In late July I took my first solo overnight canoe trip to Fontana Lake. I paddled from USFS Cable Cove boat ramp upstream to NPS campsite #78 which is on an island. Above are just a few shots from that trip. Fontana has a lot of really neat rock formations along its banks. This one rock in a photo above goes straight down until you can no longer see the rock (very deep). I took my snorkel gear along and dove there. The water is very clear and warm. At 2:00 a.m. a C-130 flew directly over my tent at about 500' above the lake. So cool! I could even hear the props biting into the air as it was so low.
From Campsite #78 to Cable Cove s about 7 miles. With the wind at my back I paddled it in an hour and a half. The next morning I got up at the crack of dawn and was on the water early in case the wind would blow me backwards. It didn't! In fact it took a long time to get back because there was NO wind! What a great lake and campsite. You need to go to #78 if you have time.
In autumn 1979 My grandfather took me trout fishing one day along the banks of the Little Tennessee River. When we finished and got into his car he closed the door and said "Take a look...next week this will be a lake." In November, TVA closed the flood gates and Tellico Lake was born. Good-by to the Little Tennessee River as we knew it.
This website is about getting you excited to paddle the "finger lakes" of the Smokies. Since there is no going back, we should enjoy these five lakes. Here are photos and stories from Fontana, Cheoah, Calderwood, Chilhowee and Tellico Lakes.
Hey this is Jeff Wadley. I love the Smokies! I also enjoy guiding others into the mountains hoping they can expereince God's wonders and want to know more about Him.
I grew up in Gatlinburg and have hiked all the trails in the Smokies, have almost finished paddling the Little Tennessee River from Fontana to Ft. Loudon and am working on hiking all the trails in Joyce Kilmer, Slickrock, Citico, Gee Creek and Bald River Wilderness Areas.
I am the author of "Mayday! Mayday! Aircraft Crashes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park". It is my desire for you to enjoy the Smokies and at least consider the wonders of God's creation.