Shortia galacifolia grows in shiny light green mats just above brown winter leaves, peeking out from beneath rhododendron thickets in damp drainages of the Jocassee Gorges. You’ll see them right at the highwater line on Lake Jocassee, and once you know what you’re looking at you’ll see them in dining table-sized patches all the way up the steep slopes of the mountaintops. They’re poised at the front edge of a bloom season lasting but a few brief weeks. When those bell-shaped flowers open, the plants appear like patches of lingering snow glistening in late winter sunshine. To see Oconee Bells – as they are named in these parts - is to glimpse a fascinating paragraph in the epic book of natural history. They’re rare, they’re special, and they’re beautiful. Come to the Jocassee Gorges, now, on the cusp of spring, and see these beauties for yourself. ~K



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Lake Jocassee Weather

Partly Cloudy



Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 89%

Wind: 1.24 m/h

  • 17 Feb 2020

    Partly Cloudy 60°F 37°F

  • 18 Feb 2020

    Showers 57°F 49°F

Help protect Lake Jocasee          Your portal to Paradise!             Oconee County Visitors Bureau                Come see what we offer!               501(c) 3 Non Profit 
    & Jocassee Gorges!                                                                                                                                                                                                      Enviormental Education                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Phone: 864-280-5501

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