For many adventures, camping is merely an economic convenience – a place to crash near centers of activity without the cost of hotel rooms. At Devils Fork State Park, located at the southern tip of Lake Jocassee, camping is a worthy activity in and of itself. Paddle the pristine waters of Lake Jocassee right from your campsite and explore extensive trail networks a short drive from the park.
What Makes It Great
Tent campers can set up on any reservable spot in the park. But for the real Jocassee experience, choose one of the lakeside, walk-in, tent only sites (marked with a “T” on the reservation webpage). A couple steps off these tree covered, 12’x12’ tent pads and the sky opens up for unobstructed views of crystal clear waters and a stunning sunsets. If you can get it, site T013 is in perfect position for a swaying hammock overlooking the lake.
The “B” sites at the park are boat in only. Pack up a kayak or canoe and head over to the stretch of primitive campsites a short paddle away. Or bring some friends and rent one of the 15 villas managed by the state park. Located on or near the banks, the two or three-bedroom cabins have a separate boat launch from the rest of the park.
After a relaxing breakfast it’s time to get out and explore. The 7,500 acre, 300 foot deep Lake Jocasee is a great place to start. Known for its clear waters – Jocasse is a popular lake for scuba instruction – the lake makes for a beautiful day of paddling. Waterfalls escape dense forests, dramatically tumbling over high, rocky banks into the lake below. Hawks and Osprey soar overhead, searching for a trout to snag for lunch.
Just about 25 minutes away, the trails at Table Rock State Park offer a great workout and some ridiculous views of the South Carolina Mountains. The 3.5 mile walk up to the top of Table Rock, a 2000 feet incline from trailhead to summit, will leave you breathless, but so will the sweeping vista Ceasers Head and the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.
Who is Going to Love It
The multi-sport opportunities and a myriad of amazing camping opportunities bring every level of adventurer to Devils Fork. Even those who find camping a little too in-tents (sorry) will love the relative luxury of the villas. The campground is great for a weekend family home or launch pad for hardcore adventurers.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Reservations are required and the best spots fill up quickly so book well in advance of your trip. The best sites, those along the water, require a toting your gear down, and eventually, back up a short hill. The addition of a small hand-truck will save some sore backs. The park has bathrooms, showers, and a small shop. Alcohol is prohibited at Devils Fork and rangers may confiscate your best Boone’s Farm if they see it so plan accordingly.
Written by Rob Glover for RootsRated.
Featured image provided by Rob Glover