Nothing surpasses the beauty of the mountains of the southeastern Valley, the place where Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee all come to meet. From the majestic views of Fontana Dam to the rapturous rapids of the Ocoee River, there is an item for everyone’s bucket list.
Along the Toccoa River in northern Georgia is the Toccoa River Canoe Trail—a 13-mile stretch that is perfect for beginning paddlers. There are a few light rapids, but the main attraction is the scenery. The trail winds through forested parks, laurel and rhododendron thickets, and there is plenty of wildlife viewing along the way
Nestled on the border of Georgia and North Carolina is Chatuge Lake. Above the dam, put in with your boat to catch sport fish, like smallmouth and largemouth bass; below the dam, consider wade fishing—the tailwater is stocked with rainbow, brook and brown trout yearly.
The Ocoee River—home to the 1996 Olympics whitewater course—is most rafted river in the United States and was recently named a World-Class Recreation Area. Class III and IV rapids await you on this 4.5-mile stretch of pure excitement. Many outfitters in the area can guide you safely through this thrilling experience.
Looking to get back in touch with nature? Then head to the free rustic campsites at Mickens Branch on Hiwassee Lake! Not only are these sites convenient to the water, but they are also located next to one of our boat ramps.
If you don’t feel like trekking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, then head to western North Carolina to hike a portion of this famous trail as it crosses over Fontana Dam. Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center to learn about Fontana’s importance to the WWII effort.
If you are near Fontana Dam, be sure to stop by Fontana Village to see a piece of TVA history. Fontana Village was created to house the workers building the dam and their families during the dam’s construction from 1942 to 1944.
Downtown Murphy, N.C., is home to several trails, including a canoe trail along the river. If you begin an Konehete Park and follow Valley River to where it meets the Hiwassee River, you will pass through hardwood forests, wetlands, open meadows and paddle around a rock cliff.
If stunning natural vistas are your scene, you’ll want to hike the Chatuge Dam Trail. Located in Hayesville, N.C., this 1.5-mile trail is paved making it a perfect hike for families. Enjoy fantastic views of Chatuge Lake and the surrounding Nantahala Forest from atop the dam.
Thinking beyond whitewater? Parksville Lake, the reservoir formed by Ocoee No. 1 Dam, is a pontoon boater’s paradise! Rent one, and you’ll find plenty of spots to anchor the boat and then swim and relax the day away.
Escape into nature along the Nottely Dam Trail near Blairsville, Ga. This 2.5-mile loop trail is mostly in the woods with sections that meander along the shoreline. While on the trail, keep an eye out for wild turkeys and white-tailed deer.