Witness Thousands Of Oconee Bells In Bloom At Lake Jocassee In South Carolina
Say goodbye to winter and hello to spring along the shores of South Carolina’s breathtaking Lake Jocassee and you’ll get an added bonus: thousands of exquisite white blooms that attract visitors from all over each spring. The Oconee Bell is a bloom that’s indigenous to South Carolina, North Carolina, and parts of Georgia. But there’s more to the story…
Lake Jocassee is hopping with activity each summer. So much so that it's often hard to get into the park. But warm weather aside, there's another must-visit reason to head to Devils Fork State Park — before swimming and boating season begins.
According to one source, approximately 90% of Oconee Bells that bloom in the wild are found here, in this one spot, of the Jocassee Gorges.
The evergreen leaves of the Oconee Bell sprout stems with bell-shaped blooms during the months of March through May and can be seen along the Oconee Bell Trail within Devils Fork State Park.
From a one-mile loop that begins behind the ranger station, nature enthusiasts can embark on a scenic hike to discover the rare flowers.
Accounts of where the Oconee Bell was first discovered vary. Some say it was first spotted in Transylvania County, North Carolina, while others place the discovery in Oconee County, South Carolina. Today, the best place to get a peek at the wildflower is along this trail at Lake Jocassee.
Stroll at your own pace to discover beautiful views of the lake and even a waterfall or two — all the while spotting hundreds, even thousands of the graceful and rare Oconee Bell.
The extraordinary bloom even has an annual festival to celebrate the flowering season. BellFest takes place the second Saturday in March and features live music, food, vendors, and interpretive walks by Master Naturalists.
BellFest 2020 is set to take place on Saturday, March 14th at Devils Fork State Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn more about it
Devils Fork State Park is open year-round. For park entry fees and hours, see the park’s official
website. Learn more about the Oconee Bell Trail from our friends at AllTrails.
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Devils Fork State Park, 161 Holcombe Cir, Salem, SC 29676, USA