Clear, cool, and 300 feet deep, Lake Jocassee sits at the heart of South Carolina’s Devils Fork State Park. Tucked into the northwest corner of the state at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, several Appalachian rivers and springs feed the lake, giving the water exceptional cleanliness and clarity. Best of all, it’s largely undeveloped, with 90 miles of shoreline and fewer than 50 buildings along the lake.
Devils Fork State Park is the only access point to Lake Jocassee, making it a truly special place where you can actually “get away from it all.” Whether you’re planning your tenth visit or your very first, we’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know to have an unforgettable trip to Devils Fork State Park!
Best Time To Visit Devils Fork State Park
Sitting at a modest elevation in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Devils Fork State Park offers year-round recreation opportunities. Summer is, of course, the most popular season for visiting, but the lake is so big that it’s easy to carve out a private area.
Spring and fall both offer vibrant color, with wildflowers blooming March through early May and autumn foliage popping throughout October and into November. Temperatures are also very pleasant in both seasons. Even in the winter, it’s worthwhile to visit Devils State Park, when the leaves have all fallen. The landscape isn’t particularly lush or green, but it is tranquil, and if you time things just right, you may witness a frozen waterfall!
Things To Do at Devils Fork State Park
There are plenty of recreational activities to do at Devils Fork State Park with the family. Here are some of the top activities to enjoy at this South Carolina gem.
Get in the Water
The park’s crown jewel is pristine, spring-fed Lake Jocassee, and one of the best ways to truly appreciate its splendor is to spend time on (or in!) it. Bring your own boat or water toys, or rent jet skis, pontoon boats, kayaks, or paddleboards from the pavilion in the day-use area.
Alternatively, you can also book a cruise with Jocassee Lake Tours. As you cruise around, keep your eyes open for natural swimming holes!
Devils Fork State Park has three primary hiking trails, each of them appropriate for hikers of all experience levels.
- Oconee Bell Trail - Easy 1-mile loop that starts near the main parking area, with the standout feature being the rare, showy Oconee Bell wildflowers, which typically bloom in late March and early April
- Bear Cove Trail - Fairly easy 2-mile loop that passes through dense hardwood forest and takes hikers to a beach at Lake Jocassee about halfway through
- Laurel Fork Trail - A unique hiking opportunity in Devils Fork State Park, this trail is accessible only by boat. A short and sweet path leads to Laurel Fork Falls, a scenic waterfall.
Devils Fork State Park is home to some of the best trout and bass fishing in the Southeast. Whether you’re an experienced or newbie fisherman, you’ll enjoy fishing from anywhere on the lake. Bring a standard rod and reel, or try fly fishing!
Because Lake Jocassee is incredibly clear, it’s a popular destination for scuba diving. Visibility underwater is almost always at least 15 feet and up to 50, with the temperature hovering in the 70s for much of the year. Underwater, you’ll find the well-preserved remains of a former town (the lake was built right on top of it!), including a cemetery and basketball court!
Several local outfitters offer lessons, certification classes, and charter trips with advance notice.
Devils Fork State Park Camping
There are a few options for RV camping near Devils Fork State Park. We go into detail about each one below.
Devils Fork State Park Campground
The park’s main campground (there’s another tent-only site that’s accessible only by boat!) features 59 lakeside sites. Each has a picnic table, fire ring, electricity, and water hookups, plus access to bathhouses and a dump station, and can accommodate rigs up to 40 feet. Reservations are highly recommended, especially in the summer.
Table Rock State Park
As an alternative to Devils Fork State Park Campground, there’s nearby Table Rock State Park, just 25 minutes away. There are two campgrounds here, one with 69 sites and one with 25. All have water and electricity hookups, plus they are conveniently located by restrooms with hot showers.
Oconee State Park
Situated on nearby Oconee Lake, about 30 minutes from Devils Fork State Park Campground, Oconee State Park offers similar sites in a slightly larger setting. Enjoy lakeside campsites with hookups, canoe rentals, excellent fishing, and a calm swimming hole within the lake!
Experience RV Camping at Devils Fork State Park
With so much to enjoy in every season, the question isn’t if you should visit Devils Fork State Park, but when. Getting a Cruise America RV rental can enhance the entire experience, offering comfortable accommodations to return to after busy days spent hiking or exploring the lake (above or underwater!). With nearly 130 convenient rental locations, including two in South Carolina, it’s never been more convenient to pick up your RV!