Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake, South Carolina, USA

Also known as:  Great Falls Reservoir, Rocky Creek Reservoir, Stumpy Pond, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Cedar Creek Lake

Some of the most spectacular paddling and fishing water in South Carolina’s Olde English District hides in plain sight between Fishing Creek Reservoir and Lake Wateree. Great Falls Lake and Rocky Creek Lake are actually part of the same Catawba River, separated by an island created by an artificial channel diverting the river’s flow for hydroelectric generation purposes. Great Falls Lake is the created reservoir, while Rocky Creek Lake is – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake

Some of the most spectacular paddling and fishing water in South Carolina’s Olde English District hides in plain sight between Fishing Creek Reservoir and Lake Wateree. Great Falls Lake and Rocky Creek Lake are actually part of the same Catawba River, separated by an island created by an artificial channel diverting the river’s flow for hydroelectric generation purposes. Great Falls Lake is the created reservoir, while Rocky Creek Lake is the original channel of the Catawba River south of Fishing Creek. Dams owned by Duke Energy contain both Great Falls Lake and Rocky Creek Reservoir, with hydroelectricity generated on both reservoirs.

Although Rocky Creek Lake is the better-known of the two, it goes by several names. The name of Rocky Creek Reservoir was given by Southern Power Company, the predecessor of Duke Energy. Many official publications call it Cedar Creek Reservoir. Most locals know it as Stumpy Pond. The entire water area is under the control of Duke Energy and has no improved recreational facilities along the many miles of shoreline.

Great Falls Lake has no public boat access, so boats must travel downstream from Fishing Creek Reservoir. Small Coffey Dam impounds the water into Great Falls Lake, which covers 477 acres. The water below that dam is used to generate hydropower at the Dearborn-Great Falls Powerhouse and Dam. Water passing over Coffey Dam and stretching around several islands along Cedar Creek becomes Rocky Creek Lake-the ‘Stumpy Pond’ of local fishing legend. Rocky Creek Lake terminates at the Cedar Creek Hydro Dam, with the river below it eventually becoming Big Wateree Creek flowing into Lake Wateree. And, although the small City of Great Falls lies on the western shore of Great Falls Lake above Dearborn Powerhouse, there is almost no development anywhere else along the 24 miles of shoreline.

Much of the eastern shoreline of Rocky Creek Lake is an unnamed wildlife management area. The islands are also uninhabited. Located at the geological juncture between harder underlying bedrock and softer coastal sediments, the South Carolina Fall Line crosses here, creating excellent elevation changes for development of dams and hydro power. This is what gave rise to the original power generation company at Great Falls that became massive Duke Energy. The same ‘fall’ line creates a rocky and scenic shoreline along much of both lakes. Rocky Creek Lake officially has 20 miles of shoreline around its 847-acre surface, but the large islands add many more miles. The islands were former hilltops and ridges, many of which now exist only as sandbars during periods of low water flow. The northern margins of Rocky Creek Lake are exposed boulders and ledges that once formed rapids and waterfalls.

Although popular Lake Wateree is just a few miles downstream, few people are aware of Great Falls Lake and Rocky Creek Lake except for those who have discovered the excellent fishing and paddlesport possibilities on Rocky Creek Lake. Canoeing and kayaking have become increasingly popular here. Three boat launch sites allow easy access for small boats. Two of the three have some parking, but no other facilities are provided. The launch site on Debutary Creek is especially popular with kayaking and canoeing clubs. The relatively quiet waters make for excellent beginner canoe and kayak outings, with the shallow channels between the islands particularly enjoyable. The wooded slopes around the lake hold deer, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, coyote, rabbit and other wildlife common to the area. A number of songbirds frequent the tree canopy surrounding the lake, while waterfowl are often seen along the shore. It’s easy to beach a small craft on an island to eat a picnic lunch before heading back.

Fishermen delight in the huge crappie that can be caught on Rocky Creek Lake. One-to-two-pound crappie aren’t uncommon, and area fishing guides schedule fishing trips to their secret hotspots. The lake also contains white bass, striped bass, panfish and channel catfish, so there’s something here for every angler. Due to the uneven terrain, the lake bottom holds a variety of fish-attracting structures, but only the experienced ‘Stumpy Pond’ angler is likely to know where they are. ‘Fish finder’ sonar is strongly recommended for those unaware of the lake bottom. Two boat launch sites add to the access from Debutary Creek; both the Stumpy Pond Access Area and the Cedar Creek Access Area have space for parking. Bank fishing is also possible at the Cedar Creek area.

Although locals sometimes swim in the lake, there is no designated swimming beach. Duke Energy has no current plans to provide more recreational facilities, so knowledge of the two lakes’ beauty and recreation remains mostly word-of-mouth. Lake Wateree to the south has several camping areas as does Fishing Creek Lake to the north. The Town of Great Falls is somewhat limited in lodgings, but there are small restaurants and stores selling supplies. Nearby Lancaster has more lodgings and guest cabins, and small motels near the river round out the possibilities for a good night’s rest.

Several historic locations nearby offer history buffs some enjoyable viewing. Andrew Jackson State Park has restored buildings and monuments to the country’s seventh president. Lancaster is home to a railroad museum that includes an antique children’s train ride. Landsford Canal State Park showcases the preserved remnants of the once-busy canal system that facilitated river navigation in the 1800s. One of the outstanding natural features of the park are the spider lilies that flourish in the shallow, rapidly-moving water. Late May and early June find these special plants in full, glorious bloom.

So, pack the fishing gear and load up the canoe or kayak. Great Falls Lake and Rocky Creek Lake await your discovery.

*Statistics listed are for Rocky Creek Lake only.

Things to Do at Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Antiquing

Fish Species Found at Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Striped Bass
  • White Bass

All About Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake

The Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Great Falls Lake & Rocky Creek Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi