Upstate South Carolina offerings

Area Information and Attractions

The area surrounding Lake Keowee and Lake Hartwell South Carolina features spectacular natural scenery

  • A mild climate with four seasons
  • Wide variety of recreational opportunities including golf, fishing, and hiking
  • Sports arenas and events at Clemson University and in Greenville, SC
  • Cultural facilities which offer all types of plays, music, and dance
  • Proximity to Clemson University with its amenities, sports events, and lifelong learning opportunities
  • Well-planned and convenient highway system which puts you within 2 hours of Atlanta or Charlotte and within 1 hour of Greenville, SC
  • Nearby major airports are located in Greenville, SC, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, GA

Area Lakes

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell, a man-made lake bordering Georgia and South Carolina, is one of the southeast’s largest and most popular public recreation lakes. The lake is created by Hartwell Dam and comprises nearly 56,000 acres of water with a shoreline of 962 miles. The entire Hartwell “Project” contains 76,450 acres of land and water. Interstate 85 bisects Hartwell Lake and makes the area easily accessible to visitors

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1955 and 1963 as part of a flood control, hydropower, and navigation project, authorized purposes now include recreation, water quality, water supply, and fish and wildlife management. Each year, millions of people utilize the many public parks, marinas, and campgrounds conveniently located around the lake to pursue a variety of outdoor recreational experiences -making Hartwell one of the most visited lakes in the nation. The Hartwell Dam and Lake has prevented over $13.7 million in flood damages since 1962.

Lake Keowee

Lake Keowee is a spectacular blue water lake surrounded by the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. The lake has over 18,000 acres, 300 miles of shoreline, and is fed by fresh water mountain streams. Keowee means place of the mulberries in the Cherokee Indian language. Lake Keowee is owned and managed by Duke Power Company.

Lake Jocassee

Lake Jocassee is a 7650 acre lake surrounded mostly by wilderness. There is only one public launch off the lake and limited development. This lake is surrounded by mountains and has 75 miles of shoreline.

Clemson University

Enjoy the thrill of major university sports, cultural events, and life long learning courses at nearby Clemson University. The 1,400 acre campus is only 20 minutes from Lake Keowee and about 30 minutes from Lake Hartwell.

Clemson University Athletics

Watch the Clemson Tigers top rated football, basketball, and baseball teams participate in NCAA and ACC sports. Whether you enjoy football on fall afternoons at Clemson Memorial Stadium — better known as Death Valley — or basketball at Littlejohn stadium, the Clemson Tigers always offer sports excitement. Call 1-800-CLEMSON for schedules and tickets.

Fort Hill Museum, Clemson University

Fort Hill was the home of John C. Calhoun, a South Carolina 19th century statesman, from 1825 until his death in 1850. The antebellum plantation home, office and kitchen are furnished mostly with family artifacts. Fort Hill was named a national treasure by the Save America’s Treasures program, and its artifacts are currently undergoing a comprehensive conservation program funded by this federal grant and matching funds. Call 846-656-2475 for information on hours and tours.

The Walker Golf Course, Clemson University

The course is open year-round for public play.. Golf holes wind through rolling hills and hardwood forests and some holes border Lake Hartwell. For more information or to learn about membership, call 864/656-0236. Individual memberships are available.

The Brooks Center for Performing Arts, Clemson University

The center brings varied entertainment events to the area. Call 864-656-7787 for more information on events. The box office is open (Mon – Fri. from 1 – 5 pm)

South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson University

This 295 acre garden features ornamental plantings including camellia, rhododendron, and azaleas. Call 864-656-3405 for information on guided tours and hours of operation. The public is welcome free of charge, except during special events.

The garden features:

  • Nature and walking trails
  • Nature based sculptures
  • Campbell Geology Museum
  • Garden Tours
  • Lectures on gardening and environmental concerns

Golf Courses

Millions of visitors enjoy golf courses throughout South Carolina each year. The mild climate in upstate SC combined with beautiful mountain and lake scenery add enjoyment to any golf game. Public courses include:

The Trails at Chickasaw Point Just off SC Highway 11. 864-972-9623
Oconee Country Club, Seneca, SC, off Hwy 123, 864-647-9503
Falcons Lair. Near Wallhalla on SC. Hwy 11 – 864-638-9999
The Walker Course at Clemson University 864-656-0236
Boscobel Near Pendelton, SC 864-646-3991

Cultural and Entertainment Facilities

Peace Center for the Performing Arts, Greenville, SC

Peace Center Greenville South CarolinaEnjoy Broadway plays, opera, pop stars, classical music, dance and more at the Peace Center located in downtown Greenville SC. Scheduled performances for the 2005-2006 season include the Soweto Gospel Choir, Wayne Newton, Stomp, Mama Mia!, Movin’ Out, Hairspray, Charlotte’s Web, and a salute to Mozart by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and Vince Gill.

The mission of the Peace Center is to present the world’s finest performers from a wide variety of disciplines, to sustain state-of-the-art theatrical venues and quality services to support local performing arts groups, and to foster life-long appreciation for the arts through comprehensive education and outreach programs for children, educators, and adults.

Peace Center Greenville South CarolinaAcross the street from the Peace Center is the recently re-opened Falls Park on the Reedy River. With walking trails, landscaped gardens, beautiful views of the Reedy River Falls, and the inspiring Liberty Bridge, There are over 40 restaurants in the downtown area around the Peace Center, many are within walking distance. (Peace Center pictures used by permission)

Call 800-888-7768 for information and tickets.

BI-LO Center

This sports and entertainment complex features sports events including Greenvill Grrrowl’s Hockey, ice shows, and basketball. Entertainment events include rock, pop, rap, classical concerts, and comedians. The BI-LO Center is located in downtown Greenville.

Oconee Community Theatre

The Oconee Community theatre was founded more than 25 years ago and enjoys a fine reputation for quality productions for adults and children. Open auditions are always held prior to the casting of all shows. 864-882-1910

State Parks

The natural beauty of Lake Keowee, Lake Hartwell, and upper South Carolina is highlighted by the many state parks in the region. Park facilities include:

Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area

Located at the intersection of SC Highway 133 and SC Highway 11. This 1,000 acre park features mountain views, a museum that tells the story of the Cherokee Indians native to the area, picnic areas, a campground, lake fishing and trails.

Devils Fork State Park

Located five miles north of Salem, SC off SC 11 on Jocassee Lake Road. The park is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Jocassee. Activities include Lakefront camping, hiking, picnicking, trout fishing, and waterfall viewing. 864-944-2639

Oconee Station State Historic Site

Located two miles off SC 11 on Oconee Station Road, 10 miles NE of the town of Walhalla. This 210 acre site contains the oldest buildings in Oconee County.

Oconee State Park

This 1,165-acre park is located 12 miles northwest of Wallhalla, SC off SC 28 and onto SC 107. The park offers cabins, camping, fishing and boating, hiking on eight nature/hiking trails, picnic areas. The park is bordered by Sumter National Forest and is the trailhead for the 85-mile Foothills Trail. It’s near the Chattooga and Chauga rivers and other regional attractions. More than 100 species of wildlife live at the park, which also features a mix of mountain and foothill flora and scenic vistas. 864-638-5353

Oconee State Park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal Program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program was designed to provide employment during the Great Depression while addressing national needs in conservation and recreation. The CCC was instrumental in the development of many of South Carolina’s state parks. A number of buildings built by the CCC in the 1930’s are still in use at this park.

Lake Hartwell State Recreation Area

Located just off Interstate 85 on Highway 11at Exit 1 near the South Carolina and Georgia border. The area is 680 acres. Lake Hartwell State Recreation Area also serves as a gateway to the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway and South Carolina’s mountain country. An impressive collection of fishing equipment is on display in the park’s information center. Modern-day fishermen, meanwhile, can attest to Lake Hartwell’s reputation for top-flight angling for sought-after species such as striped bass, hybrid bass, largemouth, crappie, bream and catfish. Phone 864-972-3352

Waterfalls, Hiking Trails, Rafting, and Fishing

Upper South Carolina is home to over 100 large and small waterfalls. Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall in the eastern US, is located just north of Salem, SC on secondary road S-39-171. Issaqueena Falls, north of Walhalla, is another popular waterfall destination. There are also hundreds of hiking trails.

The Chattooga River was designated the South’s first National wild and Scenic River in 1974. It is one of the premier whitewater rafting rivers in the eastern United States.

Fishermen will enjoy the abundance of fishing opportunities in both Lake Hartwell and Lake Keowee.

Sight Seeing and Historical Areas

Cherokee Indian Center – Located at Keowee – Toxaway State Park 864-868-2605
Hartwell Dam: Hartwell, GA – Call 706-376-4788 for information and tours.
World of Energy, Seneca, SC – Duke Power World of Energy Visitors Center 864-885-4600

Chambers of Commerce & Visitor Centers

Clemson Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center – 1105 Tiger Boulevard, Clemson, SC 29631 800-542-0746
Clemson University Visitors Center – Clemson University Campus, Clemson, SC 209631, 864-856-4789
Hartwell Lake’s Visitor Information Center – U.S. Highway 20 south of Hartwell Dam. 803-225-3832
Seneca Chamber of Commerce – Located in downtown Seneca. Phone 864-882-2097

School Information

School District of Oconee County 864-638-4000
School District of Pickens County 864-885-8150
Tri-County Technical College 864-646-8361 or toll free outside SC 800-735-2905
Clemson University 864-656-3311 – main university number