If you’ve ever had the good fortune to be able to spend time on Lake Jocassee in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you know the true beauty of the area. The crystal clear, cold water surrounding by panoramic views of the mountains is spectacular. Since the water comes from up in the mountains, it’s almost always cold, which makes it a great getaway for hot summer days.
The lake was actually created by damming and flooding the town that previously resided there. In fact, the land itself was Cherokee Indian land, with markers around the area explaining the area’s rich history.
Devil’s Fork State Park is the only campground on Lake Jocassee, and some of the tent camping sites you actually have to take a boat to reach. We stayed there in late August (when the weather in South Carolina is just one degree shy of broiling, and that cold lake water feels amazing). They also have a small number of villas for rent on the lake.
The state park itself is one of the best around – it features an area where you can rent canoes, stand up paddle boards and kayak for a half day or full day. They also sell snacks and drinks there. There’s also a public access swimming area, and a boat ramp.
The campsite is adjacent to the park, and you have full access to the park amenities as a camper (which is nice because on summer days, the parking lot fills up early and they start turning day trippers away). However, the campsite is fairly small, so making reservations in advance is highly recommended.
Each campsite has a picnic table, a fire pit ring and a lantern post. The bathrooms are what you would expect of state park quality, but they were always clean and well maintained when we visited. We also had a 30-amp electrical and water connection at our site.
We arrived on a Friday evening for a weekend trip, and reserved kayaks for the following day. We were able to take a quick walk over to the rental area where they loaded our kayaks into the water for us. A full day on the water and then back to the campground for grillin’ and chillin’ – it really doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’re looking for a great mountain lake campground, Devil’s Fork State Park is a great one to consider. Whether you’re tent camping or in a camper, it’s a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Jocassee!
Good for camping with kids: YES
Good for getting off the grid: YES
Easy to access: Sort of – the campground is just a few minutes off of S.C. Hwy. 11.
Good amenities and outdoor activities: YES
Bathroom Conditions (scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being I would rather go in the woods and 10 being sparkling clean): 7
WiFi access: Non existent in the campground, but there is WiFi in the Visitor’s Center area.