Drew Berman had never canoed with me so I took him to Tellico Lake and stayed at the site near Jackson Bend Island. The highlights were coyotes, barred owls, stir fry chicken, shooting stars, and good conversation. And he wanted MRE's...ha ha ha. He had no idea who he was camping with!
Nelson Fields and I paddled for three days on Fontana August 3-5. We began at Tsali and camped the first night at NPS Campsite 78 which is normally beautiful, but has been recently damaged with fallen trees and littered with MANY mounds of toilet paper. Just a shame. We cleaned some of the mess. On day two we paddled all the way to Bryson City at the public boat ramp and back to Indian Ridge islands....long day! Sunday was a quick paddle back to Tsali. We experienced lots of rain (which was awesome), thunder and lightning, barred owls, screech owls, osprey, bald eagles, a waxing moon, warm temps, and good conversation. I just love that lake! The highlight for me was the thunder in that valley!
Situated across Tellico lake from the Toqua campground and boat ramp, are three campsites established with boaters in mind. The first sets on a point with two tent pads and lantern hooks. There is no mistaking the oak tree with lightning damage either. Farther into the cove are two other sites with tent pads, fire rings, and lantern hooks as well. All three have easy canoe access into and out of the water, with the middle site perhaps having the best access. The problem I saw was ATV trails that led to the sites from a nearby road and thus I had visitors in my site during the night. Just be advised that because of the ease of access, you might not be the only person enjoying your campfire or dinner!
I carried out five bundles of party favors from someone else's use of the site...this was too bad, but unfortunately I have come to expect this. As I was cleaning up the piles of trash, I thought, "These campers do not know the Creator, because they would not have done this if they knew Him."
This is what the site looked like after is was cleaned (at least I was able to get some of the trash stowed...there was some more that needs to be removed)....
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.