Things to Do in
McCormick County

Water/Ways is on display at Hickory Knob State Park from June 27 – August 8, 2020. There are several other activities to enjoy in and around McCormick County. Explore and learn about the rich history of this area. Click here to download the information below as a flyer (PDF)

J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake
510 Clarks Hill Highway
Clarks Hill, SC 29821

A massive project to control devastating floods, the J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake were created during 1951 and 1952 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam and visitors center are impressive. The visitors center is open 7 days a week from 8 am – 4 pm. Please call to confirm hours: 864-333-1147 or 1-800-533-3478.

Clemson Extension
Hickory Knob State Park Resort
1591 Resort Dr.
McCormick, SC 29835

Clemson Extension has created an interactive sandbox that allows you to create topographic models by shaping sand. The models will show you how topography and landforms impact our watershed. This exhibit will be at Hickory Knob and open during the Water/Ways exhibit hours: Monday – Thursday 9am – 5 pm Friday – Sunday 9am – 8pm

Communal Pen
Virtual Writing Workshop

Want to improve your writing skills? The South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with South Carolina Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, are offering their Communal Pen Writing Workshop. This two-part/two-hours-each seminar runs July 18th and July 25th from 10am to 12noon.

Heritage Gold Mine Park
209 N Mine St
McCormick, SC 29835

Ever wonder how prospectors panned for gold? Heritage Gold Mine Park Manager Dave Gray provides instruction on gold panning and gem screening. Go to to get current dates and hours.

Willington History Center and Bookshop
2350 Highway 81
McCormick, SC 29835

Willington on the Way is a non-profit organization dedicated to historical preservation. They will offer a special Water/Ways exhibit in addition to other historically significant displays. Come visit the History Center and Bookshop Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 3pm

Cotton Gin Grist Mill
206 N Main St
McCormick, SC 29835

Learn how cotton is ginned into fabric and how grains become flour. Visit the Dorn Mill Complex and tour the Cotton Gin and Grist Mill.
Both historical buildings will be open during the Farmer’s Market hours Tuesdays from 3pm – 7pm.

McCormick County Library
201 Railroad Avenue
McCormick, SC 29835

The McCormick County Library has a rich collection of books and movies about water and the vital role it plays in every community. Check out books like: “The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor” by Joanna Cole or “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.

Fearless Explorer
Scavenger Hunt

McCormick County is proud of its history and great diversity. To explore this history, participate in a scavenger hunt with a group or individually. Scavenger Hunt activity cards are available at the Water/Ways exhibit, the Visitors Center, Cotton Gin and Red Rooster store.

The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. Water/Ways will tour six small communities in South Carolina from June 2020 to April 2021. Learn more. 

The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the U.S. Congress. Support for the South Carolina tour of Water/Ways has been provided by Dominion Energy.