Jocassee Gorges at Sunset


The unique history, geology and location of the Jocassee Gorges has produced an area that is rich in educational and scientific research opportunities. Nestled between the Mountain and Piedmont physiographic regions of the southern Appalachians, the Jocassee Gorges contains a tremendous diversity of plant and animal communities.

The area offers an opportunity for discovery of common and unique plant, fish, and wildlife communities and populations, some of which may be rare or endangered. Significant archaeological resources are also waiting to be un-covered within Jocassee Gorges. Scientific research, both formal and informal, will help establish baseline information about the diversity of fauna and flora, and natural areas, within the Jocassee Gorges area. This information will help guide the management and protection of the Gorges' natural resources well into the future.

A DNR research permitting system allows for approved investigative studies to be coordinated and conducted in the Jocassee Gorges. For more information about the research permitting process, please examine the Conducting Research at Jocassee Gorges document.

The diverse and unique natural areas and resources on Jocassee Gorges provide an exceptional opportunity for "outdoor classroom" education. From kindergarten to college, students can learn about the unusual geological formations of the Jocassee Gorges, the unique plant and animal communities that have resulted, and management efforts to maintain and protect the resources of the area. Opportunities for "hands-on" activities and field excursions by land or boat are unlimited and include trips to Walhalla State Fish Hatchery, state parks and Bad Creek. Results of investigative studies will lead to the development of new management strategies for rare and unique habitats that will be illustrated through outdoor workshops for land managers in the Southeast. Management and protection efforts will also be illustrated through a series of demonstration projects throughout the Jocassee Gorges area.

You don't have to wait, though, to explore and discover the educational opportunities of the Jocassee Gorges. Consult the map elsewhere on this site and visit the unique areas that the Gorges has to offer. The DNR and conservation organizations conduct educational excursions periodically, and state park interpreters conduct a variety of nature-based programs and walks highlighting mountain resources and culture. Several private naturalists/guides are also available for conducting field trips and educational excursions into the Jocassee Gorges. For more information about educational opportunities, or a list of private guides, contact the DNR at (864) 654-1671.