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Canebrake Trail to Lake Jocassee

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Gorges State Park

Canebrake Trail to Lake Jocassee is a 10.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Brevard, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,856 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly










This hike follows the Canebrake Trail to the suspension bridge and primitive campsites at the Northern tip of the Jocassee Lake along the Toxaway River. The trail is blazed with yellow squares.

15 days ago

One of my favorite trails, mostly because it is sparsely trafficked and the payoff of suspension bridge over Toxaway River is great.

3 months ago


6 months ago

This is not particularly difficult. The uphill is pretty gradual and is interspersed with more level areas. I think best done after the leaves are off the trees as you get more views. Very pretty down by the lake. Trail is well maintained and the parking area is a good size and easy to find. Three 'gals' all in their 60s took 5 hours to do this with a nice stop for lunch.

9 months ago

This trail should be rated difficult. It's not bad going but coming back it's mostly uphill. Took me 3 hrs and 45 mins to get out simply because the terrain was mostly uphill. The end of the trail is a nice little camp sight with a small suspended bridge. I definitely would take a different route next time.

10 months ago

Our hike was about 5 miles to the camp site. Not a hard hike. Hiking with a 20+ lb bag is a bit challenging, but if you are relatively healthy it is doable. The campsites are picturesque. Near the water. Nice places to swim. The hike back is mostly uphill, and is a bit of a workout with a bag. Still worth the trip.

Fri May 03 2019

Not the most exciting hike. It’s a Forest access road. When you get to the end where the lake is, there’s not even anyplace where you can get down to the lake and relax due to steep terrain around the lake. You can get down and relax by the river that’s feeding the lake though.

Sat Mar 30 2019

Sun Mar 24 2019

This one is all about the destination. Pack a lunch or your tent and joy the lake for as long as you can.

Sat Mar 23 2019

Great out and back to the lake. Rate this one as difficult.

Tue Jan 01 2019

Was the first day in a loop that included the foothills trail, and Auger hole. Great hike and awesome scenery.

Mon Oct 29 2018

Started from the Frozen Creek access. Hiking to the campsites and river was decent, not a ton to look at, but once you reach the destination, it's worth it. I went in early January, so it was cold, reaching about 0 degrees the two nights I camped. But staying at the campsite, where there are firepits, picnic tables, and water access to the river was perfect. Would hike again.

Tue Nov 14 2017

This trail is definitely all about the destination not the journey. Campsites and scenery on Jocassee are Tops. The trail is mostly unimproved core access so tons of large granite gravel that want to break your ankles. Worth the trip and we’ll be doing it again. Not too many campsites 5 miles in on Jocassee that have picnic tables and fire pits.

Mon Sep 25 2017

Great hike from the Frozen Creek Access. Moderate especially when carrying a 40 lb. pack but enjoyable none the less. Camped for two nights with beautiful weather. Be on the lookout for copper heads as I almost stepped on one. Will be coming back.

Sat Aug 26 2017

I began this hike from the frozen creek access. 5 miles through the beautiful woods and then 5 miles back going uphill so make sure you allow the time. For the most part it is all downhill. Once you get to the bottom of lake jocasse there will be a bridge that takes you to the lake and to a few different campsites. I was lucky enough to have the lake all to myself. Will be doing this hike again in the fall! Just beautiful.

Tue Aug 01 2017

Hiked this trail as an access to the Foothills trail. Was a great hike all the way to Lake Jocassee. We didn't hike it back having through hiked to Badcreek. If you do be prepared. It will be all uphill. From the lake it's 19.2 miles to Badcreek but be prepared if you wanna do that one. It's long and tough. Very worth the hike though.

Wed May 17 2017

This is a wide, well-maintained trail that extends 5 miles from Frozen Creek access to the Toxaway River at Lake Jocassee. The first mile has a lot of large gravel stones that make the hike a little slower than it could be. The grade is almost all downhill on the way to the lake, so the journey there is much easier than the return. I made this hike with a heavy pack, and I was hurting on the steady uphill return the next day. It was also very humid under the forest canopy, so I would highly recommend more than one bottle of water as you leave Lake Jocassee. During the week, this trail sees very little use. In 2 days, I saw only one group on the trail. It's was a very serene and peaceful trip, and I would recommend it!

Mon May 16 2016

Trail wasnt scenic, but very well marked. The campsites at the end was full from boaters, but it was very easy to find a beautiful place to hang a hammock and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

Sat Mar 19 2016

The hike wasn't impressive, but the view on the lake is amazing. This is a top hike. Easy, but beautiful!

Sun Feb 15 2015

This one is off of Frozen Creek Road. The first two miles aren't that scenic or pleasant; there's a lot of big gravel stones to walk over on the logging road. As you keep going downhill, it gets more interesting and woodsy. The reward is getting down to the lake. It took me an hour and forty to go down, but it took 2 hours and 30 minutes to get back up. I was tired by the time I reached the lake and it was slow going going back up.

Sun Jan 19 2014

The start isn't great but treat it as a warmup. GPS nav might throw you off from the parking area so look for a sign to gorges state park when you're on frozen creek rd. seems no one comes here, we were the only people from 10am to 5pm on the weekend. It's so worth the walk for a peaceful lunch by the lake and river rapids. Connects to other trails too to go around the lake.

Sun Dec 04 2011

very fun when not hiking in the rain, i hiked the whole 32 miles with my scout troop to get ready for an even bigger trip in new mexico

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