The Upstate SC

VOL11ISS1 2015

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — UPSTATE SC | VOLUME 11 — ISSUE 1 12 UPSTATE LIVING Outdoor Lover's Paradise Connects Rural to Urban BY LYNNE BRANDON It's the subject of books, movies, photographs, and, even contests. The South Carolina State Park Service "Making Memories" photo contest encouraged people to visit state parks throughout the seasons, snap photos of their memories and submit them for a chance to win prizes. The beauty of Oconee County captured Walhalla Middle School teacher Gena Turpin and she won frst place in the "Landscape" category for her sunset photo at Oconee Station State Historic Site. Her photograph tells a story of days gone by, refected by historic structures that survived hard times. The former military compound and trading post dates back to 1792 when it was used by the South Carolina State Militia. Its presence and the adjacent building, William Richards House, are the only two remnants left. On the property a fshing pond and a nature trail hint at the natural resources the county is known for with a trail leading into Sumter National Forest. The wilderness forest is one of the many resources that attract hikers, bikers and naturalists to the foothills in growing numbers each year. South Carolina has 47 state parks, from the Upstate foothills to the coast. Nearly 800,000 more people visited South Carolina's state parks in 2014 than 2013 according to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Aside from state parks, the county is the location of many of the region's most scenic natural landscape with waterfalls, wilderness, lakes, rivers and mountains. Oconee is a Cherokee word for "land beside the water," and a nod to the Cherokee nation that once made the area home. Their history is preserved at the Cherokee Museum and the Oconee Heritage Museum. More than 200,000 acres of forest, rivers, lakes, streams and trails put Oconee County on lists such as National Geographic's "50 of the World's Last Great Places – Destinations of a Lifetime." Mentioned in the article was the "intense concentration of waterfalls." Top tourism attractions are Stump House Park (Stump House Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls and the Blue Ridge Rail Road hiking trail), and the famed Chattooga River. Three state parks (Devils Fork, Oconee, and Hartwell) and three county parks (South Cove on Lake Keowee, High Falls on Lake Keowee, and Chau-Ram on the Chauga River) are in Oconee County. Devils Fork State Park is located on Lake Jocassee and offers world class cabins, RV sites and camp grounds, boat rentals, guided lake tours and guided trout fshing. Four scenic lakes (Jocassee, Keowee, Hartwell and Tugalo) are in Oconee. Jocassee is a primitive lake surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains where you can swim under a waterfall and see a Bald Eagle in the fall. Lake Keowee is below Jocassee. Both lakes are clear and cool year round. The north end of the lake is primarily exclusive gated communities. Lake Hartwell is the largest of the lakes at 58,000 acres and offers world-class striped bass fshing. Luxury will come to Hartwell soon with a new hotel that will combine rustic with elegance built with a spa, 18-hole golf course and restaurant. The Chattooga River is on many adrenalin soaked bucket lists. The famed river made famous by the movie Deliverance lives up to its name. Author James Dickey lived in the region and penned the novel that became the movie after time spent on the river. >>

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