South Carolina

j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

Looking for info about swimming the upstate lakes (Jocasee, keowee, hartwell) late April - are they clean, how's the boat traffic , can i survive wearing a buoy , water temps >68, anything. They look really awesome on paper but then again so do some of those online dates...any info would be appreciated!



  • curlycurly Issaquah, WASenior Member

    Lake Keowee is warm. Quite a bit of boat traffic on weekends and in the summer. It's also not my favorite boat traffic. Fishermen with very fast bass rigs. Partiers with slow rigs, but robust coolers of beer. Kids on jet skis. Mellows out later in the year. Late April might be pretty nice because the temp wouldn't be so hot and the boats probably are not so plentiful. I usually visit in September or October, so not familiar with April conditions.

    I've been thinking about doing a length of Lake Keowee at some point, I need to build up my brain first. I like the idea because I have relatives that live on the lake, so support would be easy to come by. I also like it because it's warm, although I know there are some who don't like the warm aspect. When I visit, I'm usually just goofing off, so I haven't done any serious swimming there, but I do enjoy the lake in general.

    I think there is an organized swim on Jocassee that you may want to look into also. It's short, but probably fun. I don't know much about Lake Hartwell, but it's similar to Keowee, part of the system of dams run by Duke Power and the Corps of Engineers. So the water level on the lakes rises and falls quite a bit. Sometimes it's a foot different overnight. I don't know if there would be currents because of this. I can't really feel anything when I swim, but there must be something going on there.

    Water cleanliness seems to be OK. There is the usual orange rim on boats from the clay soil. Reasonable visibility for a lake. They have fish and birds and the only thing that sneaks into my head is the darn snapping turtles. I've seen some pretty big ones. But they don't seem to be around when I swim. Good! They freak me out.

    I'll talk with my relatives and see what they say about April conditions. One thing I do know is that sometime around then is pollen season and they try to get out of town then. It is pretty major with a pile of pollen on anything and everything. So if you have aversion to pollen, you may want to look into that.

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WASenior Member

    Update for you. April is in the pollen season. It settles like a dust on the water as well as everywhere else. So you definitely need to check conditions before you go there. My relatives actually leave town around that time because the pollen is so bad.

  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

    thanks @curly for the info! Since i didn't get into SCAR i booked a lake house on Keowee SC 4/27 - 4/30 and invited some marathon swimmie friends from SC, NJ, and NY to come join me. fingers crossed the pollen will be gone by then! anyone in the area is welcome to join us, but you need to find your own house is filled up with people who make me happy!!!

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