Weekend trip in Western North Carolina

My partner Heather and I recently completed a trip report on our September '04 kayak trip on Lake Santeetlah in far Western North Carolina (near Robbinsville). The lake is big enough for several days of exploring, has some 50 free camp sites, is mostly undeveloped and quiet, and is near the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Not to mention its flat-out beautiful (as is nearby Lake Fontana, but that is harder to camp around).

Our report is online at:


I am building a list of places in NC to visit this season and this one sounds great and is added to my list.


Check out Lake Calderwood, up hwy 129
from Santeetlah. A long, narrow, steep-sided lake with almost no development, and the water level varies much less than Santeetlah.

Where can I find information on Calderwood? I did a search and it takes some wading to get not much info. One of the things I liked about Santeetlah was that there are all those (50 plus) primitive campsites.

I don’t expect you would find so many
primitive campsites on Calderwood. The sides of the valley are steep. Did you paddle in to primitive sites on Santeetlah, or did you use one of the drive-in sites?

Anyway, I would suggest getting on Terraserver.com and going to Robbinsville, then work NNW and scope out Calderwood on the topos. You can also check the aerial photos. There will be some campsites at the mouths of the larger creeks.

Paddling reports?

– Last Updated: Mar-21-05 10:51 PM EST –

Glad to offer mine. Can anyone suggest good places for:

1) finding and posting flatwater kayaking trips (like paddling.net)
2) kayaking destinations in WNC?