The Tellico River is my absolute favorite river that I have ever paddled. It is steep, narrow, fun, challenging, not fear inducing, and sits in the one of the most beautiful gorges I have ever been to in Tenessee. This particular trip took place a few years ago so I may not be as exact with the details, but the pictures speak for themselves.
With all of the group new to their jobs but wanting to get out onto the water for some much needed adventuring, we headed out towards eastern Tennessee after 5 on Friday. The plan was to get as far along the road as possible before pulling off for a quick camp. We only made it as far as Black Mountain and ended up sleeping in the middle of a gravel road since we couldn’t see the nice camping sites just off the road…
Soon we were back on the road, and after a quick breakfast of waffles and some much needed coffee we started winding our way up the mountain and into the gorge where our destination awaited. What we found was far more than I had expected. I had heard from many boaters that the Tellico River is a particularly special river, and it delivered. It is steep and interesting. There are no lulls in the action. And for you non-boaters who might want to check this place out, the road that leads you from the take-put to the put-in runs along the river the entire way. It is perfect for a park-and-play boater or an enthusiast that just wants to watch the water flow past.
The river itself has everything. Tall waterfalls are spaced throughout that are just high enough to make you think twice as you go over, but the pools below are deep and calm, so there is little consequence to even the most horrible attempt go over. In between the larger “picture” falls are tons of small shut-in type courses that can be quite challenging, but have a creeky feeling that makes this river so fun and different from many others of a similar difficultly level.
Although the details of this trip have left my mind, I still have quite a few pictures to remember it by. I will be back to check this one out again sometime very soon.