What a day! I began at Smoky Branch and paddled across the main channel to the south shore and then paddled up to Little Toqua Creek. Now that little cove is great! I will scan my map to show exactly where but there is a nice campsite in this cove that has a grassy put-in. It is not trashed either. Once I paddled back out to the main channel I floated past the TRDA and TWRA boat ramps. Just past there is a sandy shore that begins the Tellico Wildlife Management Area. At this spot is THE best view of the mountains at the widest spot on Tellico. It was amazing. I will be going back there...since I left my camera at home. I paddled to the day marker on that shore, crossed the main channel and proceeded back up the river along the opposite shore. Up just about a mile there are two coves...one smaller and one larger. The west one goes up into the cove for about 300 yards and ends where a creek flows into the lake. On your left going in look for the neatly arranged sticks and logs where a beaver has built a lodge. I have only seen about 4 or 5 of these on Tellico. This one is small but neat. The second cove goes back about a mile (?) or so and dead ends like the more western cove does. You have to visit this one for sure. It has two TVA campsites with tent pads and lantern poles. Sorry...no picnic tables. One is on the point at the main channel and the other is about 200 yards or so in on the left. Go back farther and see a nicely built tower/platform which provides you with a rope to swing out over the lake. Go a bit farther and there is another campsite on the right (not an official TVA site) and go back a little farther and there is another campsite on the right (not TVA). Go farther and you ride through a tunnel of trees to the back where it is about 2' deep. The two TVA sites are really nice. I will post a pic when I go back. By the way this loop I did today went over the Cherokee towns of Toqua and Tomotley. Also you will float over a Mississippian era Indian Mound that is now covered with about 20' of water (or maybe less). Good day.. Plenty of herons, geese, ducks, mayfly's, small birds, kingfishers and a few osprey.
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.