Lake Jocassee, North Carolina & South Carolina, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Lake Jocassee.

If you’re considering Lake Jocassee vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Lake Jocassee guide!

Lake Jocassee visitor and community guide

Nestled into the pristine Appalachian mountains of northwestern South Carolina and southwestern North Carolina, Lake Jocassee reaches its watery depths down 300 feet and out over 7,500 acres. Burying underwater an area once home to part of the Cherokee nation, the lake was originally built for hydro-electric power generation by Duke Power. The Jocassee Hydroelectric Station is located in the southeastern corner of the reservoir, separating Lake Jocassee from Lake Keowee. The Jocassee facility is a pump-back station, where hydroelectric power is generated during peak demand, then water is pumped back into the lake during low demand. Lake Jocassee also serves as a prime recreation location, attracting visitors from miles around.

Quiet and beautiful, Lake Jocassee is almost entirely surrounded by public property — mostly Sumter National Forest — and is one of the best places in the state to get away from it all. Chilled Appalachian Mountain waters flow down into the lake from four rivers (Thompson, Whitewater, Toxaway and Horsepasture), keeping it refreshingly cool and ideal for water activities year-round. Gorgeous mountains hug the shores of the reservoir, making for breathtaking green vistas, sheer cliffs, and incredible cascading waterfalls.

Along the shores of the lake, you’ll find Devils Fork State Park, an expanse of 622 picturesque acres. Created in 1990, the park is home to the area’s diverse flora and fauna, including the rare Oconee Bell. A delicate pink and white wildflower indigenous only to this area of North and South Carolina, 90-95% of the Oconee Bell world population is found within the park.

Devils Fork State Park is one of the newest parks in the country, offering visitors some of the most modern facilities possible. Lake villas, camping facilities, and RV hookups dot the forest and provide a welcome shelter after a long day of fun in the South Carolina sun. Take a long walk along the park’s two hiking trails: Oconee Bell Nature Trail, 1.5 miles of moderately difficult path, will guide you through a pine and hardwood forest, complete with the park’s famous flower. The second hiking trail, 3.5 miles long, winds through hardwood forest, blooming rhododendron, and dainty mountain laurel. Along your way, you may catch a glimpse of the blue lake waters and the area’s bald eagles, black bear, peregrine falcons, and white-tail deer, so make sure to take your camera along.

One of the lake’s most popular activities is its legendary fishing, with state records held for brown trout, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass. And if fishing isn’t your pleasure, taking a boat out into the crystalline lake waters and dipping your toes in for a cool moment might be just what you’re looking for. But no matter what your pleasure, Lake Jocassee is the ideal destination to take a break from city life and get back to nature.

Custom Lake Jocassee house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Lake Jocassee

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Lake Jocassee

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Jocassee

The Lake Jocassee map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Lake Jocassee photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Lake Jocassee statistics & helpful links


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