Hidden Gems of Lake Oconee: Your Ultimate Summer Adventure

June 17, 2024

1. Scull Shoals: A Walk Through History

Hidden within the Oconee National Forest, Scull Shoals is a historic site that offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Once a bustling mill village in the 19th century, it now stands as a serene ruin, with remnants of old buildings and millworks quietly blending into the natural surroundings.

  • What to Do: Take a leisurely hike through the area, explore the ruins, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this historic spot.
  • Tip: Bring a camera to capture the atmospheric ruins and consider packing a picnic to enjoy.

2. Silver Moon: Dine Like a Local

For a taste of local flavor, head to Silver Moon, a beloved restaurant known for its warm, welcoming atmosphere and delicious cuisine. Located near the lake, Silver Moon is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

  • What to Order: Try their famous Philly cheesesteak eggrolls, raw bar on the weekends, or any of their martinis.
  • Tip: There is no hostess stand, you just write your name on the chalkboard when you walk in the door!

3. Jumping Rock: Thrill-Seekers’ Paradise

For those looking for a bit of adventure, Jumping Rock is a must-visit. This popular spot on Lake Oconee offers a natural rock formation perfect for jumping into the refreshing lake waters below. It’s an exhilarating experience for thrill-seekers and a fun way to cool off during the summer heat.

  • What to Do: Take a boat or kayak to the rock, climb up, and take the plunge! Remember to wear a life jacket for safety.
  • Tip: Get married on top of the rock, it wouldn’t be the first ceremony held there!

4. Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails: Explore Nature and History

Combine outdoor adventure with a touch of history at Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails. This unique site features a large stone effigy in the shape of a hawk, believed to have been created by Native Americans. The surrounding trails offer stunning views and a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area.

  • What to Do: Hike or bike the trails, visit the effigy, and enjoy the educational signs that provide insights into the site’s history and ecology.
  • Tip: Bring plenty of water and your pup! The trails are pet friendly.

5. Harmony Crossing Farmers Market: A Local Flavor Extravaganza

For a taste of local culture, the Harmony Crossing Farmers Market is a delightful stop. Open Saturdays, 8am-noon, May – September, this market showcases the best of the region’s produce, artisanal goods, and handmade crafts.

  • What to Do: Browse the stalls for fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade jams, baked goods, and unique crafts. It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or enjoy a snack.
  • Tip: Make sure to get beignets from Cafe du Papa.

6. Stay at a Private Lake Oconee Home: Home Away From Home

To truly immerse yourself in the Lake Oconee experience, consider staying in this vacation rental by owner. This gorgeous lake house has 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. This property offers a rare opportunity to enjoy the lake life with friends and family without having to own it. It has a private pool and a wonderful outdoor kitchen area and fire pit. There is an expansive lake view, a private dock, and it is centrally located roughly one cove over from The Ritz Carlton. Located in exclusive Reynolds, this resort offers some of the best golfing around. This house is a wonderful location for family gatherings or reunions. With multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, this house is not only ideal for larger families but also very rare.

  • What to Do: Enjoy the privacy and convenience of your own space. Cook meals with local ingredients from the farmers market, relax by the lake, and take in the stunning sunsets.
  • Tip: Boat over to The Ritz-Carlton for lunch at Gaby’s.

Lake Oconee is more than just a summer destination; it’s a place filled with hidden gems and unique experiences. From the historic intrigue of Scull Shoals to the culinary delights of Silver Moon, the thrilling jumps at Jumping Rock, the cultural significance of Rock Hawk, the local charm of Harmony Crossing Farmers Market, and the cozy comfort of a vacation rental, there’s something for everyone. So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and uncover the hidden treasures of Lake Oconee this summer!