About Us

Welcome to Oconee County, South Carolina!  Oconee County is located in the northwestern corner of Upstate South Carolina, otherwise know as The Golden Corner.  “Oconee” is a Cherokee word meaning “Land beside the water”. This is the perfect name for a county that boasts multiple lakes, rivers, streams, over 150 waterfalls and has one of only two rainforests in North America – the Jocassee Gorges!

Outdoor recreation and adventure is our calling card. As you will see throughout our web site, Oconee is truly blessed with pristine, protected forests (over 90,000 acres!), primitive lakes surrounded by the Blue Ridge mountains with waterfalls that you can pull your boat up to and swim under, other lakes that are perfect for your favorite water sports, trails to 29 waterfalls, world class white water rafting and paddling on the infamous nationally designated Wild and Scenic Chattooga River, renown trophy fishing with one world record and five state records for Trout and Bass, lake front State and County Parks with cabins, camping and RV sites, great bicycling through canopied mountain back roads and, generally, just a great place to hang out, dip your feet in cold mountain stream and relax in the great outdoors!

Come visit us here in Oconee County, SC and see for yourself why National Geographic calls this area one of the “World’s Last Great Places – A Destination of a Lifetime”!

In the northwestern-most corner of South Carolina, Oconee County is known as the “Mountain Lakes Region” because of the climate, beautiful lakes, and the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

National Geographic released a Special Publication in November 2012 and our Mountain Lakes Region had the honor of being highlighted as a DESTINATION OF A LIFETIME!

Whether you are a full time resident or planning a trip to our area, there is plenty to do in the Mountain Lakes area.  Waterfalls, rivers, lakes, mountains, wild life and Jocassee Gorges – all right here in the upstate of South Carolina!




Ken is the President & CEO of the Mountain Lakes Convention & Visitors Bureau where he leads Oconee County’s marketing and tourism efforts. By request of the County, he established the CVB in 2008. In 2011, he won the prestigious Southeast Tourism Society’s Shining Example Award. Prior to establishing the CVB, Ken spent over 20 years in the technology sector before “bailing” out in 2003 when he acquired Hoyett’s Grocery and Tackle on Lake Jocassee – which he later converted into the Jocassee Outdoor Center.

Ken lives in Westminster and has a passion for the outdoors where he spends most of his spare time hiking to waterfalls with his son, daughter and pet wolves (“Possum” and “Cherokee”). He loves boating on Lake Jocassee, paddling on the Chattooga River and fly fishing the Chattooga and Chauga Rivers.


Charlotte is the Sales Manager for the Mountain Lakes Convention & Visitors Bureau, but also serves as the Event Planner.  While she spends a large majority of her time managing the bi-annual publication of the Visitors Guide and contributing to Social Media, she also enjoys working with event organizations and participants that visit the area including Road Titans 300, a three-day cycling challenge.

Charlotte grew up in Westminster, SC. After earning her degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from Clemson University, she worked with the Greenville CVB as the Convention Services/Housing Bureau Coordinator, followed by 10 years experience in hotel sales. In 2007 she moved to South Korea to teach English and enjoyed the opportunity to travel and learn about different cultures in SE Asia.


Chanda is the creator of our monthly newsletter, which highlights area happenings and showcases recreational opportunities in Oconee County. She contributes to the CVB blog, handles newsletter subscriptions and Visitors Guide requests.

The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism representing 12 states in the Southeast United States. Each year, STS honors “Tourism’s Best & Brightest in the Southeast” with the prestigious Shining Example Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in professional tourism across member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia & West Virginia.

“Shining Example Awards highlight some of the best work in travel and tourism, and winners truly set examples that others in the industry can follow,” said STS President and CEO Bill Hardman.

In 2011, after just three years of operation, the Mountain Lakes CVB was honored to receive the award. Ken Sloan, President & CEO of Mountain Lakes CVB, accepted the unique lantern that symbolizes this coveted acknowledgement.

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