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North Carolina Smoky Mountain Blueways

The trail is located in the Little Tennessee Watershed and contains portions of the five major rivers: Little Tennessee, Nantahala, Tuckaseegee, Oconaluftee and Cheoah and the lakes of Fontana, Nantahala, Glenville and Santeetlah.

photo: Fontana Lake

Length: 167.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: National Water Trails System
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Boating, Motorized
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Boating, non-motorized: Rafting
Boating, non-motorized: Sailing
Camping
Fishing
Heritage and History
Hunting
Swimming
Wildlife Observation

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Location: The Southwestern Mountains of North Carolina
State(s): North Carolina
Counties: Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain
Longitude: -83.46
Latitude: 35.42

Driving Directions

1. From the East/NC: I40 West to US Hwy 74 Sylva
2. From the South/GA: US 441 to Franklin
3. From the South/SC: Hwy. 107 to Cashiers
4. From the West /TN: I40 to Hwy 28 to Fontana Dam
5. From the North/TN: I40 to US441 South to Cherokee

Description

The Smoky Mountain Blueways Trail is 167 miles of waterways in the Little Tennessee River Basin with 46 primary public access points. Those access points are located on five rivers that flow into Fontana Lake at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The natural landscape of this Little Tennessee River Basin has unparalleled beauty, diverse outdoor recreation opportunities and a strong private and public infrastructure in place for the outdoor recreationist. The 1,800 square mile basin contains 2,500 miles of streams and rivers and 18,000 acres of lakes. These waters, used by residents as well as millions of visitors, provide both economic viability and a natural, healthy environment for physical and mental human revitalization.

The North Carolina Smoky Mountain Blueways has many rivers and lakes that draw visitors from throughout the country and internationally to enjoy a wide array of water sports, fishing and paddling throughout the watershed. The proposed segments for national designation include Fontana Lake, the Nantahala River, the Little Tennessee River, the Oconoluftee River, the Tuckasegee River and the Cheoah River. Each water body is individually distinct, offering varying degrees of difficulty from flat water paddling to Class V whitewater.

Boat launches throughout this region provides easy opportunity to access these water bodies. A recently completed website provides detailed information on what to expect on each water body, access locations, distances to the next take-out, safety information, and mapping. Visitors can tailor their trips through a drop-down menu and search for outfitters if equipment is needed to complete their river experience.

The Little Tennessee River Basin encompasses the Nantahala National Forest and two National Park units – the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. These public lands collectively create the “infrastructure foundation” for the largest and most visited outdoor recreation area in the Southeast.

Sixty percent of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies almost entirely in the basin. The park has international significance due to its wildlife diversity. It boasts the greatest diversity of amphibians in North America: 30 species of salamanders and 12 species of toads and frogs.

In the Nantahala National Forest, visitors there enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities, from camping, whitewater rafting, canoeing, fishing, hunting, hiking over 600 miles of trails, and horseback riding. The Nantahala also boasts the 17,000-acre Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness. Joyce Kilmer is a living memorial to writer/poet Joyce Kilmer, best known for the poem, “Trees.” The NC Mountain Waters Scenic Byway travels through the Nantahala National Forest as well.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, America’s Most Visited Highway, runs through a portion of the basin as well as the Cherohala Skyway, a National Scenic Byway well known in motorcycling and sports car circles for its long, sweeping corners, scenic views and cool summer breezes. They both offer connections to nationally known hiking and biking trails in the basin.

Locally, communities are connected with their water resources through trails and greenways such as the Little Tennessee River Greenway in Macon County, the Tuckasegee River Greenway connecting Western Carolina University to river access areas, the Nantahala River Trail that crosses a 125-foot bridge over the Nantahala River and the 1/5 mile Oconaluftee River Trail following the river and level enough for wheelchair usage.

The proposed Smoky Mountain Blueway system connects 167 miles of water trails with 46 existing primary public access sites on interconnected rivers and lakes.

Note that the 26 secondary informal public access sites, on designation map, need further development to provide additional access with many needing natural resource stabilization. These secondary sites are not currently being publicized or marketed to the general public until they can be improved, but are being used by some members of the public.

The proposed Smoky Mountain Blueways Trail system of waterways is contiguous providing for a broad range of recreational activities. There are many opportunities in the future for extensions to the proposed system as resources become available. Many of these opportunities will require portage trails around dams and additional public access sites.

The following narrative will focus on activities within the proposed water corridors. Vast public lands surround much of the waterways, affording the enthusiast with additional land-based activities that adds to the overall outdoor recreation experience and ensures that many portions of the waterways will remain in their natural states providing high quality recreation for generations to come. Where these activities are significant they will be briefly mentioned. In the narrative below the waterways are segregated by rivers followed by lakes within the overall system.

The rivers in the North Carolina Smoky Mountain Blueways consist of the Cheoah River (Graham County, NC), Little Tennessee River (Macon, Swain and Graham Counties, NC), Nantahala River (Macon and Swain Counties), Oconoluftee River (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Swain County), and the Tuckasegee River (Jackson and Swain Counties).

Please see the attached chart that outlines the rivers, lakes and access sites in the trail that is being presented for designation.

Rivers of the Smoky Mountain Blueways

1) The Cheoah River is near Robbinsville, NC and is a tributary of the Little Tennessee River. There is one primary access site and 3 secondary access sites. The primary site serves as the whitewater access point. The takeout for this stretch is on Lake Calderwood.

Recreation Opportunities: The headwaters flow northwest to Lake Santeetlah towards the Tennessee border with a terminus between the Cheoah Dam and Lake Calderwood. Headwater creeks include Santeetlah and Snowbird. These two creeks, although not officially part of the proposed water trail system, include some of the finest remote fly fishing and after heavy spring rains whitewater kayaking ranging from Class III to V in the US. Most of the headwater creeks are within national forest with miles of trails for hiking, backpacking and hunting. There are three primary recreational uses on the Cheoah River that include whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking and fishing.

The nine-mile section of waterway between the Santeetlah Dam and Lake Calderwood was “dewatered” by a hydroelectric bypass for seventy years. American Whitewater, along with the Western North Carolina Paddlers, advocated for recreational water releases for over 6 years. As a result of their hard work, whitewater releases on the Cheoah began again in the fall of 2005. Each year there are at least 18 releases for paddlers to enjoy for the next 40 years. These releases were secured through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process. This has been a local boom for Graham County that at times has some of the highest unemployment in the state. As Graham County shifts its focus from manufacturing recruitment to outdoor recreation promotion, the Cheoah River continues to serve as one of its greatest assets.

The Cheoah is unusual for rivers of its volume in the Southeast in that its gradient is relatively constant. This means that with the exception of 2 or 3 half mile or so sections, it is unusually continuous, more so than anything else with a similar volume of water in the Southeast. Some call it "warm western-style paddling comparing it to Pine Creek on the Arkansas and the Lochsa at higher water. No doubt contributing to western river analogies is the water quality, which can be crystal clear once the initial recreational flows stabilize. All who have paddled the Cheoah agree it will become one of the crown jewels of whitewater world.

Fishing on the Cheoah River continues to improve as more water enters the once dewatered streambed. The better fishing appears to be below Bear Creek Falls due to the added stream flow. Fishing does not conflict with whitewater releases because the stream is dangerous to wade during scheduled releases. Cheoah River offers Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass and Muskie fishing and is considered a hidden gem for Smallmouth Bass fishing by either fly-fishing or spinning reel with light tackle.

Hiking trails in the vicinity include the Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail and Old Benton MacKay Trail as well as an extensive hiking and mountain biking trail system nearby at the Historic Tapoca Lodge property. The Tapoco Lodge, built in 1930 by the Aluminum Company of America as part of hydroelectric efforts in Graham and Swain counties of North Carolina, is located on the bank of Cheoah River.

Education: Both of the printed map and the website have additional educational information on the Cheoah River. The website and the printed map also have safety and conservation information as well as The Blueways Pledge.
Conservation: See examples below in addition to all of the conservation activities taking place with the federal agency landowners as a part of their normal and on-going efforts.

1. A 2004 agreement among environmental agencies, conservation groups and the company that operates several dams in the river basin, Alcoa Power Generating Inc., has led to the recovery of the Cheoah River. In exchange for this and many other conservation measures, the federal government renewed Alcoa’s license to operate these dams. The nine-mile stretch of the Cheoah River below Santeetlah Dam had been nearly dry for 75 years. The releases from Santeetlah Dam were designed to mimic natural flows – both high and low. The stream flows also re-designed to improve fishing, whitewater recreation and other activities. Other management activities in the Cheoah River included adding gravel to improve habitat conditions for fish and mussels and the stocking of rare mussel and fish species. Spotfin chub, wounded darter, wavy rayed lampmussel, and rainbow mussel have been restored to the Cheoah as well as the Appalachian elktoe.

2. American Whitewater began investigating the whitewater potential of the Cheoah River in 1999, and advocated for a controlled whitewater flow study in 2000, which formed the basis of the next 4 years of negotiating for releases, access areas, land protection, etc. Flows on this river were severely impacted by the Tapoco Hydroelectric Project (FERC P-2169). It took thousands of hours attending meetings and writing technical comments, but eventually our efforts were successful. On September 17th, 2005 they celebrated the first recreational release on the river. There will be at least18 releases annually for at least the next 40 years. In addition, new access areas are being built, thousands of acres of critical wildlands are being protected, and an improved base flow is working with the higher flows to restore the river.

3. Environmental Assessment Cheoah River In October of 2007 the NC Department of Commerce conducted an environmental impact assessment (EA) on the best methods for permanent removal of the aberrant vegetation in the Cheoah river corridor. Working with the U.S.F.S., U.S. Fish and Wildlife, American Whitewater and outfitters, the county moved forward to contract out the scoping and EA, with a goal of completing the EA by November 2008. Depending on the EA results, DOC will work to secure funding for removal of the vegetation in late 2008, early 2009. The DOC and the county feel that a safer river adds up to an improved outdoor economy for Graham County by attracting a broader spectrum of boaters spending their dollars in Graham County and ideally decreasing the county emergency response calls for river rescues.

4. Rivercane On The Cheoah posted June 6, 2008 by Steve Page American https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article/view/articleid/30078/display/full
American Whitewater recently received a grant which provides an opportunity to explore the reintroduction of rivercane (Arundinaria gigantea) to the Cheoah River. The North Carolina Department of Commerce's 21st Century Community program, Western Regional Office, proposed the project and obtained the grant in their efforts to develop a sustainable economy for Graham County. This grant was provided by Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources which is a Cherokee Preservation Foundation program ultimately funded by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian. Rivercane is on the decline in the southeast due to development and agriculture. Landowners have destroyed rivercane because of a lack of understanding of the benefits of rivercane and the fact that it blocks their view of the river. The grant has recent Master’s of Biology graduate from Western Carolina University Adam Griffith developing a plan of action on the river corridor. Rivercane has distinct ecological and cultural advantages, which have fueled research for reintroduction of this species. The ecological benefits of this native species are substantial. Rivercane has massive networks of rhizomes and roots that help promote bank stability and integrity.

Community Support: An MOU with signatures from Graham County Commissioners, Graham County Tourism Development Authority, and the GREAT organization is forthcoming.

Public Information: The public is provided with accessible and understandable water trail information on the smokymountainblueways.com website and in the official printed map of the Smoky Mountain Blueways’s first printed map, including details for identifying access sites, natural features, etc. This map is sold at the NC Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center in Franklin, NC and at various other businesses throughout the region. The water trail is promoted to the community and broad national audience via the internet, the printed map and through the regional Smoky Mountain Host Adventure Activities Guide printed yearly and posted on the visitsmokies.org website.

Trail Maintenance: All landowner agencies are required to do on-going access and water trail maintenance in these waters. The MOU among the partners has been revised twice and is now ready for execution. It is anticipated that partnering agencies will execute the MOU over the next couple of months.
Planning: All landowners are involved in long-term and short-term planning for these waterways. In addition, The Advisory Board for the Blueways completed their first Five-Year Strategic Plan for the Blueways in 2004. The plan identifies areas where they can collaborate for improving resource conservation and seek funding for mutually agreed upon activities. A plan update is currently underway by the Advisory Council.

Example of Action Items for the Cheoah River in the current Strategic Plan
Recreational Opportunities Action Item #5: The Cheoah River provides a high adventure recreational whitewater experience unlike any other river in the region. Engage with Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydro to evaluate the schedule of Cheoah River releases. These releases are part of the operating license for the hydro operation and are ripe for evaluation (there is language in the license allowing for an evaluation of the flow schedule). Moving more release into the summer months would greatly improve the economic benefits of river recreation for Graham County and provide additional adventure tourism product in the region.
Partners: Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydro, Graham County TD and American Whitewater

2) The Little Tennessee River, approximately 135 miles (217 km) long, rises in the Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia, flows north, and is joined by the Cullasaja River near Franklin, NC. The river then turns northwest, flowing through the Nantahala National Forest and crossing into Eastern Tennessee to join the Tennessee River at Lenoir City, TN.

There is 1 primary access site south of Franklin, 2 in Franklin, and 5 south of Franklin to Fontana Lake for a total of 8 public access sites.

Five secondary sites exist primarily south of Franklin before Lake Fontana. The sites tend to be somewhat primitive although most have kiosks with basic information and gravel parking lots with watercraft launch infrastructure (stairs and wood slide rails.)

The lower section of river is impounded in several places by sequential dams, some created as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system, forming a string of reservoirs in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. Near the state line it is impounded by the 480 feet (146 m) high Fontana Dam forming Fontana Lake along the southern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to provide flood control and hydroelectric power.

Recreation Opportunities: There are a multitude of recreational opportunities throughout the rivers course. Its gentle gradient and abundant riparian conservation efforts and protection provide for a great natural experience. The abundant uses include kayaking, rafting, tubing, swimming, wade fishing, fishing by drift boat, snorkeling in the clear low water summer months, wildlife viewing, numerous hiking trails that intersect or adjoin the river, hunting in the winter and early spring and picnicking.

South of Franklin NC the river meanders north through a wide agricultural valley. Access is somewhat limited but does exist throughout this stretch. The Coweeta Labortaory, a USFS Long Term Ecological Research station right outside of Franklin, NC, has been collecting data on rainfall, stream flow, and climate and forest growth since around 1934 can be found on a tributary to the river through this stretch. This is an outdoor laboratory unique to the USFS and contributes data for the Smoky Mountain Blueways initiative.

In the Franklin downtown area, greenways and picnicking exist along the river corridor. South of Franklin and Lake Emory the Little Tennessee enters what is locally known as the Needmore Tract. Once owned by Duke Energy for hydroelectric impoundment consideration the adjacent land is now in permanent conservation due to a large collaborative of federal state and private interests. The State of NC took over ownership and stewardship in 2004. Smoky Mountain Blueway partner NC Wildlife Resource Commission is the managing responsible entity.

The Needmore section of the river boasts being one of the few remaining rivers in the eastern US with its full biologic assemblage still intact. Several unique species along with vast Cherokee archeological sites exist throughout the tract. Currently there is no camping and only day use is permitted. Anglers familiar with this stretch can attest to the world-class smallmouth bass fishing. The river is wide and in most places less than 4 feet deep, making wade fishing relatively easy. In 2015 the river basin became the first nationally designated Native Fish Conservation Area. The Little Tennessee River flows north through the Needmore Tract until the confluence with Fontana Lake.

Education: Examples of our partners conservation education work on the Little Tennessee River include:

1. Mainspring Conservation Trust http://www.mainspringconserves.org/ offers numerous river conservation educational programs, including Kids in the Creek and "Snorkel & Snoop" programs. They also host events during warmer months to get families and individuals out on the water snorkeling and paddling.

2. Mainspring has also developed a Citizens Guide that is one of the most comprehensive documents developed for the Little Tennessee River Basin that exists today. This document covers the historical significance, economic data, flora and fauna information, citizen involvement opportunities and much more on the Basin. http://nantahalaracingclub.com/youth-programs/nantahala-kids-club/

3. Nantahala Kids Club Kayaking Training for kids is a six-week program designed to get kids active and engaged in the outdoors through introduction to paddle sports. The skills progression uses three of the proposed Blueway water bodies: Lake Fontana, Little Tennessee River and the Tuckasegee River.

Conservation:
1. Needmore Tract – The 4500-acre Needmore Tract was purchased by the State of North Carolina in January of 2004 as a nature preserve. The Tract includes 26 miles of Little Tennessee River frontage, 37 miles of tributary streams to the river and serves as the keystone to the forested corridor connecting the Nantahala and Cowee Mountain Ranges. The Little Tennessee River through the Needmore Tract is home to half the native, freshwater fish species in North Carolina and the greatest diversity of freshwater mussels in the State.
The Needmore Tract is managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, which protects water quality and wildlife habitat while maintaining traditional uses of the land. The twenty-five miles of free-flowing Little Tennessee River downstream of the town of Franklin is considered the Noah’s Ark of Blue Ridge rivers due to its rich biological diversity. The river corridor also encompasses the most intact archaeological landscape remaining of the 18th century Cherokee. With the purchase of the Needmore Tract over half of this reach of river was preserved for present and future generations.

2. Little Tennessee River Clean-Up 2017 – Mainspring Conservation Trust conducts many river clean projects throughout the year on the Little Tennessee that are well attended and successful.

3. Fisheries Conservation Foundation Announcement:
The Little Tennessee River Basin was designated as the first National Native Fish Conservation Area on October 14, 2015, thanks to the work of several of our partners, which include the national Fisheries Conservation Foundation, North Carolina Trout Unlimited, Nature Conservancy of North Carolina, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The Little Tennessee River Basin stretches from north Georgia, across the western counties of North Carolina, and into Tennessee. It has long been recognized for the incredibly rich diversity of fish and wildlife found beneath the surface of its streams. The basin is home to more than 100 species of fish, as well as mussels, snails, crayfish, and aquatic plants, including a number of state and federally listed threatened or endangered species.
The designation was developed by Trout Unlimited, the Federation of Fly Fisheries and the Fisheries Conservation Foundation and embodies a non-regulatory approach to river conservation focused on looking at river systems as a whole and incorporating the recreational and economic needs of communities within the basin.

4. American Rivers - Little Tennessee - The US Forest Service, along with numerous project partners, celebrated the completion of the Little Buck Creek dam removal and stream restoration project in September 2016. The project was located on Little Buck Creek in the Little Tennessee River Basin in the Nantahala National Forest in Clay County, North Carolina. The 30 ft. high and 150 ft. across outdated pond dam served no present day function and had become not only a public safety concern but also created a barrier to aquatic organisms like trout from accessing important habitat. The stream channel of Little Buck Creek, both up and downstream, was reconnected by performing over 200 feet of channel restoration.

Community Support: An MOU with signatures from Macon County Commissioners, Town of Franklin, Mainspring Conservation Trust, Smoky Mountain Host of NC, Duke Energy and NC Wildlife Resources Commission – all located in Franklin NC is forthcoming. In addition see attached support letter from the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce. River cleanup days are a testament to the strong support we see on this river from the small communities along its banks. Furthermore, the heavily used Little Tennessee Greenway on the banks of the river in Franklin emphasizes the strong support this community has for the Little T. A local friends organization called “Friends Of the Greenway” (FROG) supports maintenance and sustainable use of the greenway. The Greenway represents a voluntary local strategy to preserve scenic, natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources and promotes increased public access to the Little Tennessee River through the creation of riverside parks and trails.

Public Information: The public is provided with accessible and understandable water trail information on the smokymountainblueways.com website and in the official printed map of the Smoky Mountain Blueways’s first printed map, including details for identifying access sites (including GPS lat/long), distances between access points, water classification (difficulty rating), average float times, natural features, etc. This map is sold at the NC Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center in Franklin, NC and at various other businesses throughout the region. The water trail is promoted to the community and broad national audience via the internet, the printed map and through the regional Smoky Mountain Host Adventure Activities Guide printed yearly and posted on the visitsmokies.org website.

Safety messaging is also highlighted on the blueways map, emphasizing the need for wearing PFD’s, water release schedules, changing weather conditions, and flash flooding.

The recently published Smoky Mountain Blueway’s map and guide provides detailed information important to trip planning on each river. For example, Time and distance between access sites is estimated, in addition to GPS coordinates, and detailed descriptions of each water body to give you a clear understanding of their character and features.

Trail Maintenance: All state and federal landowner agencies are required to do on-going trail maintenance in these waters by both state and federal regulations. Duke Energy is bound by the FERC license to maintain their sites as well and keeps their access sites in pristine condition. An MOU Signed by property owners for the Smoky Mountain Blueways National Water Trail is forthcoming. A full access-site review is planned for this coming year to identify maintenance needs for access sites throughout the proposed Smoky Mountain Blueways area.

Regular cleanup days are held on the Little Tennessee River, hosted by our partner Mainspring Land Trust as well as cleanups along the Little Tennessee Greenway in the Franklin area hosted by FROG.

Planning: All federal and state landowners are involved in long-term and short-term planning for these waterways. In addition, The Advisory Board for the Blueways completed their first Five-Year Strategic Plan for the Blueways in 2004. The plan identifies areas where they can collaborate for a better resource conservation and seek funding for mutually agreed upon activities. A plan update is currently underway by the Advisory Council. See examples below on initiatives on the Little Tennessee River:

Land Protection Action Item #1: Continue protection of undeveloped open space lands along the Little Tennessee, particularly Franklin to Fontana, but also Georgia to Franklin; Develop a land protection plan for the Tuckaseegee.
Partners: Mainspring Conservation Trust, NC Wildlife Commission, USFS, EBCI and local governments Priority Ranking: HIGH

Land Protection Action Item #2: Initiate land protection efforts on key high-quality tributary watersheds and headwater lands of the Little Tennessee and TuckaseegeePartners: Mainspring Conservation Trust, USFS, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Highlands Cashiers Land Trust Priority Ranking: MED

Watershed Restoration Action Item #1: Continue stream restoration efforts, in the Little Tennessee, Tuckaseegee and Oconaluftee watersheds to reduce
sediment and other types of stream pollution (e.g., fecal coliform) from non-point sources (currently 4 miles of stream-bank restoration planned in conjunction with Macon and Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation Districts by 2016). Partners: Mainspring Conservation Trust Priority Ranking: HIGH


3) The Nantahala River -The Nantahala River is located in the Nantahala National Forest near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Two­lane U.S. Highway 19/74, once part of the historical Trail of Tears, runs along the river. The River rises near the border of Georgia and North Carolina, close to the Southern Nantahala Wilderness and the Appalachian Trail. It empties into the Little Tennessee River at Fontana Lake. The river crosses the Appalachian Trail at Wesser, NC.

Recreation Opportunities: The Nantahala is internationally known for its whitewater and is home to over twenty private outdoor recreation and rafting companies, including the Nantahala Outdoor Center, reputed by many “outdoor recreation” authorities as the “best outfitter of its kind in the world.”

The International Canoe Federation chose the Nantahala as the site for its 2013 International Freestyle Kayaking Championship event. That event and its precursor trial events attracted 400+ whitewater athletes from over 40 countries and tens of thousands spectators. The Nantahala is also a very popular trout fishing destination. NC Game and Fish named the Nantahala one of North Carolina's ten best trout streams and Trout Unlimited placed it in their Top 100 in the country.

There are several different sections of the Nantahala River with varying levels of whitewater difficulty ranging from beginner and intermediate to expert “steep creeking” class IV-V whitewater. The Cascades section is the first whitewater stretch below Nantahala Lake. From here to Lake Fontana there are 8 primary public access points, and 9 secondary points.

There are numerous raft and kayak launches, 2 public sites with bathrooms, several private sites where outfitters allow public access and rentals, and several picnic areas. The Cascades section is dewatered via a hydroelectric bypass. However it often has water for many consecutive days in the spring or after heavy rains. Also Whiteoak Creek can sometimes provide enough runoff entering right above the Casacdes section to allow for boatable flows. There are now scheduled releases for this steep creek run that were negotiated as part of the FERC relicensing process. The creek has an unusually high gradient allowing for expert paddlers to challenge themselves in a roadside environment where nearly all of the rapids can be scouted ahead of time. The next section is known as the “Upper Nantahala” which starts just below the extremely steep portion and ends at the powerhouse at the end of the dewatered stretch. This stretch ranges between class III and IV depending upon flows. At the powerhouse, the classic Nantahala begins. This 8-mile stretch is one of the most kayaked and rafted streams in the US. More recreational boaters are exposed to their first whitewater experience here than any other location in the US.

Fishing is world class on the Nantahala River hosting numerous competitions annually. There are three distinct fisheries management sections. The Upper Nantahala from the Nantahala Lake Dam to White Oak Creek, which is just upstream of the Cascades whitewater section, is classified as Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters with no size limit or bait restriction and a creel limit of seven trout per day. These waters are marked with green-and-white signs that are posted on trees along the stream. The next section is from White Oak Creek to the Duke Energy Powerhouse and is classified as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, which may be fished only with artificial lures with one single hook. There are strict seasonal restrictions between October and June. The classic Nantahala downstream of the powerhouse is also classified as Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters with no size limit or bait restriction and a creel limit of seven trout per day. Due to high traffic rafting and kayaking activity along this stretch, this is the only stream in the state where night fishing is allowed. Extremely large Brown Trout have been caught on this stretch, with a record breaking 24-pounder caught in 1998. NC Game and Fish named the Nantahala one of North Carolina's ten best trout streams and Trout Unlimited placed it in their Top 100 in the country.

The road paralleling the Nantahala River is part of the 64.5 mile USFS Mountain Scenic Byways. There are dozens of pull offs for motorist to enjoy streamside picnicking at picnic tables.

Hiking in the Nantahala River’s surrounding lands includes The NC Bartram Trail, the Appalachian Trail that runs directly through the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s resort lodging and the numerous backpacking and hiking trails in the Nantahala National Forest lands.

The Nantahala Outdoor Center is the largest outdoor recreation company in the world. This company led the way for whitewater sports in the Southeastern United States and helped to foster the growth of the other 20 outdoor companies that operate in the Nantahala Gorge area. They host over 1 million visitors a year and offer rafting, kayaking, mountain biking and zip lining at their locations. They are also a leader in education and conservation in the industry. The 2013, the International Canoe Federation’s International Freestyle Kayaking World Championship Games were held on the Nantahala River.

Education Opportunities:
1. Mainspring has developed a Citizens Guide that is one of the most comprehensive documents developed for the Little Tennessee River Basin (including the Nantahala) that exists today. This document covers the historical significance, economic data, flora and fauna information, citizen involvement opportunities and much more on the Basin.

2. Nantahala Kids Club 2017 Kayaking Training for kids is a six-week program designed to get kids active and engaged in the outdoors through introduction to paddle sports.

Conservation:
1. Smoky Mountain News – Nantahala Headwaters Tract Protected - A 248-acre tract known as Rainbow Springs at the headwaters of the Nantahala River in Macon County has been protected through a conservation agreement between the long-time landowners and the Mainspring Conservation Trust.

2. Smoky Mountain Express – Forest Service Meeting Advances On Nantahala and Pisgah Conservation Campaign - The U.S. Forest Service sought further information on Monday, Nov. 16 in the early stages of its forest plan, which aims to classify select rivers and lands in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests as further protected under stricter levels of conservation.

3. The Nantahala River Conservation Fund - has again awarded four higher education scholarships to graduating high school students from the Nantahala Community (Swain, Macon and Cherokee Counties). Endless River is one of three participating outfitters in the Fund.

4. The Wilderness Society - Steeped in history, lavish in its wildlife and scenic beauty, the Nantahala Mountains Conservation Area is a priority for permanent protection. Its unprotected wildlands top 107,000 acres and nearly another 25,000 acres are safely within the Southern Nantahala Wilderness.
Community Support: An MOU with signatures from Swain County Commissioners, Town of Bryson City, Mainspring Conservation Trust, Swain County TDA, Swain County Chamber of Commerce, Smoky Mountain Host of NC, the Nantahala Outdoor Center and the USFS is forthcoming.

Community support of the Nantahala River is beyond reproach. The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is reported to being in the top ten of largest employers in Swain County. Outfitters are a tremendous part of the river’s support system and have a huge stake in the protection of the resource. For example, the outfitter Endless Rivers Adventures provides staff and organizes volunteers in the NC Clean Sweep Nantahala River Clean Up (attached).

Public Information: The public is provided with accessible and understandable water trail information on the smokymountainblueways.com website and in the official printed map of the Smoky Mountain Blueways’s first printed map, including details for identifying access sites, natural features, etc. This map is sold at the NC Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center in Franklin, NC and at various other businesses throughout the region. The water trail is promoted to the community and broad national audience via the internet, the printed map and through the regional Smoky Mountain Host Adventure Activities Guide printed yearly and posted on the visitsmokies.org website.

Safety messaging is also highlighted on the blueways map, emphasizing the need for wearing PFD’s, water release schedules, changing weather conditions, and flash flooding. In addition, the website provides detailed information.
The recently published Smoky Mountain Blueway’s map and guide provides detailed information important to trip planning on each river. For example, Time and distance between access sites is estimated, in addition to GPS coordinates, and detailed descriptions of each water body to give you a clear understanding of their character and features.

Trail Maintenance: All state and federal landowner agencies are required to do on-going trail maintenance in these waters by both state and federal regulations. Duke Energy is bound by the FERC license to maintain their sites as well. An MOU Signed by property owners for the Smoky Mountain Blueways National Water Trail is forthcoming.

Regular cleanup days are organized by outfitters and Mainspring to help support the health of the Nantahala River. In addition, the majority of the classic Nantahala River area that most outfitters use is surrounded by the National Forest, that provides trash pickup and maintenance of the trailhead launch, parking, picnicking and restroom areas. These sites are kept in pristine condition.

Planning: All landowners are involved in long-term and short-term planning for these waterways. In addition, The Advisory Board for the Blueways completed their first Five-Year Strategic Plan for the Blueways in 2004. The plan identifies areas where they can collaborate for a better resource conservation and seek funding for mutually agreed upon activities. A plan update is currently underway by the Advisory Council. See examples below on initiatives on the Nantahala River:

Watershed Restoration Action Item #2: Restoration of the brook trout in Wayehutta Creek, in the Tuckaseegee Watershed, Hurricane Creek (Clay County) in the Nantahala Watershed and Wolf Creek (Macon County). Partner: USSF, Duke Energy (Could be an early effort of the Little Tennessee Fish Restoration Project) Priority Ranking: HIGH

4) The Oconaluftee River was considered “sacred waters” by the Cherokee Indians and is still an important part of their life and culture today. The “Luftee,” as known by the locals, is a beautiful, freestone river that originates near Newfound Gap and flows south along the southern base of Mount Kephart, dropping 2,000 feet (600 m) over 10 miles (16 km). It is one of the largest rivers that flows inside the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Much of the area around the Oconaluftee is part of the Oconaluftee Archaeological District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Oconaluftee waters are stocked with numerous healthy Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout. The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI) sells approximately 850,000 permits to fish the Oconaluftee each year to fish the Oconaluftee each year and hosts an extremely popular Memorial Day tournament with $10,000 in tagged fish cash prizes. Currently tubing is permitted on the river through the main Cherokee commercial area, however the Cherokee are still reluctant to allow paddle sports on tribal waters. There primary focus is traditional uses such as tubing, fishing and swimming.

The Oconaluftee River has 3 primary sites in the Blueways.

Recreation Opportunities: The Oconaluftee has swimming, tubing, wading, camping and fishing opportunities. The abundantly trout-filled stream system in Cherokee connects 30 miles of freestone streams that include secluded forest settings, suburban roadside areas, and even the Cherokee town center. The system, managed by the Eastern Band and is the most well stocked water system East of the Mississippi. Over 40 shops and stores offer authorized fishing permits, and a growing number of tackle shops supply both expert and novice gear including flies, tackle, and bait.

The surrounding Cherokee lands also offer hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, picnicking and camping. The reappearance of the elk in 2001was the first time the elk had set foot on the soil of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since the turn of the nineteenth century. The Park and its surrounding lands are now home to 140 elk and they can be seen regularly at the Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center and even on occasion further into the town of Cherokee.
Mingo Falls and Soco Falls not only offer beautiful scenic waterfalls, but also offer beautiful hiking trails and picnicking sites for the visitor.

The Qualla Boundary of the Cherokee also offer nationally-know historical sites such as the Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama that tells the story of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, a historical craft museum and store venue.

Education Opportunities:
1. Mainspring Conservation Trust http://www.mainspringconserves.org/ offers numerous river conservation educational programs, including Kids in the Creek and "Snorkel & Snoop" programs. They also host events during warmer months to get families and individuals out on the water snorkeling and paddling.

2. Mainspring has also developed a Citizens Guide that is one of the most comprehensive documents developed for the Little Tennessee River Basin that exists today. This document covers the historical significance, economic data, flora and fauna information, citizen involvement opportunities and much more on the Basin.

3. The Cherokee Museum offers academic and experimental educational programs for school groups visiting the museum. These workshops include storytelling, dance, hands-on crafts and traditional Cherokee food.

4. EBCI Office of Environment and Natural Resources provides both educational and conservation materials for the Qualla Boundary and offer various programs on the reservation. They hold the Trout Derby for children every year on the Oconaluftee River. They also coordinate snorkeling programs on the Oconoluftee with the Cherokee Choices Program.

5. Cherokee Bonfire is held during the evening hours downtown on the reservation. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. The location of the series is on the Oconoluftee Islands Park, completely surrounded by the Oconoluftee River.

6. Trout Derby is held every year to introduce children to the love of fishing. It is a free event that includes celebrity guests and free fishing gear for attendees.

Conservation:
1. EBCI Office of Environment and Natural Resources has engaged in many conservation initiatives on the Qualla Boundary and the region. Many of these initiatives are outlined in their Integrated Resource Management Plan (attached?)

Community Support: An MOU with signatures from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee and support letter from the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce is forthcoming.
Cherokee Culture lays a heavy emphasis on the river. A lot of infrastructure investments have occurred throughout the river district for tribal member businesses and tourists. The island park receives a lot of traffic served by greenways in Cherokee right in the middle of the Oconoluftee River.

Public Information: The public is provided with accessible and understandable water trail information on the smokymountainblueways.com website and in the official printed map of the Smoky Mountain Blueways’s first printed map, including details for identifying access sites, natural features, etc. This map is sold at the NC Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center in Franklin, NC and at various other businesses throughout the region. The water trail is promoted to the community and broad national audience via the internet, the printed map and through the regional Smoky Mountain Host Adventure Activities Guide printed yearly and posted on the visitsmokies.org website. Cherokee’s official visitor’s website provides extensive information on opportunities on the reservation and for all events during the calendar year.

Trail Maintenance: All state and federal landowner agencies are required to do on-going trail maintenance in these waters by both state and federal regulations. An MOU Signed by property owners for the Smoky Mountain Blueways National Water Trail is forthcoming.

Planning: All landowners are involved in long-term and short-term planning for these waterways. In addition, The Advisory Board for the Blueways completed their first Five-Year Strategic Plan for the Blueways in 2004. The plan identifies areas where they can collaborate for a better resource conservation and seek funding for mutually agreed upon activities. A plan update is currently underway by the Advisory Council.

5) The Tuckasegee River - The Tuckasegee River (variant spellings include Tuckaseegee and Tuckaseigee) flows entirely within Western North Carolina. It begins its course in Jackson County, above Cullowhee, campus of Western Carolina University, at the confluence of Panthertown and Greenland Creeks. These two scenic creeks are rarely kayaked due to 80-foot steep slides, numerous large waterfalls, and large timber in the streambed. The class rating for these creeks can range from IV-V depending on flows. These two creeks are not part of the current proposed designation.

The Tuckasegee flows in a northwesterly direction into Swain County through the center of Bryson City where it passes around the Bryson City Island Park, then enters Fontana Lake and ultimately the Little Tennessee River.

Recreation: Fishing, hiking and paddling are among the recreational opportunities along the river. A float trip on the “Tuck,” as it is know by the locals is an exhilarating way to experience fly­fishing in the southern Appalachians. The river has areas that are as wide as many western rivers, offering plenty of room for backcasting. It is also a popular river for tubing, canoeing, float fishing and many outfitters currently operate in its waters.
Although the lower stretches of the river passes mostly through private lands, there is a surprising amount of public access sites. Between Lake Glenville and Fontana Lake there are 13 primary sites and 4 secondary sites. Most of the sites were secured and built by Duke Energy as part of the FERC Relicensing process. These investments have secured the additional needed access for watersports enthusiast to be able to take short day trips on multiple stretches of river spanning a two county area.

The Tuckasegee is often used as a precursor to the Nantahala River as it is a slight bit easier and warmer. It is gentler, has lower gradient and is wider than the Nantahala. It also does not have the paddler height restriction that the Nantahala has and is often marketed as Mom-approved. The gentle nature of the river also allows for tubing that has become extremely popular in western NC. Western Carolina University’s outdoor programs, outfitters on the river and neighboring rivers all use the Tuckasegee as an entry level paddling experience.

Education Opportunities:
1. Mainspring Conservation Trust http://www.mainspringconserves.org/ offers numerous river conservation educational programs, including Kids in the Creek and "Snorkel & Snoop" programs. They also host events during warmer months to get families and individuals out on the water snorkeling and paddling.

2. Mainspring has also developed a Citizens Guide that is one of the most comprehensive documents developed for the Little Tennessee River Basin that exists today. This document covers the historical significance, economic data, flora and fauna information, citizen involvement opportunities and much more on the Basin.

3. Western Carolina University Base Camp Cullowhee aims to offer the finest University Outdoor Program in the country. They offer a comprehensive array of outdoor recreation trips, experiential education opportunities, and outdoor equipment rentals. More than just a recreation program, the Base Camp aims to engage and develop the whole student through the medium of outdoor adventure activities. Base Camp Cullowhee is the home to human powered adventure at WCU. Between the climbing wall, trip programs, guide service and rental equipment, Base Camp Cullowhee facilitates over 9,000 participant experiences per year!

4. WCU’s Parks and Recreation Management Program prepares students to serve as community recreation leaders or administrators, facility managers, camp staff and directors, outdoor activity instructors, adventure travel guides, environmental education naturalists, community health and wellness coordinators, aquatics directors, physical activity instructions and coordinators, park or forest rangers, recreation program directors, or staff positions with resorts and private clubs.

5. WCU’s Outdoor and Cultural Programs for youth such as the Discover Program offers youth in the area opportunities to explore, learn and grow using the vast outdoor opportunities in the region. This program also offers special events such as: Girl Power Summer Trips, High and Low Element Challenge Courses, Expeditions of ReDiscovery and Outdoor Classrooms.

6. Watershed Association of the Tuckaseegee River (WATR) offers Stream Buffer Demonstration Trails at Monteith Farmstead Park in cooperation with the Town of Dillboro. The goal of these trails is to encourage the stewardship of stream-side land. The South Trail describes why natural vegetation along stream banks (called the riparian zone) is essential to the biological health of mountain creeks. Next, the West Trail is directed toward the landowner with a stream on his/her property. The signs along the trail describe the benefits of maintaining naturally vegetated stream banks on your land.
They also offer many educational programs for school and youth groups, such as their Youth Re-enactment of a Traditional Cherokee Fish Harvest and Project Rainfall – Search for Ancient Fish Weirs in the Tuckaseegee River.

Conservation:
1. Watershed Association of The Tuckaseegee River is a grassroots organization working to improve the water quality and habitat of the Tuckasegee River Basin that supplies the drinking water and ecosystem foundation for Swain and Jackson Counties. Their offices are located in Bryson City.
Once per month members of this team show up at Monteith Park in Dillsboro and remove trash and litter from ScottsCreek. Usually one or two team members puts on waders, and they pass trash to others on the bank. In winter we meet on the first Saturday of each month at 10 AM. Otherwise we meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 PM.

2. Mainspring Conservation Trust http://www.mainspringconserves.org/ offers numerous river conservation educational programs, including Kids in the Creek and "Snorkel & Snoop" programs. They also host events during warmer months to get families and individuals out on the water snorkeling and paddling. They also

3. Mainspring has also developed a Citizens Guide that is one of the most comprehensive documents developed for the Little Tennessee River Basin that exists today. This document covers the historical significance, economic data, flora and fauna information, citizen involvement opportunities and much more on the Basin.

4. American Whitewater and The Conservation Alliance Restores A Free-Flowing Tuckaseegee River in NC – After nearly a decade of negotiations and the involvement of American Whitewater, the Dillboro Dam was removed on the Tuckaseegee River. The removal of the dam now allows paddlers (and fish) an opportunity to pass through the area for the first time in over a century!

5. Watershed Association of the Tuckaseegee River (WATR) offers Stream Buffer Demonstration Trails at Monteith Farmstead Park in cooperation with the Town of Dillboro. The goal of these trails is to encourage the stewardship of stream-side land. The South Trail describes why natural vegetation along stream banks (called the riparian zone) is essential to the biological health of mountain creeks. Next, the West Trail is directed toward the landowner with a stream on his/her property. The signs along the trail describe the benefits of maintaining naturally vegetated stream banks on your land.

Community Support: An MOU with signatures from Jackson and Swain Counties, American Whitewater, Towns of Dillsboro and Webster, Duke Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority is forthcoming. Letters of support are also attached from the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority.

Public Information: The public is provided with accessible and understandable water trail information on the smokymountainblueways.com website and in the official printed map of the Smoky Mountain Blueways’s first printed map, including details for identifying access sites, natural features, etc. This map is sold at the NC Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center in Franklin, NC and at various other businesses throughout the region. The water trail is promoted to the community and broad national audience via the internet, the printed map and through the regional Smoky Mountain Host Adventure Activities Guide printed yearly and posted on the visitsmokies.org website. Cherokee’s official visitor’s website provides extensive information on opportunities on the reservation and for all events during the calendar year.

Safety messaging is also highlighted on the blueways map, emphasizing the need for wearing PFD’s, water release schedules, changing weather conditions, and flash flooding.

The recently published Smoky Mountain Blueway’s map and guide provides detailed information important to trip planning on each river. For example, Time and distance between access sites is estimated, in addition to GPS coordinates, and detailed descriptions of each water body to give you a clear understanding of their character and features.

6. Lake Fontana is a reservoir impounded by Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee. The lake forms part of the southern border of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the northern border of part of the Nantahala National Forest. Depending on water levels, the lake is about 17 miles long. The east end is the Tuckaseegee River near Bryson City. The Oconoluftee, Little Tennessee, Nantahala and Tuckasegee all flow into Lake Fontana. The lake has many inlets into coves and islands created from former mountain Peaks.

Recreation: Some of the islands on Lake Fontana allow boat camping on forest service land and are managed by the National Park Service. Recreation opportunities on the lake are fishing, boating, floating, paddleboarding and flat-water kayaking. Some say that the lake offers the best smallmouth bass fishing in the US. On the south side of the lake there are both private and USFS campgrounds.

There are 11 primary access sites on Fontana Lake.

Education Opportunities:
1. Mainspring Conservation Trust http://www.mainspringconserves.org/ offers numerous river conservation educational programs, including Kids in the Creek and "Snorkel & Snoop" programs. They also host events during warmer months to get families and individuals out on the water snorkeling and paddling.

2. Mainspring has also developed a Citizens Guide that is one of the most comprehensive documents developed for the Little Tennessee River Basin that exists today. This document covers the historical significance, economic data, flora and fauna information, citizen involvement opportunities and much more on the Basin.

3. Fontana Dam Becomes an Appalachian Trail Community - In the fall of 2013, the Town of Fontana Dam partnered with the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club -which maintains 102 miles of the A.T. in the area- and other local businesses to apply for the AT Community designation, and in the spring of 2014, Fontana Dam was designated as North Carolina’s third A.T. Community. The town is incredibly proud of this partnership and celebrates several hiker themed events each year. Hiker Haze takes place in March and is a celebration for A.T. thru-hikers featuring activities, food and fun. A Spring and Fall Hike Week take place annually in April and October with guided hikes and informative guest speakers and presenters, and Fontana Dam hosts a Family Hiking Day celebration each September.

4. NOC Guide Fontana Lake Tour- The NOC provides guided trips to paddle and explore Fontana Lake near Bryson City, NC with one of their expert guides and explore quiet coves and hidden waterfalls. Using kayaks and stand up paddle boards, participants learn about the natural history of the area. Delight in sightings of great blue heron, red tail hawk, pileated woodpeckers and osprey. This program is suitable for children as young as 4 years old.

Conservation:
1. Mainspring Conservation Trust http://www.mainspringconserves.org/ offers numerous river conservation educational programs, including Kids in the Creek and "Snorkel & Snoop" programs. They also host events during warmer months to get families and individuals out on the water snorkeling and paddling.

2. Mainspring has also developed a Citizens Guide that is one of the most comprehensive documents developed for the Little Tennessee River Basin that exists today. This document covers the historical significance, economic data, flora and fauna information, citizen involvement opportunities and much more on the Basin.

3. NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Watershed Plan outlines restoration projects on and around Lake Fontana.

4. Mainspring Conservation Trust conservation materials regarding Lake Fontana.

5. Rivers of Restoration – Trout Unlimited’s First 50 Years of River Restoration includes examples of their many conservation efforts on Fontana Lake.

Community Support: An MOU with signatures from Graham County, Town of Fontana Dam, Brookfield Renewables, Tennessee Valley Authority and the USFS is forthcoming. Letters of support are also attached from the Graham County Chamber of Commerce and the Graham County Tourism Development Authority.

Public Information: The public is provided with accessible and understandable water trail information on the smokymountainblueways.com website and in the official printed map of the Smoky Mountain Blueways’s first printed map, including details for identifying access sites, natural features, etc. This map is sold at the NC Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center in Franklin, NC and at various other businesses throughout the region. The water trail is promoted to the community and broad national audience via the internet, the printed map and through the regional Smoky Mountain Host Adventure Activities Guide printed yearly and posted on the visitsmokies.org website.

Safety messaging is also highlighted on the blueways map, emphasizing the need for wearing PFD’s, water release schedules, changing weather conditions, and flash flooding.

The recently published Smoky Mountain Blueway’s map and guide provides detailed information important to trip planning on each river. For example, Time and distance between access sites is estimated, in addition to GPS coordinates, and detailed descriptions of each water body to give you a clear understanding of their character and features.
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These unique natural resources have provided a footprint for the expansive outdoor recreation and tourism industry cluster in the NC Smoky Mountains. This industry is the largest employer in the seven southwestern counties of the state where the Smoky Mountain Blueways Water Trails are located.
The direct economic impact of tourism and recreation in the four counties of the Smoky Mountain Blueways Trail region stood at $549 Million in 2015. Local elected officials, non-profits and regional leaders value this community economic resource and are seeking designation as “National Water Trails of the North Carolina Smokies,” from the US Department of the Interior. The designation will lend support to building additional private-public partnerships for use of public lands and will be consistent with the implementation of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: Rock, boulders
Rock, smooth
Snow or ice
Water, still

Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
2020

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Brochure: This is a living document that we update on a yearly basis.
Brochure: Printed map
Brochure: Brochure
Brochure: Brochure
Brochure: Brochure
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Brochure: Brochure
Brochure: Brochure
Map: Designation delineation.
Other: Newspaper article
Other: Newspaper Article
Other: Support Letter
Other: Support Letter
Other: Support Letter
Other: Other
Other: Support Letter
Other: Support Letter
Other: Support Letter
Other: visitsmokies.org website home page
Other: website visitsmokies.org
Other: Access sites table referenced in text.
Website: North Carolina Smoky Mountain Blueways

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Betty Huskins
Managing Director for Communications and Marketing
Smoky Mountain Host of NC Blueways Advisory Cncl.
4432 Georgia Road
Franklin, NC 4432 -2873
828-273-0276
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Mike Wilkins
District Ranger
USFS
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
828) 524-6441
[email protected]

Trail Management:
David Stewart
Biologist !!
North Carolina Wildlife Commission
, AL
828-448-9419
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Sharon Taylor
Executive Director
Mainspring Conservation Trust
557 East Main Street
Franklin, NC 28734
(828) 524-2471
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Lisa Leatherman
Regjonal Manager
Duke Energy
301 NP&L Loop
Franklin, NC 28734
(828) 421-4534
[email protected]

 

Photos

Reviews

The Pristine Waterways of the lovely Smokey Mountains of North Carolina

The lovely Smokey Mountains of North Carolina are enhance with these pristine waterways that enrich one’s experience in what can truly be described as a piece of heaven here on earth. The sights and sounds of these beautiful waterways give us such joy and relaxing comfort all year long.

October 27, 2020

 

 

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