Jocassee Gorges: Destination of a Lifetime!

We’re located in one of the few remaining places on earth with an untouched, pristine forest eco-system.

cover image of National Geographic's 50 Last Great Places publicationIn 2012, National Geographic magazine released a special publication titled, “50 of the World’s Last Great Places – Destinations of a Lifetime” and Jocassee Gorges (in Oconee County) was 9th on the list!

Jocassee Gorges includes 43,000 acres from Lake Jocassee, in northern Oconee County, to the border of North Carolina/South Carolina, on up to Caesars Head and Table Rock State Parks.

Jocassee Gorges is considered a temperate rainforest as it receives 75 inches of rain annually.  This makes it a unique ecosystem not found anywhere else in the eastern United States.

Jocassee Gorges is a spectacular place with untouched mountain forests, crystal clear streams, numerous cascading waterfalls, diverse wildlife and over 60 species of rare and endangered plants.  Of special significance: more salamanders are found here than anywhere else in the world!  It’s no wonder National Geographic’s world-traveling contributors deemed Jocassee Gorges worthy of distinction.

Come see for yourself one of the world’s last great places…right here in Oconee County!

The full National Geographic article can be viewed here.

We are fortunate

A decade after the article was published, Jocassee Gorges remains protected from development and accessible to the public.

But we need to tread lightly.  Our area is experiencing an influx of people looking to escape cities and everyday routines, which is exciting and wonderful for our local economy!  But the increase in traffic means more trampling on the environment.  And many of the natural places we highlight and encourage people to visit are faced with disposable items and trash that gets left behind.

Many wilderness sites don’t have garbage bins or paid staff to haul trash off.  Please pack it in and pack it out.  And consider bringing gloves and extra bags to pick up trash if you see some along trails or in parking areas.  We truly are grateful for those of you willing to pick up litter that isn’t yours.  Nature would thank you if it could!

adam wright photo jumping off rock
Photo overlooking Lake Jocassee by Adam Wright.  The vantage point from Jumping Off Rock is a popular place for visitors to experience a panoramic view of Jocassee Gorges and Lake Jocassee.  Article by Discover South Carolina offers details about getting to this hard to reach location.


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