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Cool off in the Waters of the South Carolina Mountains

Visit the refreshing side of south carolina

· Outdoor Adventure,Nature,South Carolina

By now it’s no secret, the weather is getting HOT. The hours of the day are longer, and the beautiful, golden sunshine has washed over the South Carolina mountains signaling the long-awaited return of summer. With the warmest months on their way, we’re going to give you some of the best tips for escaping the heat and getting out on the water.

Lake Jocassee

Lake Jocassee is by far South Carolina’s most pristine lake. With crystal clear water that’s cooled by crisp mountain streams, Lake Jocassee should definitely be on your summer bucket list. To enjoy the primitive beauty of this lake, head up to Devils Fork State Park and rent some kayaks from Eclectic Sun LLC. This will give you a great chance to explore the water and make some new discoveries!

Not a kayaker? No problem! Schedule a boat tour with Jocassee Lake Tours. These guys will take you out on the water to see some amazing sites like a waterfall that pours into Jocassee that’s only accessible by boat. No matter your speed, Jocassee is a stop that you’ll be glad you made!

Lake Jocassee from Devils Fork State Park

Lake Hartwell

With more annual visitors than the Great Smoky Mountains, Lake Hartwell is the most popular lake in South Carolina. This water lover’s playground is best known for its recreation and awesome fishing opportunities. To rent a pontoon or some kayaks to explore this huge lake, make a stop at Big Water Marina. They’ll get you set up with the gear you need to go on your next adventure!

If you’d like to try some stand-up paddleboarding, give Keowee-Hartwell Paddleboard & Kayak Co. a call. They offer pontoon, kayak, and SUP rentals on Lake Hartwell and Lake Keowee.

Lake Hartwell from Portman Marina

Lake Keowee

Lake Keowee is a beautiful body of water situated between Lake Hartwell and Lake Jocassee. It offers many coves and beautiful spots to explore. Keowee-Toxaway State Park is a great access point for the lake, as is Mile Cove County Park and South Cove County Park.

You already know that there are great options for boat and kayak rentals on Lake Keowee, but maybe you’re in the mood for something more exciting. If that’s the case, then take a look at Lake Keowee and Jocassee Jet Ski Rentals. They offer rentals for state-of-the-art jet skis, and they’ll deliver to any boat ramp. However, if you prefer the more relaxed pace of a kayak or a paddleboard, they also offer rentals for those!

Lake Keowee

Chattooga River

The Chattooga River is a special rarity. This unique wonder is a designated Wild and Scenic River, and it’s known around the country as one of the best bodies of water for whitewater rafting and kayaking. With almost no developments along the river, taking a ride on the Chattooga truly feels like taking a step back in time. For the best rafting tour, contact Wildwater Chattooga: Rafting and Canopy Tours. They’ve been around giving tours of the Chattooga since before it was designated a wild and scenic river, so you know that these guys know what they’re doing!

Chattooga River

Saluda River

The City of Belton and Anderson County were recently awarded a grant from Duke Energy of $100,000 to install ADA-accessible kayak ramps along the Saluda River! Now, more people will be able to enjoy paddling down the river with a bit more ease.

The river runs the entire length of the eastern side of Pickens and Anderson counties, so you can paddle for a couple of hours or make it an all-day excursion.

An awesome place to rent a kayak is Southern Appalachian Outdoors! They will happily set you up with everything you need to get out on the water and start exploring.

Life on the water is better in Lake Hartwell Country. To discover more things to do and places to discover, head to our website As always, feel free to stop by our visitor center in Pendleton or our satellite office in Pickens for more information.

125 E Queen St.

Pendleton, SC 29670

(864) 646-3782


222 W Main St.

Pickens, SC 29671

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