Jocassee Gorges Scenic Driving Tour
The Jocassee Gorges tract is a large and rugged forested area characterized by various forest community types, swift mountain streams, waterfall settings, rare plant habitats, dry rocky ridges, and moist dripping rock faces that combine to give the area its unique biological character and scenic beauty. Much of this area is wild and has limited access for the casual visitor. The SC Department of Natural Resources will send you a brochure describing a driving tour of the Jocassee Gorges area. Space does not permit detailed directions in this article, but the following will give you an idea of the 70-mile drive. The tour begins and ends in Pickens County and crosses into North Carolina, and will take a full day if you make every stop. If you enjoy hiking, allow time to experience several recommended trails along this driving tour. You will drive first through impressive hardwood forests in the Rocky Bottom area. After you cross into North Carolina, you can park at different locations and walk short distances to view Toxaway Falls, Drift Falls, Turtleback Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Whitewater Falls. An overlook on NC Hwy. 281 allows you to see the expanse of the Jocassee tract in North and South Carolina, including Pinnacle Mountain.
You will drive back into South Carolina where you will find views of Bad Creek Reservoir, Lake Jocassee, Lower Whitewater Falls, and another stunning view of the Jocassee Gorges. Continue to Devils Fork State Park on the banks of Lake Jocassee. Then visit Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area and learn the history of Cherokees who once lived in this area.
Call (864) 654-1671 for a brochure.
- 70 mile tour starts Hwy 178 looping back to Hwy 11
Sunset, SC 29685
- (864) 654-1671
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