Kayak to Laurel Fork Falls


Added by Seth Berry

Perhaps one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state of South Carolina is Laurel Fork Falls on the gorgeous Lake Jocassee -- which is best seen by boat.

This stunning waterfall tumbles down 80 feet before spilling into Lake Jocassee between a slot of shear rock cliffs. However, the catch is not many people see this beautiful location unless you have a boat or are willing to hike a streneous 8-mile hike one-way along the Foothills Trail.

But I am sold on the best way to witness this gorgeous waterfall is by kayak. Many boats will make the long ride out to the north end of Lake Jocassee to get within wide viewing distance of the waterfall coming down the mountain. But many end up turning around not knowing if you have a smaller boat (or kayak) you can keep following the cove line up to where there's a crack in the rock cliffs and hang a left to witness the breathtaking view of the water plunging down in between the rocks.

However, only experienced and well trained kayakers are able to kayak the full length of Lake Jocassee to this northern section of the area. Plus when factoring in the wind and the rough open waters from time to time, it would be a pretty tough work out. The more enjoyable way to get to this location via kayak is to use one of the several kayak shuttle services offered around Devils Fork State Park. I recommend going through the Jocassee Outdoor Center right outside of the park. They provided me excellent service of transporting me and my own personal kayak via boat to this location and dropping me off at my desired spot for me to kayak to this waterfall. Then they returned later in the evening to pick me up after kayaking and exploring further along the lake.

I suggest spending as much time as desired in awe of this splendid waterfall and enjoy being able to see it from a perspective that most of your average "tourist" wouldn't see. Also, if you're feeling adventurous, jump in the water and cool off in the crisp Jocassee clear water.

Waterfall Coordinates: 35.0320088, -82.8961437

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Cliff Jumping
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A Full Day Adventure

Recently completed this journey. I trekked out from the state park and went the entire way by kayak. It is 3-4 hours to get there so it is wise to bring a lunch, plenty of water, sunscreen, and a map. When I made it there, several boats were docked there. I just went past them for the better view, a view that the big boats can't get view. There are many large logs at the bottom which may make it difficult to paddle close. The waterfall is beautiful as well as the views all over Lake Jocassee so it's worth the journey. Just make sure you have 7+ hours to spend if leaving from the state park.


almost 5 years ago

Great Place

One of my favorite spots to go! I love taking the boat out and then climbing the rock wall to get up to the falls. Great waterfall to photograph!

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