Great Smokies boating get away spots

Have a favorite place ? Share it here !

Moderators: Redneck_Randy, badmoonrising, lakerunner

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
tenNesseeCat
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:04 am
Location: East TN

Great Smokies boating get away spots

#1 Post by tenNesseeCat » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:10 am

Just wondering if anyone has any experience on fontana, cheoah, calderwood, or chilhowee? Anyone ever boat camped at any of the smokies lakeside campsites on fontana? What about camping on any of the others? I know calderwood has a campsite on the TN/NC state line. Are there any current or fast rising/dropping levels in cheoah or calderwood being right below fontana dam? I've heard of creepy/mysterious fog banks on calderwood and cheoah from the fontana release. I just really want to go after the trout while surrounded by the GSMNP. Anyone been there and done that?
^ boating newbie with a project ^
1970 20' mystery pontoon
1977 Johnson 85 HP
Positive Attitude

Maholli
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:54 pm

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#2 Post by Maholli » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:47 pm

I spend all summer on Fontana and Nantahala and Santeetlah and Cheoah, Chilhowee and calderwood.. I have boated and owned my own boat since 18 and I'm now 41.. I must say Cheoah probably most dangerous boating experience in my life. Very dangerous and water level rapid changes and rock formations on bottom and fog is so dangerous and current can kill you too.. there is a spot below damn to put in right before bridge on 28 going over tailgaters of Fontana.. Chilhowee and Calderwood are fine but Cheoah can be scary.. Obv with right conditions Cheoah is doable but it can change so fast and current can be crazy and if you have boat troubles you will hit bottom and maybe huge boulder.. I would like to also add i regularly boat intercostal waters around Marco Island and Everglades and Sanibel and several Gulf Coast areas.. I also have made the Bimini(Bahamas) trip in my 21ft ranger almost 20 times, reason i give my experience is bc i can't stress enough how dangerous Cheoah has been at times.. I will say tho that area has pretties lakes in almost all of southeastern US... esp Fontana, Nantahala, and Santeetlah.. IF you put in at the ramp below the Fontana dam be careful.. this is ramp..
Attachments
IMG_1466.jpg
IMG_1466.jpg (123.46 KiB) Viewed 2567 times

User avatar
Spoiledrotten
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:30 pm

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#3 Post by Spoiledrotten » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:22 am

I've got a cabin reserved on the Douglas Lake for this summer. Looking forward to pulling the boat up there.
[b][i]Randy and Kelly
Brandon, MS
2015 Bennington SXL 20
2015 Yamaha F90
TOONAFUN [/i][/b]

User avatar
tenNesseeCat
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:04 am
Location: East TN

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#4 Post by tenNesseeCat » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:48 am

Thanks for the warning and advice. I figured Cheoah would pose some concerns being directly below Fontana. I plan on being on Chilhowee the most, even though Tellico is just down the road from me. Calderwood will be a once in a while thing since my family hates the Tail of the Dragon so much. My daughter gets sick every time we've gone that way. I'd say it will be a pain to drive all those curves pulling a boat, but I love trout! I'm worried that Chilhowee will have poor fishing this coming spring since they have drawn the lake down to work on the dam. We'll see come spring I guess.
^ boating newbie with a project ^
1970 20' mystery pontoon
1977 Johnson 85 HP
Positive Attitude

User avatar
Drago
Posts: 543
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:00 am

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#5 Post by Drago » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:43 am

Chilhowee, Cheoah, Tellico, Fontana, Nantahala, Santeetlah!! Holy crap. Is this discussion from Vulcan or Alstraparon??
Kenneth & Joy
Lake Conroe, Texas
2007 Bennington 2577RFSi
2006 Yamaha F225
Solas 14.25x17SS prop
Best ever top speed 69.2KPH

Bamaman
Posts: 3601
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 1:44 pm
Location: NW Alabama--Tennessee River

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#6 Post by Bamaman » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:16 am

If you're going after trout, you cannot beat Northeast Georgia Mountains. I was outside Clarksville, GA in Habersham County a couple of weeks ago, and saw 100's of trout in the 10+ pound range. The mountain scenery there is also incredible.
And if you're a camper, there are a bunch of state park campgrounds and private campgrounds in the area. The Nantahala and Chattooga Rivers are also close by with incredible white water rafting.
'12 Bennington 24' SSLX Yamaha 150

User avatar
tenNesseeCat
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:04 am
Location: East TN

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#7 Post by tenNesseeCat » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:18 pm

Drago, most, if not all are derived from the Cherokee language.

Bamaman, thanks for the info. That might be something I try once I start looking for somewhere new to go. Those I listed are all within an hour to the south and east of where I live. I've still got Douglas, Cherokee, Norris, Watts Bar, Melton Hill, Ft. Loudoun lakes to the north and west that are within an hour or so. Not to mention striper on the TN river about 20 minutes away, along with the Clinch and Holston rivers. I also can't forget the northern reaches of Lake Chickamauga to the south. Norris is one that I really look forward to visiting sometime.

Image
^ boating newbie with a project ^
1970 20' mystery pontoon
1977 Johnson 85 HP
Positive Attitude

Bamaman
Posts: 3601
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 1:44 pm
Location: NW Alabama--Tennessee River

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#8 Post by Bamaman » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:26 pm

I too would like to visit Norris. It's one of the premier lakes anywhere with incredible boat docks, condos and floating houses. But I'd almost be afraid to get on it without a good lake map. It's almost like 3 different lakes connected by canals.

Too bad TVA drops all their mountain lake water levels for the winter. Our lake (Wilson) is about a foot or 18" below summer pool and it's been boatable some days in January with record temperatures.
'12 Bennington 24' SSLX Yamaha 150

User avatar
trucky
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:40 am
Location: Lake Greenwood, SC

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#9 Post by trucky » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:06 am

I've spent about 18 years of summers on Lake Santeetlah and highly recommend it. If you like to boat camp there are about 34 National Forest rustic campsites around the lake that are mostly reachable only by boat. Most will have picnic table, lantern hangers, cook grill and a semi level area for tents. There are no other facilities which means you haul your own water in and your trash out. The upside is an almost private getaway for free to enjoy. Some sites have more of a "beach" area than others for sunning and swimming. One good thing about this lake is the levels don't drop like the TVA lakes all do so if the weather is decent you'll know you've got water there.

The camping limit is 14 days but I've found some of the locals like to leave their junk on a site all summer and just come visit once in a while.

It's a very clean lake with great fishing and water temps are between 78-82 most of the summer.

I also boat on Douglas, Cherokee, Watauga and Boone often, just wish Santeetlah was closer and had cheaper lakefront property available.
07 Bentley 240 Cruise - 115 Mercury EFI Four Stroke

Bamaman
Posts: 3601
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 1:44 pm
Location: NW Alabama--Tennessee River

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#10 Post by Bamaman » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:54 am

Robbinsville, NC and the above lake is pretty much hidden--tucked away south of Fontana Lake and The Smokies. I usually get into the area by driving the 40 mile scenic Cherohala Skyway from Tellico Plains, TN. We often raft the Nantahala River which is a short distance from Robbinsville.

I once went on vacation to Yosemite National Park, and came to East TN on business immediately upon my return. The Cherohala was every bit as pretty as Yosemite but just didn't have the water falls. This area has a huge protected bear habitat without houses, electricity, etc.

And this is within a 1 day drive of 50% of the U.S. population. No wonder the Great Smokey National Park is the most visited national park.
'12 Bennington 24' SSLX Yamaha 150

User avatar
trucky
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:40 am
Location: Lake Greenwood, SC

Re: Great Smokies boating get away spots

#11 Post by trucky » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:26 am

The Cherohala Skyway is a treasure unto itself. This is one place you don't want to rush. Right near Robbinsville is the Joyce Kilmer (It's a he) Memorial Forest, well worth the time to stop and take some of the easy loop trails.

Also in Robbinsville is part of the Trail of Tears. They say most of the local Cherokee Indians skipped that trip and hid out in the nearby mountains. It's also the site of the last surrender of the Civil War. Lots of interesting history around there...
07 Bentley 240 Cruise - 115 Mercury EFI Four Stroke

Post Reply