6 Winter Activities Around Lake Keowee South Carolina
Lake Keowee is a gorgeous fresh water lake in the beautiful region of Clemson, South Carolina. Keowee is the Cherokee name for “place of the mulberries.” This special name from the ancestors of the land is proof that Lake Keowee and the surrounding areas are fruitful with natural scenery and activities all year long. If you have just purchased a lake home on Lake Keowee or if you are thinking of looking for a Lake Keowee property this guide is for you. Summer time on the lake is always joyous and fun for vacations and outdoor activities. However winter time on and around the lake is just as full of wonder, awe and joy as well as full of both indoor and activities for you and your family and friends to enjoy.
The nature and the scenery in and around Lake Keowee, South Carolina are overflowing with beauty at all times, especially in the “dead” of winter. Scenic driving routes and trails will take you through and around lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountain ranges, state parks and more. If you have a home on Lake Keowee you can even enjoy the natural scenes that the land has to offer from the warmth and comfort of your home. There’s nothing quite as blissful as watching a sparkling snowy and mountainous horizon across a gorgeous icy lake all from the comfort and warmth of your Keowee Lake house.
- Take a Scenic Drive
You never have to worry about being cooped up in your house all winter on Lake Keowee. There are numerous scenic driving routes around the lake and in the area as well as year round parks and recreation centers. Jocassee Gorges Scenic Driving Tour is a 70 mile tour around Lake Jocassee (neighboring lake of Lake Keowee) in Sunset, South Carolina. The tour begins and ends in Pickens County and crosses into North Carolina. This tour will take a full day if you make every stop so plan wisely.
Looking for more than just nature scenes on your drive? South Carolina’s Route 11 drive through Blue Ridge County will take you through Revolutionary War historical sites, towns and flea markets, state parks and more. South Carolina’s upcountry route 11 will show you a little bit of everything the area has to offer. Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway lies in the heart of Cherokee Indian country and is full of gorgeous wintertime scenery. This is a popular motorcycle route during the warmer seasons, but during the winter it is peaceful and serene, offering plentiful views of mountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, forests and wildlife.
- Visit Waterfall Viewing Areas
Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee are surrounded by numerous rivers and streams including Keowee River, Little River, Whitewater River, Toxaway River, Seneca River and many more. Rivers and streams in the wintertime present scenic viewing opportunities that are unlike any other time of the year. Whitewater Falls on the Whitewater River is one of the many must see waterfalls around the Lake Keowee region. Whitewater Falls is a grand, awe inspiring and impressive waterfall with a nice and easy to access viewing area.
Laurel Fork Falls is another must see waterfall in the area. The waterfall is located at the head of a cove off the northwestern tip of the Toxaway arm of Lake Jocassee. In the winter the best way to reach the waterfall is by a 30 minuet boat ride. An 8 mile hike along the Foothills Trail will get you there as well! However this hike is rather long, so if you are not fond of prolonged cold temperatures or winter hike prep you may want to save this hike for the spring time. For a shorter winter hike that is more bearable in cold temperatures Eastatow Falls/Twin Falls is an easy 1 mile hike to the beginning of Reedy Cove Creek where you will find two waterfalls cascading over beautiful large granite slabs. Waterfalls bring a different beautiful aesthetic in the winter than they do in the spring so get out there and don’t miss the winter beauty!
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When the weather gets colder in the fall the sports scene around lake Keowee really starts to pick up. College sports in particularly are very big in South Carolina. There are no major league sports teams in South Carolina so the North Carolina teams represent both of the Carolina states when winter sports season comes around. Football is the biggest craze in the winter followed by basketball and hockey. Recreational sports are a big hit around the lake as well. Many lake goers enjoy NASCAR racing, golf, water sports, roller sports and more.
- Attend College and/or Major League Sporting Events
College Sports are the biggest hype around Lake Keowee in the winter time. Many Lake Keowee property owners enjoy hosting football parties in their homes during the winter sports season. The Clemson University Tigers Football team is the most popular fan base around Lake Keowee in addition to the University of South Carolina’s Gamecocks. Anderson University Sports
Just because the state of South Carolina doesn’t have any major league winter sports teams definitely doesn’t mean that the major leagues are out of the picture. North Carolina has plenty major league teams to go around and they represent both of the Carolina states. The NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes are the top major league teams in the area. The Panthers football team and Hornets basketball team are both based in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Hurricanes hockey team is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Lake Keowee residents are always anxious to get on the road and travel north to sporting games throughout the season. And if any residents don’t feel like leaving their comfortable home on Lake Keowee, you can bet there will be game viewing parties on the lake all season long.
- Practice a Recreational Sport or Activity
Recreational sports are a great way to spend your winter days on Lake Keowee. It’s a good idea to stay active in the wintertime in order to avoid hibernation and to keep you moving, healthy and motivated. Joining a recreational sports league is a fun way to exercise your mind and body. Oconee County Parks and Recreation offers winter sports leagues for both children and adults. And at Recreation.gov you can find winter sports opportunities nearby simply by entering a zip code!
Some of the most popular sports around Lake Keowee include golfing and hunting and fishing. Golfing ranges including The Reserve at Lake Keowee are open all season long and offer more amenities than just golf, including boat rentals, dining, parks and trails and fishing areas. Hunting and fishing is also an enjoyable hobby for many outdoorsmen and women in the fall and winter. This is especially true around Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee because the lay of the land is perfect for hunting and fishing activities and the natural scenery is so beautiful and mesmerizing.
Bass fishing on Lake Keowee is a huge endeavor for many throughout the winters. Keowee Lake holds three types of bass – largemouth, smallmouth and spotted. Most fishers fish from their properties for recreation and some fish for sport in winter bass tournaments that take place on Lake Keowee. Crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, catfish brown trout and rainbow trout are also widely caught in Lake Keowee and the neighboring lakes and streams. And winter is prime deer hunting season especially near Lake Keowee. The Mountain Lakes Region in South Carolina is known to have some of the greatest and under-hunted lands in the state. So if you are an avid hunter or fisher, upstate South Carolina is the place to be in the winter.
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Mother Nature has blessed the Lake Keowee regions with many awe inspiring natural gifts. The scenery is to die for and the parks, viewing routes, and recreational activities are an amazing bonus to lake living. But that is not all there is to see and do around Lake Keowee. There are many urban activities and attractions just a short drive from the lake. Downtown Seneca is the place to be for rich history and urban life around Lake Keowee. In Downtown Seneca you will find numerous shopping and dining areas as well as other urban attractions and events. Living on Lake Keowee provides you with the best of both worlds even in the winter seasons.
- Visit Downtown Shopping and Dining Areas
Downtown Historic Seneca, South Carolina is filled with local shops and markets and delicious restaurants. M. Tannery and Sons located on Ram Cat Alley is one of many local shops downtown offering an eclectic mix of new and vintage furnishings, antiques, home accessories, art, gifts and more. Green Springs, Sensibly Chic, The Red Door and Arts off the Alley are a few more local shops located on Ram Cat Alley and specializing in natural handmade products like pottery, soaps, candles, hand blown glass, unique and artistic home décor and other fair trade items. The Healthy Olive, also located on the famous Ram Cat Alley is a popular Mediterranean shop offering customers a variety of wines, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, spices, dips and an array of artistic gifts. And Fashion Shack Clothing is just one of many great stops for a girls’ day shopping trip.
Some of the hottest restaurants on the Alley include Ram Cat Social House, The Spot on the Alley, BREWS on the Alley, Vangeli’s Bistro and more. Ram Cat Social House has just about everything from live music, private events, happy hour and nightlife. The Spot on the Alley is your number one place for gaming, drinking and eating. BREWS on the Alley offers a wide variety of craft beer and an espresso bar with their outstanding menu. And Vangeli’s Bisto offers the largest variety in a fine dining experience you could ever imagine. You can also enjoy a lovely fine dining experience away from the downtown scene and right on the water at The Lighthouse Restaurant which also includes a full service event facility for large parties and special events.
- Visit Museums and Education Centers
Lake Keowee was created to serve the needs of Duke Energy, a large power facility in the area. Visiting the World of Energy Center at Oconee Nuclear Station will provide you with an engaging educational experience on a cold winter day. You can find a list of events on their website and learn about everything the energy center has to offer. A visit to the World of Energy Center is a great way to find out exactly how Keowee Lake is utilized as a resource to power Duke Energy.
Clemson University is located right on the edge of Lake Keowee and the University has many attractions other than sporting events including the Bob and Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History. The museum is filled with animal and plant specimens in every imaginable space. In the public gallery on the first floor the museum displays 32 whole taxidermy mounts, 76 head mounts and 26 skeletons, including deer, antelope, buffalo, big cats and birds.
Another great place to visit and learn is the Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina. At the Museum of the Cherokee you will learn about the history and rich heritage in Oconee County. The museum is filled with Native American artifacts and stories and it is an ongoing project. The Museum of the Cherokee is funded through grants and donations and has become a reality through the hard work of many volunteers.
Downtown Seneca, South Carolina | Downtown Seneca, SC
29 Things to Do in Upstate South Carolina | The Odyssey
Winter time is no longer a time of hibernation, especially if you are near Lake Keowee. The possibilities are endless, so spend your winter wisely. Practice your favorite sport or hobby and see all of the gorgeous natural winter scenes and public attractions on Lake Keowee.
Things to do Near Keowee – Toxaway State Natural Area | Trip Advisor
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