Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Oconee State Park was developed in the early 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps under President Roosevelt's New Deal Program. The creation of Oconee State Park was intended to address the nation's need for conservation and recreation while also creating jobs during the Great Depression. Oconee State Park is now part of the SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (PRT). In 1935, Oconee County donated the park to PRT. The park is roughly 1165 acres.
Admission to Oconee State Park is $2 for anyone 16+ years old. For South Carolina seniors, admission is $1.25. Admission is free for children 15 and under. The park's regular hours of operation are 7:00am-7:00pm Sunday-Thursday and 7:00am-9:00pm on Friday and Saturday. During Daylight Savings Time, the park's hours are 7:00am-9:00pm daily. The park's regular office hours are 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday. Weekend office hours are 11:00am-noon and 4:00pm-5:00pm. The park store keeps the same hours as the park's office. The park store sells souvenirs, firewood, camping supplies, and limited groceries.
The park features two lakes. One lake is 20 acres, and the other is 12 acres. Both lakes allow fishing with a valid South Carolina fishing license. Bass, bream, and catfish can be caught at either lake. In winter months, trout is stocked.
The park offers boaters several different options. Pedal boats are available year round and can be rented for $5 per hour. Canoe rentals are available, and rental rates are $20 per day or $10 for a half day. Boaters can also rent non-motorized fishing boats for $20 per day or $10 for a half day. Private boats are not permitted on the park's lakes.
Seasonal lake swimming is permitted in the swimming area, contingent upon lifeguard availability. Regular hours for the swimming area are 10:00am-5:30pm. As the swimming area's hours and dates of operation are subject to change, it is recommended that visitors contact the park before making final plans to use the swimming area.
There are a total of six hiking/nature trails that originate in the park. Lake Trail, Oconee Trail, and Old Waterwheel Trail are all trails that loop within the boundaries of the park. Tamassee Knob Trail and Hidden Falls Trail begin in the park and extend into U.S. Forest Service property. Foothills Trail has an access point within the park as well.
The park has four picnic shelters that are available for group activities. Shelters can be reserved for $25-$38 per day by calling 866-345-PARK. Shelters that are not reserved are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.
Visitors can make cabin reservations by calling 866-345-PARK. Cabins are available with one or two bedrooms. Pets are not permitted in cabins or in the cabin area. Cabins are furnished, air-conditioned, and heated. Linens are supplied, and each cabin includes a coffee maker, a microwave, a fireplace, and basic utensils for cooking/eating. Cabin rental rates range from $60-$94 per night. The park offers group lodging at The Barrack. Available year round, The Barrack can accommodate up to 16 people. The Barrack's rental rate range is $128-$150 per night.
Tent and RV camping are also available, and rates vary. Due to campground renovations, the park's campgrounds will be closed January 2009-February 2009. During renovations, electric and water lines will be upgraded for 40 designated sites. Camping information, as well as any additional park information, is available by calling 864-638-5353.
Oconee State Park is located off of Highway 107 on State Park Road in Mountain Rest, South Carolina.
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