Tim's Ford Blueway Paddle Trail - Devils Step Day Run

Start point: Devils Step Public Use Area and Boat Ramp.
Stop One: Goose Island (2.25 miles)
Stop Two: Maple Bend Island (2.83 miles)
Stop Three: Devils Step Island (4.76 miles)
End Point: Devils Step Public Use Area and Boat Ramp.

Total Distance of trip: 4.85 Miles (7.81 km)
Start Time: 11:45 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

This path is partially on the Tim’s Ford Blueway Paddle Trail, on the eastern side of Tim’s Ford Lake. This is a day run with our kayaks, partially to see what the accessibility to the islands is like - how accessibility to the island campgrounds are from a kayak perspective. There are campgrounds on all three islands (Goose Island - NE side of the island; Maple Bend Island - on the southern tip of the island; and Devils Step Island - on the southeastern side of the island) - keep in mind that these are very primitive campsites, so you will have to pack everything on your kayak if you plan on camping overnight - and don’t forget to get your permits to camp.

	Nightly rates vary based on date and availability. Applicable taxes and fees applied at checkout. The $5 reservation fee per site is non-refundable.
	Tim's Ford has 14 backcountry campsites with paddles and hike-in options. These are primitive campsites, there are no amenities. You will need to bring what you need in, and carry out. Please practice Leave No Trace.
	Reservations are required and may be made online. Click the reserve button to view the backcountry map and see descriptions.
	From <https://tnstateparks.com/parks/campground/tims-ford> 

I will gather more information regarding the process of reserving the Paddle-In Campsites later this year. We are only in the process of gathering information this season.
The Paddle
So we got a little bit later start today, as it was a little cool this morning and we needed to get all of our Mastiffs situated before we left. We final got everything road ready at about 10:45 AM, and headed out. We arrived at the Devils Step Public Use Area and Boat Ramp at about 11:30 AM, and were in the water at 11:45. The temp was about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water was about the same - so a little cool to the touch. The winds were out of the SE at about 5 to 10 mph and about 58% humidity, overcast for most of the trip making all-in-all a great day to paddle. There were a few fishing boats and a couple of pontoon boats that we saw during out trip, other than that it was a great quiet day - the water was smooth, it would get a little wavy with the winds - but nothing too bad.

Gear Notes
Kris had some issues with the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Sit-On Kayak - waves would come in from the few boats and she would get wet, and with it being overcast she would get cold.

Review of Paddle-In Sites
Goose Island : On this trip, Campsite 1 on the south of the island was accessible - but it was in pretty rough shape, at least for getting the kayaks out and into the water. There was a firepit/grill that available, and there was plenty of dried driftwood and fallen tree’s to help with fires and cooking. Campsite 2 on the north side of the island had a couple of issues, first was the dead fish smell that was pretty intense, second - the beach was large rocks, making it sketchy to get out of the kayak - there were some wooden steps that were near the fallen edge of the beach - it would be difficult to get gear and kayaks up to the site - it also had a metal fire pit/grill on the site.
Maple Bend Island - Campsite was not accessible due to fallen trees.
Devils Step Island - has boat docks, and steps to the site - seemed to be easily accessible with gear and kayaks

Where is Tim’s Ford? Next to his Chevy?

Winchester, TN

I’ve driven through there a couple of times

My home was less than one mile by water nearly due east of Devil’s Step Island. I used to do a short paddle from my dock to there and back many evenings just before dark. There is a small cemetery (Shasteen Cemetery) on the island that is worth checking out.

I took my daughters over to Goose Island and back many times when I lived on the lake.

Reservations for the primitive island campsites are made through Tim’s Ford State Park. Here is a list of the campsites and fees:


You might want to try a day trip on the Elk River. It is a relatively pleasant Class I river There is a site to put-in just below the dam at the west end of the lake. You would have to set up a shuttle, of course.