21 Favorite Travel Photos From the South Carolina Mountain Lakes

These fourteen photos showcase the beautiful landscapes, scenic overlooks, and local businesses across the South Carolina Mountain Lakes region.

Written by

Jason Barnette


July 11, 2018

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COVID-19 has changed the world. The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit areas of the global pandemic. Local restaurants, museums, state and national parks have all changed hours of operation, procedures, and some have gone out of business altogether.

Please verify current operations of any places you want to visit mentioned in these articles, and contact me if a business has permanently closed so I can update the article. Thank you and stay safe out there!

Nestled along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the South Carolina Mountain Lakes region is the only place in the state with mountain tops, scenic overlooks, and gorgeous waterfalls. Loosely tied together along the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway (SC Highway 11) the region boasts eight state parks, a couple of lakes, and miles of scenic drives. After seeing these photos I dare you to not want to book a trip to these mountains.

My first experience in the South Carolina Mountain Lakes region was lunch at Chattaooga Belle Farm.
This delicious burger, stacked sky-high, was a great start to my evening exploring the mountains and lakes.
The view from the locally owned farm was breathtaking with the Appalachian Mountains rising in the distance.
This sunset at Chattaooga Belle Farm was one of the most stunning I had ever seen in my entire life.
Equally as impressive was the first sunset I ever saw from Sassafras Mountain.
Sassafras Mountain is the highest point in South Carolina.
An Observation Tower on the summit offers uninterrupted views in all directions.
The Upper Overlook at Caesar’s Head State Park, overlooking Table Rock Mountain in the distance, is one of my favorite overlooks in the country.
The Bad Creek Overlook, high above Lake Jocassee, wasn’t a bad view, either.
I much preferred the view of Lake Jocassee from a boat; I spent a day exploring the coves, waterfalls, and beauty of the lake.
Wrights Creek Falls was a small but stunning waterfall tucked into a hidden cove.
It was like discovering a secret island.
Kayaking was a popular way of exploring Lake Jocassee.
It was much easier to admire the various waterfalls around the lake from a kayak.
From more adrenaline pumping action, whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River is the way to go.
Kayaking on the river is also popular.
Wildwater Adventure Center also featured a very nice zip line experience.
Jazz on the Alley in Seneca was a great way to wind down after a day of exploring the mountain lakes region.
But my favorite quite place in the region was a footbridge crossing the Toxaway River at the edge of Lake Jocassee.
Part of the Foothills Trail, the bridge was hidden from the lake but only a short walk away.
Stumphouse Tunnel was a fascinating place to explore. It’s an incomplete railroad tunnel open to the public to explore about 200′ inside.

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