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DNR News

August 16, 2012

Jocassee Gorges roads to open Sept. 14

All Jocassee Gorges main access roads will open on Friday, Sept. 14, one day earlier than the traditional Sept. 15 road opening date. Roads will remain open through Jan. 15, 2013.

Crusher run gravel, a smaller gravel with more fine particles, has been applied to many Jocassee Gorges roads this year, according to Mark Hall, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manager of Jocassee Gorges in northern Pickens and Oconee counties. Since DNR technicians have done a good job at stabilizing the roads with large rock, Hall said, the smaller rock will continue the stabilization but will also be easier on vehicles passing through.

The first dove shoot at the popular Jocassee Gorges Cane Creek public dove field will be Wednesday, Sept. 19. Cane Creek Field is open Wednesdays only during mourning dove season.

The Jocassee Gorges contains some more than 40 miles of main access roads that are open to the public during the spring and fall, about five and a half months out of the year. The main road that enters Jocassee Gorges in Pickens County, Horsepasture Road, begins at US Highway 178 near Rocky Bottom and is also open year-round for the first 3.5 miles. It provides access to the Laurel Fork Creek and Eastatoee Creek heritage preserves and affords a good jumping-off spot for the wild interior of Jocassee. The main access for Oconee County Jocassee lands is Musterground Road at Bad Creek Hydro Project off SC 130. The key access road to Crossroads Mountain is open year-round, and it passes through North Carolina’s Gorges State Park, off NC Highway 281, in North Carolina.

This year, some selective logging is underway to improve wildlife habitat and tree growth. Visitors are advised to abide by the speed limits and to watch for the occasional logging truck that is hauling timber to local mills.

Waterfalls, black bear, uncommon plants such as Oconee bells and many long-range vistas are just a few of the natural wonders that may be found in the 33,000-acre Jim Timmerman Natural Resources Area at Jocassee Gorges and Franklin Gravely Wildlife Management Area in Pickens and Oconee counties.

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