We paddled Lake Oolenoy on Christmas Eve. It was a spontaneous plan that unfolded when Lake Robinson, a lovely 800 acre lake near our home, was closed. We had already loaded our boats up and driven 20 whole minutes when we realized this, and it felt too disappointing and lame to just turn back after making such an effort on Christmas Eve. Instead of admitting defeat, we opted to tack on 30 minutes and push our way up to Lake Oolenoy.
I have to admit, I was a little critical of poor Lake Oolenoy before I actually went there. It has the misfortune of being on our route to Lake Joccassee, one of the most gorgeous, epic places in South Carolina. No matter how pleasant Lake Oolenoy might be, I could not imagine it being as grand and stunning as Lake Joccassee. This means that if we plan out a paddling adventure of any consequence, we are almost always willing to drive the extra 30-45 minutes required to bypass Lake Oolenoy and arrive at our beloved Jocassee. However, this Christmas Eve our time frame required as little extra driving time as possible and a relatively short paddle when we got to our destination. Lake Oolenoy ended up being a perfect solution. At less than an hour from Greenville, it is easy to get to and with only 67 acres to its name it is perfect for a short exploration. The lake is very pretty, undeveloped, and clean with remarkable views of Table Rock and Pinnacle Mountain. It’s a great little spot to explore and there are nice picnic areas and bathrooms available by the boat ramp access point. We would definitely come back, and perhaps try taking out a SUP.
Paddle this Lake: If you’re coming from Greenville, you will pass the main entrance to Table Rock State Park on your right before crossing the bridge over Lake Oolenoy and arriving at the boat ramp on your left. For more information about seasonal hours and directions see the state park website.
Recommendations: Bring a camera for some great views of Table Rock and Pinnacle Mountain.
Note: There are two lakes in Table Rock State Park. Lake Pinnacle does not allow public boat access; however, they rent kayaks and canoes. Both kayaks and SUPs are permitted on Lake Oolenoy.