Every Blount County resident, history buff and kid needs to drop everything and visit this spot I am going to tell you about.
Citico Creek flows into Tellico Lake just off Highway 129. This creek will remove you from the city for a couple of hours to take the time to relax. You will be amazed at the feeling you will have to just think this beauty is so close to home but far removed from civilization. It is like a "pocket wilderness."
Paddling with my children a few weeks ago we spotted four osprey, a bald eagle, several geese, many duck species, a beaver building a lodge and many smaller birds swooping over our canoe. Citico Creek leaves the mountains of the Cherokee National Forest high above Tellico and flows into Tellico Lake at the spot where a small Cherokee village was located. In fact, as you paddle from the ramp to the mouth of the creek, you will see tree stumps cut along where the river bank of the Little Tennessee River once flowed. There along those banks is where the village was located.
Paddle up into Citico from the Lake and there you will find a creek which begins wide and ends narrow about a mile up stream. Look for Citico Beach on your right, the beaver lodge also on your right and the many stands of reeds and cattail which provide a haven for ducks and other animals. Once you complete this trip you will say "I never knew this existed...I wish I had been here earlier!"
No facilities... use the bathroom before you arrive at the put-in
No permits or fees
From Maryville, take highway 129 south until you make a hard left turn seeing Tellico Lake directly in from of you. If you get wet that means you were going too fast and are now in the lake! The put-in is on your right about 1/2 from that curve. Paddle straight across the lake past the islands and up into the only cove... that is Citico.
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water