Outdoor Activities Tellico Plains TN
Waterfalls in Tellico Plains Tennessee
Outdoor recreation abounds in all four seasons in the Tellico Plains area, largely centered around the natural amenities. Watersports are numerous, with the many creeks, rivers, and waterfalls in the area. Kayakers are drawn to the Class III-IV waters on the Tellico and Bald Rivers in springtime. Kids love the natural slides and pools of Coker Creek to escape the summer heat. Canoes and tubes float along the farmlands and rock formations on the lower Tellico River. The area boasts some of the finest trout fishing waters in the country, attracting anglers and fly fishermen. Campsites are numerous and range from primitive to full-facilities, with some catering to motorcycling travelers.
Tellico Plains was designated a "Trail Town" in 2014 by the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition (SEFTC) and the Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) as an exceptional location to visit for these activities. The SEFTC is a coalition of almost all the trail clubs within the Southeastern United States. The BMTA oversees the Benton MacKaye Trail, a 300-mile long-distance trail, which courses through the mountains just east of Tellico Plains and Coker Creek.
For more info visit Tellico Plains Trail Town.
The nearby proximity of the Cherokee National Forest to Tellico Plains opens the doors to hiking, backpacking, camping, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, hunting, touring, horseback riding, bicycling, and even gold panning. Pack a sandwich and find a picnic table at one of the overlooks, perch on a riverside boulder, or spread your blanket in a mountain meadow. Away from the city lights, stargazing is amazing. Lightning bugs flicker through the air on an early summer night, as the sound of a whip-o-will permeates the darkness. The area is diverse and lush in flora and fauna, and woodland walks can reveal wildflowers, ferns, mushrooms, mosses, wild berries, birds, an array of hardwood and evergreen trees. Take a walk within Tellico Plains, on the designated walkway just behind the Skyway Visitor Center. It's lined with ornamental pear trees, with a view across the "plains" of the surrounding mountains. Drive the backroads for vistas of rolling pastures, time-worn barns, grazing horses, and fields of corn. The Tellico Plains is a wonderful place to enjoy outdoor living.
Kayaking on the Tellico River in Tellico Plains TN
rafting on Tellico River in Tellico Plains TN
cycling in Tellico Plains TN
The Tellico River is nationally recognized as a premiere trout stream, renowned for brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Trout habitat requirements include water temperatures below 68 degrees, heavy oxygenation and clean, clear water, and these conditions prevail in the Tellico River corridor. Bald River and North River, tributaries of the Tellico, are managed as wild trout streams with brown, rainbow and brook trout. These wild trout streams usually lack large individuals, but some brown trout as large as 10 pounds have been caught in the North River. The TWRA stocks trout in Tellico River, Citico Creek, and Green Cove Pond from March through August. Fishermen here enjoy unspoiled wilderness settings and, more often than not, no company from other fishermen. Green Cove Pond is specially reserved for handicapped individuals, children, and seniors. Bass, drum, crappie, carp, bluegill, walleye, muskellunge, and catfish are also found in local waters.
fly fishing on the Tellico River in Tellico Plains TN
Fly Fishing

Heavy stockings from March 15th through September 15th cover a 13-mile stretch on the upper Tellico River and big-fish potential occurs on the main river and on Citico Creek, one watershed to the north. Stocking from the Tellico trout hatchery is supported by special permits required to fish in designated waters. Stocked fish are generally larger than those stocked in Tennessee‚ regular hatchery-supported waters, and some trout escape harvest for several years. Weekly releases of 5000 rainbows, averaging 8 to 12 inches, occur in season. Fishing this section requires a Tellico Citico permit (between March 15 thru September 15).

Bald River and North River, tributaries of the Tellico, are managed as wild trout streams with brown, rainbow and brook trout. Fishermen here enjoy unspoiled wilderness settings and, more often than not, no company from other anglers. Bald River Falls cascades over 80 feet, easily viewed from the roadside, where this tributary joins the Tellico River, and upriver from the falls you are likely to be rewarded with rainbows and browns. These wild trout streams usually lack large individuals, but some brown trout as large as 10 pounds have been caught in the North River.

The diversity of the Tellico River is one of its major appeals. You can choose to walk just steps from your car to the river, fish where the river meanders by your campsite, or hike the backcountry into a remote tributary stream. These waters can be fished year-round, with freezing temperatures not usually lasting more than a week. You can fly fish in December and January since some of the spring-fed streams stay at temperatures in the 40's or even low 50's. Insect hatches are predictable and often; extraordinary numbers emerge at some times.

TN Fishing License:

Purchase one at several locations, including the nearby Cherohala Market also on the Cherohala Skyway in Tellico Plains, and Shorty's Market on Ball Play Road (Hwy 360).

Tellico River water flow from USGS

Tennessee Fishing Regulations (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency): http://www.tnwildlife.org

Online TN Fishing License: http://www.wildlifelicense.com/tn/

Fishing on the Tellico River
Hiking

The Cherokee National Forest which surrounds Tellico Plains offers many hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty. There are paths for short hikes to picnic spots, trails to mountaintop "balds," day hikes along rivers, overnight backpacking trails, and backcountry trails for thru-hikers. Hiking guidebooks and maps are available at the Cherohala Skyway Visitors Center.

We have a lots of information on hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding on our "Trails" page.


Tellico Plains Visitor’s Center Pick up brochures, flyers, maps, at
Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center
225 Cherohala Skyway (Route 165), Tellico Plains, TN 37385
423-253-8010
Cherohala.org
Various photos courtesy Monroe County TN, Department of Tourism