CT to NC anywhere inbetween not to miss

Extending off other post - Looking for suggestions to spots to take kayak(s) off the car and dip my paddle on my drive down to NC (may also include SC, Ga, Tn, WV, Va, Md, Pa) from and back to Ct. No set specific route in mind yet (although Route 81 is likely) but destination is just north of Asheville,NC. Not ruling out backroad travels in areas that would be a hate to miss opportunity to see and experience a great paddle and some hikes. Unless paddleable both ways rivers are out as I have 1 car and unless shuttles are available I’ll have to stick with smaller (less powerboat visited)lakes and larger ponds. Also want to do some geocaching and hiking, maybe some of the tallest spots in different states hikes. So open to any suggestions,I promise not to tell anyone your secret spots if you want to send me there. I figure this trip will be mid July thru beginning 2 weeks of August, so would love to meet anyone who might like to join me for a paddle or hike too!

First of all, You must be taking …
a weird route if you are going to NC by way of SC !

Secondly an absolute must for you would be a hike on the Appalachian Trail on its highest point of the entire AT at Carvers Gap on Roan Mountain. You can hike to roan High bluff which is over 6000 feet.

Jack L

no I’m not going to NC by way of SC but I’m not going to rule out any side trips that might work out or not, so want some ideas if I can make it happen! Dream big or go home!!!

you won’t be passing many lakes.

Carvins Cove Reservoir w of Roanoke

Claytor Lake sw of Roanoke. A couple of reservoirs near Johnson City (Boone and Holston)

Otherwise 81-26 is river country.

Take to the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike.

SW of Asheville is another discussion. Jocassee is very nice.

Two large lakes that we enjoy are
Watauga lake in TN, near Hampton not too far off I-26 Near Johnson City and Lake James in Marion NC off I-40.

Lake James is our favorite, and you can find us paddling there at least once a week. The whole north shore is pristine and wooded with many small coves to explore and the Blue ridge mountains as your back drop.

I didn’t mention them in your other post because you said you were looking for ponds or small lakes.

Lake James has 70 miles of shoreline.

Once again, I’ll repeat; don’t plan on paddling any place on the weekends. They are all too crowded.

Jack L

Rt 81 is the way to go…
95 is horrid. I’m not sure of your specific route, but avoid 81 through Scranton if at all possible. The toll road is far superior and well worth the $2. I think I pay $5.60 towing a two axle trailer.

Shenandoah River Valley State Park near Front Royal, VA is a nice spot to visit. There are outfitters along the river that can assist with a shuttle.

You can explore caverns, or zip line the tree tops. It’s a cool area. Well worth spending a day or two of rest there.

Have fun,


isn’t the highest point on the AT
clingman’s dome? I found some of them grassy balds like Roan kinda snakey.

I expect to be paddlin’ out of state by the second week in July but if your comin’ through wv I’d be glad to paddle with ya before then or in August. I can do mild or wild. Just depends upon what you like.

You are right and I apologize
We have the highest Shelter at a little over 6000 feet.

Much more bears than snakes in this neck of the woods.

In a bunch of hikes never saw a snake, but we have seen lots of bears.

But down below at lower elevations we have a bunch which tolerate us and live in harmony with us.

Everytime the grandkids are in our cascading front yard trout stream the various different water snakes swim all around them and let us all pick them up. We have come to conclusion that we stir up the bottom which causes the bottom dwelling critters to surface which provide food for the snakes.

Jack L

Lake Joccassee in SC
If scenic lake destinations are priority, you should consider Lake Joccassee on the NC/SC border. Not far from Asheville. Its special

a more coastal option
south through Nj. Paddle the pine Barrens. Wading, batso Oswego or Mullica rivers, Cedar Creek, Harrisonville lake, Great egg harbor river, union lake lake lenape,and more shuttles are needed but available for the streams, I can help with some if schedules match

then ferry over to delaware and explore the delmarva penninsula. the pokomoke river (shad landing SP) and tributaries, blackwater NWR, asseateague NWR. then the bridge tunnel fro cape charles to Va beach and paddle the dismal swamp (nicer that it sounds) then west on 58 with options to explore the roanoke river, lake norman and so on

Larger lakes and rivers
always take a lot more planning for shuttle purposes and just time. As we all know there’s just never enough time on a vacation to do all the things we want to do and that’s if the weather works with you too! This trip is going to encompass more travel than I had originally planned which is fine but it is also going to limit some options. Also trying to keep someone else happy while accomplishing my little goals and needs always adds that extra twist too. That’s why this trip is so unspecific as it has grown from a simple idea to now thoughts as to where we will be traveling. Gotta love my non planning sister, at least she’s flexible when I come up with a plan!!!