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Sea Kayak Lake Jocassee



Want to venture into one of National Geographic’s “Last Great Places on Earth”? In the fall of 2012 Nat Geo named the Georges of Lake Jocassee the 9th “Last Greatest Place on Earth” out of 50 natural wonders. Something Headwaters Outfitters has known and enjoyed for years, and for some of its staff, their whole life. Owner David Whitmire, who grew up living on the edge of the gorges, has camped, fished, hunted, hiked and explored this landmark his whole life.  “It’s very worthy of its new title” Whitmire says. Locally known as the Auger Hole on the North Carolina side, it is now a large part of Gorges State Park and NC Game Lands.  “With four major rivers and several streams entering the lake from all sides, this is a water lover’s dream”, says Whitmire.   Hidden waterfalls cascade into lake, many of which go unnoticed from land.  “That’s why we started this trip”, Whitmire adds. “We want people to discover and explore this historic area and experience that magic that dwells here.”

Guest need to arrive at Headwaters Outfitters at 8:00am in order to depart for a 4×4 trip into the gorges by 8:30am.  The shuttle to the lake is approximately an hour and a half, and guest will reach the lake around 10am, meeting up with kayaks lakeside. You can paddle with the guide or on your own returning back to the put-in at 3:45. We will then return to Headwaters Outfitters around 5:30pm. This trip will be in the northern section of Lake Jocassee, covering sections where the Horsepasture and Toxaway rivers enter the lake. Lunch is provided along with all equipment, transportation to and from the lake. A guide will lead a trip over to Laurel Fork Falls but will also be glad to direct you to other designations if self discovery is what your seeking. The shuttle in its self is an experience cruising the backcountry and heart of the gorges. The day of exploring the Jocassee Gorges will be one you won’t soon forget and you to will see why National Geographic voted it top 10!


What to expect:

Headwaters Outfitters will be offering this Special Guided Trip every Thursday Starting in September.  Reservations are required.  There is a minimum of 3 and maximum of 7 guests per trip.

Shuttle: Average 1.25- 1.5 hours

 Once we leave Gorges State Park, we will be traveling on a one lane gravel road that drops into the heart of the gorges. A slow pace is needed. The drive itself is very interesting with a diverse group of animal and plant life encountered.

Foothills Trail Hike: Average 15 minutes, moderate difficulty

Short Hike along the Foothills Trail takes guests lakeside where they will meet up with the boats, gear and lunches.

Kayaking Journey- Either 6 mile round trip with guide or Self Discovery Trip

Paddle with guide to Laurel Fork Falls or head out on your own self discovery trip. Return back to trailhead by 3:45 for trip back.

This area both by land and water is some of the most remote, rugged, beautiful wild lands in Western NC. We have developed this trip for our clients to be able to see as much of this awesome area in a day that is possible. We classify this trip moderate +. If endurance is an issue, less paddling with more lakeside down time and exploring would be recommended.

 What to bring:

Dress in layers, with quick dry material preferred. Rain/ wind outer shell is good. Light hiking shoes along with a water shoe/ sandal, some folks maybe able to hike and boat in one style.

Daypack with sunscreen, water, light snacks, personal needs are recommended.

Sunglasses and hats are very helpful.

Cameras, binoculars and any guide books, (plants, birds etc.)


·         3 or 4 guest- $200 per person

·         5 to 7 guest- $175 per person

·         Includes; transportation, kayak, paddle, PFD, guide, and gourmet lunch

·         Does not Include extra drinks or gratuity for guide

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