Lake Keowee, South Carolina, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Keowee — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Lake Keowee cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Keowee

Lake Keowee is a freshwater lake located in northwestern South Carolina at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lake supplies water to the nearby town of Seneca and Greenville, SC. Owned by Duke Power Company, the 18,500 acre man-made reservoir has many public access ramps. Property owners enjoy waterfront homes, though much of the shoreline has not been developed. The lack of congestion draws visitors to the lake, where they can take in mountain views while basking in the warm Southern climate.

Long before the development of Lake Keowee, Cherokee Indian villages inhabited Keowee Valley. In the late 1800s, the fertile land drew in new settlers looking for farming opportunities. The lake itself came about in the 1960s when Duke Power Company seized the opportunity to construct a hydroelectric power source to serve the rapidly developing area. The company developed the Keowee-Toxaway complex, which includes three hydroelectric stations as well as the Oconee Nuclear Station, located on Lake Keowee. The nuclear station is one of the largest in the country, and Keowee’s waters are used to cool its reactors. Keowee is separated from another lake, Jocassee, by the Jocassee Hydroelectric station.

Whether you come to the lake for adventure, or you just want to relax and enjoy the scenic views, Lake Keowee has something for everyone. The surrounding mountains offer breathtaking waterfalls, rugged hiking trails and spectacular fall foliage. Fishermen flock to the lake for its largemouth and spotted bass, yellow perch and catfish. Boat rentals are available at many locations, as well as rentals for other water sports. Local private golfing communities offer serious golfers impressive courses to play. South Cove and High Falls are Oconee County parks that offer boat access and camping, hiking, and biking opportunities.

Keowee-Toxaway State Park spans 1,000 acres and has ten paved camping sites, five shaded picnicking sites and lake access for anglers. There is a museum on site for visitors who want to learn more about Lake Keowee’s Cherokee history. The three hiking trails around the park incorporate both easy and strenuous hikes.

Clemson University in nearby Clemson offers activities for culture lovers and sports enthusiasts alike, just minutes from Lake Keowee. The school’s Death Valley stadium is one of the nation’s largest football stadiums. At The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, theater and music lovers can enjoy one of the more than 75 annual performances. The school also boasts the SC Botanical Garden, which has 295 acres of ponds, trails, woodlands and gardens.

Its close proximity to the cities Greenville, Atlanta and Charlotte make Lake Keowee a growing destination for vacationers. Residents of these busy cities come to the lake for a peaceful getaway. Other Lake Keowee visitors can enjoy being a quick trip away from the cultural and sporting events, world-class shopping and sightseeing that the larger cities offer. Other nearby areas offer activities for visitors of all types. The true adventurer can take a day trip to the Chatooga River for an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip. Lake Keowee is also just miles from the famed Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, where visitors can tour the largest privately-owned home in America.

Lake Keowee’s clear blue waters attract many visitors throughout the year. The 300 miles of serene shoreline offer vacationers a quiet place to get lost.

Things to Do at Lake Keowee

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Waterfall
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Lake Keowee

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Perch
  • Spotted Bass
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Lake Keowee

If you’re considering a Lake Keowee lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Keowee Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Keowee lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lake Keowee Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Duke Power Company

Surface Area: 18,372 acres

Shoreline Length: 300 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 800 feet

Average Depth: 54 feet

Maximum Depth: 297 feet

Water Volume: 910,468 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1971

Drainage Area: 439 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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