching spot for major national bass tournaments.

Address: 3677 State Park Road, Prosperity, SC
Phone: (803) 364-4152

SCE&G Beach/Recreation Area

Splish-splash! Pack up your swim suit, a nice picnic lunch and head to the lake. South Carolina Electric & Gas Company's beach/recreation public park on the Lexington side of the dam at Lake Murray is open early April-September. The beach is a great place to swim and experience the thrill of the cool refreshing lake waters. The park has no lifeguards and is open into the evening hours. Restrooms and picnic facilities are available. SCE&G

Lake Murray Lifestyle

Lake residents enjoy a relaxed, easy lifestyle that makes many feel they are on vacation year round.

Lake Murray extends into four counties - Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Saluda. The lake is 41 miles long and 14 miles accross at its widest point. A South Carolina Electric & Gas hydro-electric development, the lake was created in 1930 by damming the Saluda River. The lake was named for William S. Murray, the distinguished engineer who first recognized the site that would eventually bear his name. Formed with local clay soil, the Saluda Dam was the largest earthen dam ever built at the time of its construction.

Lake residents enjoy many water activities. Fishing the lake is extremely popular. Stripers, largemouth bass, bream and crappie thrive in the lake. With 78 square miles of lake and 520 miles of shoreline, recreational boating is a number one activity for most lake residents. Ski boats, pontoons and deck boats share equal popularity on Lake Murray. There are 25 marinas and landings whose offerings include wet and dry boat storage, motor repair, fuel supplies and more.

Lake Levels and Drinking Water

Lake levels change throughout the year because the lake is operated on a seaonal reservoir fill-up and draw-down basis. The usual minimum draw-down is to 350' MSL (Mean Seal Level) and usual maximum elevation is 358' MSL. Lower levels of the lake normally occur in early December and then gradually increase to high elevations by the end of May. Properties that are considered "deep water" normally have water at the dock year round. Another aspect of homeownership on the lake is availability of drinking water. Much of the lake is served by public water utilities owned by local municipalities with piplelines to large wells and some are served by private companies that haul the water into subdivisions and store it in tanks. Some sites have their own wells and some use treated lake water.

Breathtaking Lake Murray Views

Lake waters are at their prettiest as the sun rises or sets, and the gloriously color-splashed sky reflects in the water below. Homes situated on the lot to maximize the view are desirable and floor plans designed to help the resident enjoy the views are the best. If you are looking for lake property, take a trip to the home you're considering in the evening or morning and take in the view. You're going to find that a great view is worth looking for.

Lakeside Communities

Year-round lake living has grown tremendously over the years. There are many types of lakeside communities and neighborhoods. The most common neighborhood is made up of lake homes built over a period of years - the small weekend cottages of the 30's and 40's, lake homes built as permanent homes in the 60's and 70's, and newer homes too - all built by people who, for almost 70 years, have shared an appreciation of this beautiful natural resource. Resort communities have been built in recent years and residents enjoy a host of amenities including golf, marinas, tennis and swimming pools. Condominiums have been built on both sides of the lake. Cluster Homes are also popular where points of land have been divided to accommodate a number of homes.

The Lake Murray lifestyle is rewarding to all who know it. You're going to love it!

Top Ten Banner

Let's Celebrate...All Aboard!

Do you have something to celebrate? Do it in style aboard the beautiful Spirit of Lake Murray. Imagine your guests stepping into a truly unique experience - one that every member of your party will long remember. The Spirit is perfect for military promotion celebrations, retirement parties, corporate meetings, customer-appreciation functions, family reunions, and of course, for the most wonderful wedding | wedding receptions! Now offering off-site parking and shuttle service. Contact Ken or Andrew at 803.730.3044.

Facts about Lake Murray

  • 5,000 people were relocated for the construction of the lake
  • 3 churches, six schools and 193 graveyards were moved
  • 100,000,000 board feet of lumber were obtained from land clearing the area
  • The Lake Murray Dam was the largest earthen dam in the world at the time of construction
  • 763 billion gallons of water are stored in the lake
  • A new backup dam was completed in 2005

Average Home and Rent in Lake Murray

Home Mortgage: $183,279

Rent: $770.00

Church on the Lakeshore

At Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church you can come to their lakeshore service from the third week of May to the third week of September. The best part is that you can come by car, foot, or boat.
More Info Here.

Check Out Our Other Helpful Sites

A well-maintained website built to direct new home shoppers in the Greater Columbia area to info on new home builders, new neighborhoods and topics pertaining to the purchase of a spec home or a custom home.

A digital companion to Discover Columbia Magazine. Internet users looking for information on things to do, dining information and events easily find with Google.

Columbia's restaurant openings, restaurant news, food events, interviews, more!

Helpful Resources

Decorating Den Interiors

Essex Homes

Madison Ballagh, ReMax

Best New Homes

Ethan Allen

Laurel Crest Retirement Community

Shandon United Methodist Church

Real Time Web Analytics