Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

SK Lake Jocassee April 16-24

  • April 16, 2021
  • April 24, 2021
  • Lake Jocassee, Salem, South Carolina

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Trip Sponsor: Tony Pascuzzi

We will camp at Devils Fork State Park (Salem, SC) and paddle Lake Jocassee. The campground is located at the southern end of the lake. Lake Jocassee is a 7,500 acre, 300’ deep reservoir located in northwest South Carolina. The lake is well known for the clean and cold Appalachian mountain rivers that feed the lake to keep its waters cool and clear year-round.

We will do day paddles to the various waterfalls with hiking/biking, etc. on alternate days. There are six waterfalls including Whitewater Falls (811’) that is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Most are accessible by kayak or boat only, however Whitewater Falls is best viewed by hiking via the Foothills Trail or spur trail. You can also access the upper overlook by following a paved ¼ mile walkway from the parking lot. 

The area offers plenty of hiking, biking, fishing and site seeing opportunities. On past visits to this lake in the summertime, the boat traffic has been minimal compared to the lakes in our areas. 

Lake Jocassee is an undeveloped reservoir nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Paddlers enjoy crystal clear water, mountain views, excellent fishing, many lake-side waterfalls, and a boat-in only campground. The reservoir is fed by four major rivers: the Whitewater River, the Horsepasture River, the Toxaway River, and the Thompson River. While you share the lake with motor boats, there are many opportunities to explore coves and shoreline that are off the beaten path. Devil's Fork State Park, on the south end of the lake, provides opportunities developed access and opportunities for lodging and camping, including a boat-in campground. The northern and eastern parts of the lake are bordered by Jocassee Gorges, an area protected and made accessible to the public by SC Department of Natural Resources. 

https://www.gopaddlesc.com/waterways/trail/lake-jocassee

Driving distance: approximately 8 hr 20 min from Indy and 6 hr 45 min from Cincy

Expected paddling conditions: Level 2 – Kayak Touring

(please see the attached HCKC Sea Kayaking Trip Levels chart that describes expected conditions and paddler’s expected ability).

The main body of Lake Jocassee is rather large at the southern end so conditions vary with the weather. While lake conditions are usually fairly calm, winds can whip up quickly producing waves.

The distance to the furthest reaches of the feeder river is approximately 10 miles so we will decide if we wish to venture that far then. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for bio breaks and to stretch new

What to bring: paddling gear (including spray deck), camping gear, food for all meals, bike and fishing gear and any other outdoor equipment that you’d like. Warm paddling clothing (dry suit or wet suit w/dry top) is recommended as the average air temperatures for winter are 50-55F and spring are 61-65F. Winter water temperatures range from 45-50F. 

Boat requirements: kayaks with fore/aft bulkheads and perimeter deck lines are required. 

Schedule: 

Friday evening, April 16 – arrive and set up camp. 

Saturday, April 17 – Friday, April 23 – explore the lake, waterfalls, hike, fish, bike, etc. Exact paddling schedule TBD. 

Saturday, April 24 – break camp and drive home. Some people may opt to stay until Sunday (4/25) which obviously you may do so. Please make appropriate camping reservations to ensure that you have a place to camp. 

Contact information: Tony Pascuzzi, izzucsap@yahoo.com. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, etc. 


Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

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