Residents of the lake communities of The Cliffs and The Reserve at Lake Keoweee enjoy the many benefits and beauties Keowee has to offer but let’s not forget about Lake Jocassee. This man-made lake was constructed at the same time as Lake Keowee, the early 1970’s by Duke Power in partnership with the state. Known for the cold water from the Appalachian rivers, this lake is clear year-round. For public access to this lake, you have the pleasure of visiting Devils Fork State Park. Now, don’t let the name fool you. This state park feels more like a slice of heaven.
Just three miles from scenic Highway 11 is the entrance to this park. Once on the property, you have numerous options of things to do! First is the hiking. A wonderful, peaceful trail for hikers of all ages and levels is the Oconee Bells Nature Trail. 1 and ½ mile loop lets you experience the rare wild flower in this area known as the Oconee Bell. The trail also has a small pond and many benches along the path. For a little more adventurous hike, try the Bear Cove Trail. We can’t promise any bears along the way on this 2 and ½ mile loop. This is a hilly and slightly rugged trail but the lake view at the end is well worth the effort.
For those who are more into camping, Devils Fork State Park has you covered. Two campgrounds are located near the shore so you have stunning views of Lake Jocassee. Restroom facilities plus hot showers are available here for the campgrounds. If camping isn’t your things, no worries as there are charming villas available! For rates on the campgrounds and the lodging, please go to the South Carolina Parks website here.
Kayaks and canoes are available for rent by a partner company. If you are bringing your own boat, there are four boat ramps for use. One of the favorite things for many about this lake is the fishing. It is the only South Carolina lake that offers trophy trout and smallmouth bass and therefore a prime spot for anglers. Another thing Lake Jocassee is known for is scuba diving. Yes, you read that correctly. Most man-made buildings were torn down before the lake was filled but some were left intact meaning those structures are now under 300 feet of water! Also given the clean and clear waters of this lake, it is wonderful visibility for divers.
The next time you need a good breath of fresh air, check out Devils Fork State Park!