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“Lovely location close to the Chatooga River”
Review of Oconee State Park

Oconee State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 7, 2009

I made reservations through the South Carolina State Parks fantastic website. My 17 year old cousin and I were on a roadtrip throught the Carolinas and had plans to raft the Chatooga. I made the reservations for 2 nights and we headed over from Asheville which was a very pretty drive. The park is in a very picturesque area and was a lot of fun to drive on the curvy roads around there.

When we arrived which was right after the closing time of the park store/office we passed a ranger locking up. I mentioned that we had just arrived and she stayed for a couple minutes to point out our spot on the map. THANK GOD she realized that I had mistakenly made reservations in the "primitive" area and she quickly realized that we were city slickers. She was kind enough to reopen the office and move our spots to a nice site near the restrooms. The cash register was closed down but she was kind enough to let us get some things IOU (we paid in the morning) for our cookout.

The campground was packed with tent campers and Rvers but our site was spacious (and most importantly close to the ladies room). The tree canopy is fantastic and you are always in shade. It was also very quiet at night.

The bathrooms were adequate. Certainly not as sparkling as KOAs but we brought shower shoes and it was a heck of a lot better than some of the parks I've stayed at in other states.

We didn't check out the lake and were only there for rafting but I would love to go back for several days. We drove into Seneca the second night to eat. There were a lot of activities going on at the park and we took a drive to where the cabins are and they looked very rustic and pretty.

1  Thank Alison M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 2, 2009

Oconee SP (CCC) is beautiful. If you could picture a vintage SP postcard with a lake you would see Oconee SP. Plenty of activities for everyone: recreation equipment, sports fields, lakes/beaches, paddle boats, trails, putt-putt, history, etc. Of all the SPs located on Hwy 11. (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Parkway), I recommend this one for camping, cabins, and families.

Thank jake_brake2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2008

This is a great place to take a family for a nice vacation on a budget. As the previous review stated, there is plenty to do. Canoeing, putt putt, fishing (lake was open again) and there is a live band and dancing on Friday nights. There are some great trails very close by. We really liked Yellow Branch. It's 1.5 miles to the waterfall, but well worth the hike. It's directly across the road from Stumphouse Tunnel and Isaqueena Falls. The fish hatchery is a few miles up the road. Even the ride through the adjacent mountains is a treat (especially in a convertible!)

We stayed in one of the cabins. The cabins are rather rustic (built in the 1930's), but they are sufficinetly stocked w/ dishes, cookware, towels, etc. There is a fireplace inside, and a grill, picnic table and fire pit outside. We had lake front and the view is very pleasant. This was our 2nd visit to the cabins and we will return!

2  Thank STripp67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2006

Oconee State Park was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Core and has over 1100 acres. We stayed here with a group of teens because of the close proximity to the Chatooga River and whitewater rafting.

The good:
The park offers a variety of activities including a swimming area with lifeguards, paddle boats, canoes, playground, sand volleyball and putt-putt golf. The teens thought if was great because there was plenty to do. The cabins within the park are on a loop all by themselves, so the only traffic is from guest staying in the park. Picnic shelters are large, well maintained and have added features like fireplaces not normally found in other places. The common areas in the park are pretty. Every Friday night for the past 25 years a local group has come to the park to play music and dance.

The bad:
The campground needs work. We stayed in the lake loop. You can't really even SEE the lake. It a little pond that is overgrown and was drained in 2004 and can't be fished until 2007. It's really not good for anything. The lake loop campsites are abyssmal. They are uneven, filled with exposed roots, on a hill that has erosion and bad run off. The sites are narrow and crammed together. There are little decorative wood fences everywhere which makes walking at night dangerous. We pulled a 31' travel trailer which we were assured could be accomodated in the pull-through sites. It literally took up 1 1/2 hours to get our trailer out of the site. The loop road is so narrow and the trees and brush has not been maintained that we thought we would need to dismantle our trailer to extract it. The bath houses are the worst I've seen anywhere. There is poor lighting inside and out. In the four days we were there, the bath house was hosed down one time. It was disgusting. We were quite grateful for a trailer with our own bathroom, however the teens we traveled with were stuck with the dirty facilities. The paved camp loop is better for RVs, however the sites are so close together and lapped on top of each other that we only found two sites we would be willing to come back and occupy. The dump station is right in the middle of campsites, YUK! And the turn radius is difficult for trailers. The campground solution for garbage stinks! It is picked up daily by their staff. But it's picked up in the morning or mid day and we couldn't find anywhere to drop it, so your garbage has to find a home at your campsite all night long.

More bad: At the big lake the park doesn't allow any motor boats. Not a problem, however you can't bring your own canoe. The only boats allowed are those offered for rent by the park. The canoes are rented by the rangers and the paddle boats are rented by the concession stand. Too confusing. We brought our own canoe and a kayak and we told to keep them on our vehicle.

Tragic: On our second night in the park, were was a storm. I was dry in a trailer, however we've camped for 40 years and I've never worried about being in a tent during a storm. But on this night lightning hit a tree in the primitive camp area. There was a dad with two boys in a tent and the lightning traveled down the tree and through the root structure. The dad was struck and rushed to the hospital that night. We were told he only survived because he was off the ground on an air mattress. We really don't know anything else, even how he was following the incident. But it makes me think twice about staying in a tent during any kind of storm.

Overall this is a really nice park for locals--pretty with a lot to do, or for those using the cabins. But their campground lacks. Be prepared to feel like you are on top of your neighbor and just know that the bath house are BAD, NASTY and GROSS.

3  Thank Momgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2015
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Thank sabin02015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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