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Lake Keowee


Lake Keowee

Town(s): Sunset SC, West Union SC, Seneca SC, Salem SC, Six Mile SC

Size: 18300 acres
Average Depth: feet
Maximum Depth: feet

Swimming: Unknown

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Keowee is a Cherokee word that means “Land Of The Mulberries”. The area that is now Lake Keowee was once known as Keowee Town, a Cherokee settlement along the Keowee River. Lake Keowee is a manmade lake that was created to serve the needs of Duke Energy and provide recreation. The project started in 1967 and operations began in 1973. Since then, Lake Keowee has provided beauty, and fun, for both locals and visitors.

Lake Keowee provides the perfect atmosphere to live the “Lake Life”. From fishing to paddle boarding, boating to hiking, skiing to kayaking… there’s a little something for everyone! There are 4 parks and 9 boat landings for residents and visitors to enjoy, along with a few local marinas.

There are over 120 communities nestled on the shores of Lake Keowee. Many of them offer both waterfront and interior properties. Most of the communities have boat slips, boat ramps and/or storage for their residents to use.

Lake Keowee is located primarily in Oconee County, but a small portion resides in Pickens County. Conveniently located close to I-85 and major cities like Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Columbia and Greenville. Lake Keowee is also located near Clemson University, Anderson College, Tri-County Technical College and Furman University.

Lake Keowee is a man-made reservoir in the United States in the state of South Carolina. It was developed to serve the needs of power utility Duke Energy and public recreational purposes. It is approximately 26 miles (42 km) long, 3 miles (4.8 km) wide, with an average depth of 54 feet (16 m), and a shoreline measured at 300 miles (480 km) in total, and is approximately 800 feet (240 m) above sea level.

The massive demolition and building project began in 1971 with the construction of two large dams––Keowee Dam and Little River Dam, built on the rivers of the same names. The project covered 18,372 acres (74.35 km2). The lake collects or impounds waters from the Keowee River and the Little River and others. The outflows below the respective dams join to form the Seneca River, which flows into the larger Savannah River.

Lake water is used to cool Duke Energy's three nuclear reactors located at the Oconee Nuclear Generating Station. In addition, the dams help generate hydroelectric power. The Keowee Hydro Station generates 158 megawatts from the lake's outflows. Lake Keowee has provided a recreational destination for fishing, boating, swimming, sailing, kayaking and other watersports. The lake has been described as having pure and clean water.

The name Keowee is a Cherokee word: it is roughly translated as "place of the mullberries." The historic Keowee Town had been located on the bank of the Keowee River and was the largest of the seven Cherokee Lower Towns in the colonial period, in what became the state of South Carolina. Both the town and the former Keowee River were inundated by the formation of Lake Keowee. Archeological excavations conducted in advance of the project by the University of South Carolina recovered thousands of artifacts, as well as evidence of human and animal remains. There was a traditional burial ground at the town.

Vegetation Growth: Unknown
Non-native Species:

Boat Access: Unknown
Parking Spaces: Unknown

Shoreline Development: Unknown