We’re planning a trip to Smokey Mountain NP. They told me they do not encourage people to kayak within the park. We are not familiar with area at all. Any recommendations on nice paddle short trips (1/2 a day or so)? We like rivers or small lakes. No whitewater, please. We’ll have children with us too. Along our way we plan on stopping at Mammoth Cave NP in Kentucky, might kayak the Green River while we’re there. Thanks!
Douglas Lake is close to Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. Its pretty low, but very calm. My buddy and I had a peaceful trip this morning. If you run up 40 and 75, there is Norris Lake. Towards Knoxville youve got the Holston, Tennesse and French Broad rivers. Im not sure how they are though.
Thanks for the info!
Lakes Fontana Cheoah and Calderwood
are along the southern border of the GSMNP.Closest town is Bryson City.
Little River near Townsend, below the mill dam in Walland. Float to River John’s Outfitters. River John runs a shuttle for $20 and has rentals.
Easy float/paddle, about 7 miles, 3 or 4 hours. Water is very low right now, though, check before you go.
String, I was going to ask about Fontana
Nice big lake, I’ve always wanted to paddle it and it looked like there were some camping opportunities.
Do you know if or why the park would discourage paddling?
Fontana is OK
I find it a little bit ugly as it has a lot of exposed bare dirt most times. I would probably look at Cheoah, Calderwood, or Santeetlah.
I have paddled in the Park many times, although mainly on whitewater streams like the “Little River”. There have been deaths on sections of the Little and some hairier runs and possibly this is why the NPS does not encourage kayaking.
Boating is prohibited on a few streams in the area that run through the Cherokee Reservation such as the lower Oconaluftee and the Raven Fork but these are outside the Park boundary.
Slush, I haven’t a clue why the NPS
would object to anyone paddling Fontana. They don’t control it.
We were there last week and it is way down. You will be looking at a lot of steep dirt and rocky hillsides.
Cheoah is pretty but the highway leading to the Tail of the Dragon follows it and the Harley noise is awful.
My choice would be Calderwood.
These lakes are part of the Little Tennessee River TVA system and when they are generating,the current can be pretty stout.
The park service discouraged kayaking INSIDE GSMNP. They didn’t say anything Fontana Lake. Thanks for all the great ideas!
I guide on Fontana. Too bad I didn’t see this sooner. Lots of really cool destinations on this lake. Boat in only campsites & side hikes.
Ridged8 perhaps a little run down. Fontanna is on my list for next summer. Ideally we’d want an RV park so the dog can rest in his RV while we paddle. (base camp) Any suggestions?