One to Three Day Hikes in the Jocassee Gorges

Day Hike 1 (easy to moderate/beautiful)

Frozen Creek Access to Canebrake Access, on Lake Jocassee. Distance: 5.0 miles.

This is a lovely walk through the woods to the shores of Lake Jocassee near where the Toxaway River enters the lake . You can of course turn around and hike back out, but why not be picked up by our shuttle pontoon boat and enjoy and hour or two on the lake while being transported to the dock at Devils Fork State Park. Car shuttle would be required for you to return to your vehicle.


Day Hike 2 (moderate/ beautiful)

Canebrake Access on Lake Jocassee to Laurel Falls Access on Lake Jocassee. Distance: 5.8 miles.

Our most popular day hike, The Foothills Trail Conference says ‘this trail segment contains both steep ascents and descents, as well as spectacular views of Lake Jocassee’. Most groups complete this hike in around 4 hours. There is one quite steep ascent, which leads to the best views of Lake Jocassee. Hikers call it ‘heartbreak ridge’.

This is a boat-in / boat-out excursion. Expect it to be about a 6 to 7 hour day in the field. It takes about ¾ of an hour to get to the Canebrake Access, and about ½ hour to return from the Laurel Falls Access to the dock at Devils Fork State Park.

Day Hike 3 (moderate/ beautiful)

Laurel Valley Access to the Laurel Falls Access . Distance: 8.1 miles.

This hike offers a lovely lunch stop at Virginia Hawkins Falls about half way along. Car shuttle is required..


Day Hike 4 (moderate/ beautiful)

Canebrake Access to Horsepasture Access. Distance 7.8 miles.

This hike crosses Cobb Creek and Bear Creek before descending to the Horsepasture River. There is a lovely campsite at Bear Creek. When Lake Jocassee is at low levels, the Horsepasture Access can sometimes by unreachable. Please inquire before planning this hike.

Laurel Valley Access to Canebrake Access. Distance: 13.9 miles.

This hike combines the hikes as described in Day Hikes 2 and 3. Virginia Hawkins Falls and the overlook at the top of Laurel Fork Falls can be enjoyed on this hike. Car shuttle required.


Day Hike 6 (moderate-strenuous/beautiful)

Bad Creek Access to Canebrake Access. Distance: 16.4 miles.

This hike has bridge crossings on the Whitewater and Thompson Rivers and ends at the Canebrake Access, just a half mile or so from the Toxaway River suspension bridge, just as it enters Lake Jocassee. There is a short spur along the way of 0.2 miles to view Hilliard Falls. Car shuttle required.


Two Day Hikes (moderate-strenuous/beautiful)

Two day hikes can be composed of any number of combinations of the many day hikes described.


Multiple Day Hikes (challenging/breathtaking)

Two to Three Day Hike, Laurel Valley Access to Bad Creek Access. Distance: 30.3 miles.

This is the full monty! It takes in the distances covered by both "Day Hikes 5 and 6", effectively traversing the Jocassee Gorges. It is 16.4 miles from Bad Creek to Canebrake, and 13.9 miles from Canebrake to the Laurel Valley, so take your pick on which way to proceed. Either way, you would camp at the remarkably beautiful campsite where the Toxaway River enters Lake Jocassee. Car shuttle would be required.


Quick Notes

* We recommend adding an hour or two at the end of your hike to enjoy the beauty of Lake Jocassee. See the waterfalls, the bird life, the wild river gorges that make our lake so famous.

** We would be glad to bring along your favorite food and beverages for your return trip to the dock.

*** We highly recommend reviewing the ‘Guide to the Foothills Trail’, by the Foothills Trail Conference, before beginning your hike. They can be purchased from us, online from the FTC, and from the Devils Fork State Park camp store.




Salem, SC


Humidity: 84%

Wind: 7 mph

  • 22 Jan 2018

    Rain 58°F 43°F

  • 23 Jan 2018

    Showers 58°F 40°F

 Love Jocassee? Help protect
and preserve the beauty of Lake
  Jocassee and the Jocassee
   Gorges by joining FOJ!




  Your Portal to Paradise


Mountain Lakes Convention
    and Visitors Bureau

Home Away From Home!




Phone: 864-280-5501

We depart from the main boat dock at Devils Fork State Park, Salem SC, 28676