The Lake Jocassee Gorges have been named Nationwide Geographic’s “50 of the World’s Final Nice Locations – Locations of a Lifetime” and it is just an hour from Greenville, SC. Satan’s Fork State Park and its Lake Jocassee are a straightforward and exquisite place to discover this native surprise.
For extra locations inside hours of Greenville, see our in style day journey web page.
I really like the outside and grew up climbing, biking, tenting and doing every kind of nice out of doors actions. Hoping to instill that very same love in my younger youngsters and scouring round for out of doors actions to do, I’m continually amazed by the Upstate and all it presents, not simply to out of doors fanatics, however those self same out of doors fanatics who’ve youngsters.
Lake Jocassee has been on my South Carolina bucket listing since I heard about it final 12 months. Then I noticed that the gorges of Lake Jocassee had been listed as one in all Nationwide Geographic’s “50 of the World’s Final Nice Locations – Locations of a Lifetime”. Um – I reside very near this vacation spot of my life. I needed to go, like now.
About Lake Jocassee
Lake Jocassee was created in 1973 by a partnership with the state and Duke Energy. The dam on the Jocassee Gorges is 385 ft excessive and 1750 ft lengthy. The lake itself fills 9,000 acres with water reaching depths of greater than 385 ft. There are even corporations that take divers on the lake!
Lake Jocassee is understood for its crystal clear waters which are fed with cool Appalachian waters cascading from dozens of lovely waterfalls solely accessible by boat. Areas of the lake are additionally a part of the one temperate rainforest east of the Rockies. The shoreline is unexplored, providing you with the sensation that you’re deep within the wild.
The lake is unimaginable, breathtaking and breathtaking. I had seen photos however actually, they only do not do it justice. Being there, respiratory mountain air, swimming within the water, listening to the silence of nature and simply being impressed by the entire setting is a superb feeling.
What to do at Lake Jocassee with youngsters: Kayaking
There’s a lot to do with youngsters at Lake Jocassee, however the first time I ventured out onto the lake, I selected to lease a tandem kayak and take my two youngsters on a bit of boating journey. A tandem kayak — particularly a sit-on-top kayak just like the one we had — usually suits two adults, every of whom is paddling. In my case, I used to be within the again seat, my almost three-year-old within the center, and my six-year-old within the entrance seat. I did all of the paddling (in fact).
We rented the tandem for 4 hours, which included life jackets for every of us plus a water-proof case for my telephone and keys, an emergency whistle and a map of the lake.
I actually needed to see at the very least one magical waterfall, so we began our journey. I additionally introduced a bag of snacks, water and sunscreen, and all of us wore hats. Being out of the water could be brutally sunny and the very last thing I needed was for anybody to get sunburnt (spoiler: I received some sunburn as a result of apparently I did not reapply the sunscreen once I ought to have).
It was very simple paddling within the kayak. I’ve kayaked earlier than – not with youngsters – nevertheless it’s simple to be taught when you’ve by no means accomplished it. The water was so clear and we may see small fish and rocks. My women cherished the brand new expertise.
For the reason that water stage was low sufficient, we stopped a lot of occasions in numerous coves, secluded seashores and sandbanks to leap within the water, take photos and have snacks. I’ve gone again to the lake a number of occasions since then and now have my very own kayak so I can drop it additional alongside the shoreline from the rental place, which supplies me much less time to get to the falls. I made it final time, nevertheless it’s fairly far, particularly in a kayak.
There’s additionally a small island close to one of many waterfalls to dock the kayak and swim round. That place was very nice.
For an important kayaking clinic for teenagers, take a look at our evaluate on doing one with Jocassee Wild Little one.
You probably have your individual kayak or SUP . have
I’ve since gotten my very own tandem kayak, just about for kayaking on Lake Jocassee, and the easiest way to see the falls is to drop the boat into the furthest parking spots of Devils Fork State Park. A useful map of the falls could be discovered right here. It is a FAR paddle, about an hour to Wright’s Creek Falls. It is price it, however be ready, particularly for the extreme storms that hit the lake.
Once you enter the park (go early, it will get busy), flip left and move the primary car parking zone in your proper. Drive previous the campsites and to the unmanned gate the place you pay your entrance charge. Maintain following the winding street till you come to a fork the place there are two indicators: “non-motorized boats/motorized boats” and “non-motorized boats solely”. Drive left to the non-motorized/motorized boats.
You’ll come to a car parking zone and a ship ramp the place you’ll be able to drop the boat. Then go straight to the lake. Here’s a map displaying the areas of the falls.
Devils Fork opened a brand new boat ramp in 2020 which is simply previous the campgrounds on the proper. Should you select to drop in right here, the paddle to the falls shall be even additional. However you’ll be able to simply paddle across the space and nonetheless have enjoyable when you do not need to go that far.
The lake can also be an important place to go supping. You should utilize your individual boat from any boat ramp or lease them.
What to do at Lake Jocassee: The Seaside
Actually, there’s a seaside. It’s surrounded by rocks that you must climb, however it’s actually a seaside, albeit a small one. I wasn’t ready with chairs and an umbrella so we used towels and rocks and it labored simply advantageous. I later noticed that they may have rented chairs, umbrellas and tubes from Eclectic Solar as they’re proper subsequent to the seaside.
There aren’t any lifeguards, only a yellow float line within the water, which might be extra for the boats than swimmers. The water felt fantastic and we ended up having lunch there on the seaside.
There’s additionally a small playground at the back of the car parking zone by the pavilion, plus picnic benches and grills.
Remember that the lake is situated in Satan’s State Park which suggests you must pay the doorway charge, $8/adults, $4/ages 6-15, free for teenagers six and underneath. It’s also free to enter each Tuesday all year long. Throughout the busy summer season months and vacation weekends, you must be on the park early to park. Throughout summer season weekends, capability is all the time reached early within the day.
If the car parking zone fills up, you will have to attend to get in. Try the SC State Parks web site and Fb web page of Devils Fork on Twitter as a result of they’ll replace it when the car parking zone is full. You’ll be able to select to order a parking house ($50, which incorporates entrance for 2 company and a paved parking house).
Issues to Do at Lake Jocassee with Youngsters
Jocassee Wild Little one
Take your youngsters on an incredible nature expedition across the lake with Jocassee Wild Little one. The tour lasts about 4 hours and contains waterfalls, wildlife exploration, and actually cool historical past classes. Learn our evaluate right here.
Since lots of the falls are solely accessible by boat, enterprising corporations supply boat excursions. Jocassee Lake Excursions was the one I leaned in the direction of for this tour. They’ve excursions the place they take you to the falls and allow you to leap within the water and swim round earlier than transferring on to the subsequent waterfall.
I do not know something about fishing. I do know that we noticed some fish within the lake and that, based on Google, there are tons of wonderful fish within the lake which are simply begging to get hooked. We noticed some individuals fishing in canoes so if you wish to educate your child the proper option to do issues this may very well be the extra to place it in.
There are additionally fishing journeys obtainable to select from.
Jocassee Out of doors Middle has a number of rental properties on their web site for company to browse when on the lookout for the proper place to take their household on trip.
It’s also possible to verify the SC State Park web site to search out cabins and villas.
Tenting on Lake Jocassee is nice. Tent pitches alongside the lake and there’s a brief path to a non-public seaside behind tent web site #1. There’s a bathtub home on web site and bogs. Nevertheless, you must e-book locations far sufficient prematurely, particularly these immediately on the lake.
It’s also possible to camp on an island close to the lake that’s solely accessible by boat. I completely need to do that!
There are two campgrounds on Lake Jocassee and charges per night time begin at $21 for the tent-only websites. They’re run by South Carolina State Park and extra data about tenting in Devils Fork State Park could be discovered right here.
You’ll be able to hike a straightforward one-mile loop at Lake Jocassee, named after the uncommon wildflower that blooms there in spring: Oconee Bells Nature Path. Study extra in regards to the trails in Devils Fork State Park right here.
- Extra sunscreen
- Bug spray
- Water sneakers or sneakers you do not thoughts getting soaked
- Meals/Lunch/Snacks – The eateries within the park are very restricted. Should you can carry your individual, accomplish that.
- Any private tube or water toy that makes you need to calm down within the lake by the seaside
- Seaside chair and umbrella
- Sun shades
- Change of garments and additional diapers
Locations to lease boats, kayaks, canoes
*Make certain to name forward and reserve your boat. Some days, particularly weekends and holidays, are busy.
Eclectic Solar LLC
This clothing store is situated within the pavilion once you enter Satan’s Fork State Park. They may drop your kayak/canoe/paddleboard into the water for you. In addition they have a small concession stand. This is what they’ve for lease:
Stand Up Paddle Boards
238 Buckeye Drive, Salem, SC
Jocassee Out of doors Middle
They aren’t immediately on the lake however just some minutes away and can drop your rental automobile at numerous factors within the lake. This is what they’ve obtainable:
Lease a pontoon boat
4-hour waterfall excursions by boat (name for costs)
Tandem 3-person kayak
Stand Up Paddle Board
Jocassee Keowee Leases
Stephanie, the proprietor, is taken into account the Jocassee Lake Girl. She is aware of what she is speaking about and is a wealth of helpful data. She rents out canoes and pontoon boats.
Jocassee Lake Excursions
This firm presents boat excursions, kayak excursions, full moon excursions, senior excursions, and journey excursions. In addition they have a kayak camp for teenagers and lease kayaks by the day.
Jocassee Dive Store
When the children are large enough to SCUBA diving, this firm will assist make it occur. They provide charters for the lake and have many leases obtainable comparable to masks, fins, snorkels, wetsuits, and many others.
710 Dive Buddy Lane, Salem
These people are those you go to for an important fishing expertise at Lake Jocassee.
421 Jocassee Lake Rd, Salem
Has your loved ones ever visited the Jocassee?
Extra lakes to find
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