Keowee is a beautiful, clear lake in the extreme NW corner of South Carolina. The upper end of the lake is 5 miles from North Carolina and only about 10 miles from Georgia. Its 26 mile length winds down through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains; with high mountainous terrain at the north end and rolling foothills at the south.
The lake was created in the late 1960’s by damming the Keowee River and tributaries as they flowed out of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its foothill valley location resulted in a long, narrow and deep body of clear mountain water (26 miles long, 3 mile max. width and 300’ max. depth). The lake has an elevation of about 800 ft. above sea level, an area of almost 29 sq. miles, and 300 miles of shoreline.
Lake Keowee is part of Duke Energy's Keowee-Toxaway Complex -- a three lake complex to provide power, water and recreation for the area. In 1973, the lakes began producing hydroelectric power and the Oconee Nuclear Station began operation.
Living around Lake Keowee is all about the Lake and the beauty of the area. Residents and visitors enjoy a full range of lake activates including boating, fishing, skiing, sailing, swimming, etc. And except for a few busy weekends in the summer, Lake Keowee is quiet and peaceful.
Residential development on Lake Keowee has been controlled over the years as Duke Energy gradually released property for development. There are about 100 developments along the 300 miles of shoreline, most are relatively small. Beacon Shores with 118 properties is in the top 15% in size. Well over half of the developments have less than 40 properties.
The beauty of the lake is maintained through a combination of efforts. Duke Lake Management has implemented guidelines for the shoreline and most communities also have lakefront construction guidelines. Several volunteer organizations focus on maintaining the beauty and character of the lake (e.g., Advocates for Quality Development – AQD, Friends of Lake Keowee – FOLKS).
Public amenities include 5 campgrounds and 9 boat launch areas. Commercial development is limited. The primary commercial lake front developments are a marina and three restaurants.
For more information about Lake Keowee click on the following links: