Oconee State Park, SC-Day 3

Oconee State Park, SC-Day 3

The second morning in the cabin began much the same way as the first. Tiny bugs again danced on the water creating a brilliant shimmering effect. Sounds of bull frogs and song birds filled the air. Cool mountain air filled our lungs as we sat on the porch, enjoying coffee and breakfast.

This area of South Carolina has lots of state parks. Most of the parks are located right off of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. We had planned to visit some of these parks. I don’t recall why, but somehow we decided to visit four South Carolina state parks and one North Carolina state park all in one day. Not to mention we wanted to stop by a berry farm we had found online.

Our first stop was at Devils Fork State Park. As you might expect, our stop here was brief. After driving a few miles through the winding roads of the park, we found ourselves at the edge of Lake Jocassee. I parked the car and then we both made our way to the edge of the lake. The waters were a beautiful emerald green.

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Keowee Toxaway S.P. is just a few miles down the road from Devils Fork S.P. We stopped in for a few minutes to check out the visitor’s center. I decided not to explore the park further so that we could make our way to the berry farm we’d read about.

The Happy Berry was about a thirty-minute drive from Keowee Toxaway. We had to make a couple of stops on the way, one for gas and another to pick up some cash. I rarely carry cash anymore, but I guessed that we might need some at the berry farm. A small dirt road led to the parking area for visitors to the farm. We parked the car and began to get a good look at the beautiful farm. The amount of berries they have growing here far exceeded my expectations. Rows upon rows of blackberries, blueberries and grapes covered the hillsides of the farm. A friendly employee got us on our way with some boxes and a tray to hold the berries. We tasted several varieties of blackberries, some were too bitter for our tastes. They have a large variety of berries, so it wasn’t difficult for us to find some that we liked. It didn’t take long to fill our boxes with more blackberries than we planned on getting. There’s nothing like picking your own fresh fruit right off the plant and eating it. If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend you visit the Happy Berry!

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Table Rock S.P. was next up on our agenda. Shortly after arriving in the park, we saw an albino squirrel! This was actually a first for both of us, unfortunately we weren’t quick enough to get a picture. It was well after noon by the time we arrived and I guessed that this park would have a nice picnic area. I was right, we found a beautiful little meadow with an empty picnic shelter. We hadn’t specifically packed for a picnic lunch, but we had enough snacks to call it a meal. We intended to eat alone in the picnic shelter, but an angry songbird was very unhappy with our presence. Although we didn’t see any baby birds in her nest, her behavior indicated they were there. No time was wasted after eating as neither of us wanted to deal with the angry bird any longer.

Cherokee Foothills Parkway was left behind as we turned north towards Caesars Head S.P., our fourth park of the day. The road leading to Caesars Head was very curvy and steep at times. By the time we got to the park we had gained a lot of elevation. Our stop here was very brief. We perused the visitor’s center for a while and then checked out the view, which was incredible!

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Gorges State Park in North Carolina would be our last stop of the day. Getting there proved to be a bit more of a challenge than we’d anticipated. Our GPS could not locate the park at all, so we had to improvise. Ashley found information online that we used to find the park, but even doing that was difficult as there is very poor cellular reception in this part of NC. When we finally arrived at the park we were greeted by one of the nicest visitors center we’ve been to. I was concerned about staying too long at Gorges as the gate at Oconee closes at 7pm. We had seen images online of the views from Gorges, but we learned that a hike was required to get to the best views. Neither of us felt like taking a hike as we were already tired from a long day of traveling so we headed back towards Oconee. Had we known we were only 40 minutes from our cabin, we definitely would have spent some time outside on the rocking chairs at the visitors’ center of Oconee!

We were both hungry when we arrived back at our cabin. Ashley made some asparagus on the stove top and I baked up some barbecue chicken. It was a perfect evening sitting on the porch looking out onto the water eating our dinner. Afterwards we decided to have another go at cornhole. It turns out we are both worse at cornhole when we’re not drinking. We stayed out on the porch until well after dark, the clear skies providing optimal conditions for star gazing. We fell asleep to the sounds of bull frogs croaking by the lake.

 

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