Tellico Wild: Explore our Big Backyard

This weekend of free outdoor activities connects people to our public lands, advocates for stewardship and conservation, and promotes the Tellico Region/Cherokee National Forest as an outdoor recreation destination. 

Friday July 31st:

• 3:00pm Full Moon Overnight Backpack- Bob Stratton Bald. Join Bill Hodge of SAWS- Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards for an overnight backpacking trip to Bob Stratton Bald, located in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness.  Some backpacking experience required.

• 7:00pm- Full Moon Paddle- Indian Boundary Lake. Enjoy a beautiful moon lit paddle around Indian Boundary Lake with experienced instructor, Samantha Christen of Rock/Creek-Chattanooga, TN. Gear will not be provided.

Saturday August 1st

9:00am – Participants leave Visitor’s Center. 

• Hiking with Tools-Jeffery’s Hell. This stewardship day will involve brushing annual vegetation growth from the trail corridor along the first two miles of the Jeffrey Hell Trail. Tools, safety instruction and personal protective equipment will be provided.

• Edibles and Medicinal Plants Hike- Falls Branch Falls.  Hike leader, Holli Richie, will discuss how some of the plants found on this beautiful trail have been used historically, and currently to treat a variety of maladies.

• Herp Walk- Coker Creek Falls.  Join the Tennessee Naturalists for a Herpetology Walk on Coker Creek Falls. This hike will be focused on finding and identifying native reptiles and amphibians.

• Unicoi Turnpike Walk Through History- Unicoi Turnpike. Walking along the Unicoi Turnpike is like walking through history – literally. Countless people, spanning more than a thousand years have walked this same path before you. It is impossible to not be awed by the great history of this area.

• Snorkel Citico Creek- Young Branch of Citico Creek.       We’ll explore the chilly water with wetsuit, snorkel and mask provided by the Forest Service. Expert guides will show you many species of fish, turtles, amphibians and other critters that live in mountain rivers and creeks. 

10:00am- Tellico Nature Path

• Photo Hike. This guided hike on the Tellico Nature Path will have you taking better pictures with your point-and-shoot or smartphone in no time. We’ll explore simple tips and techniques that will turn your snapshots into photos that you’ll be proud to share.

10:00am-3:00pm– Indian Boundary Boat Ramp

• SUP! Learn the basics of SUP! – Standup Paddleboarding with skilled instructor Daxton Bacalman from Rock/Creek- Chattanooga. You’ll learn how to get up on the board, STAY on the board and then do some basic paddling maneuvers on beautiful Indian Boundary Lake.  All equipment and instruction is furnished by our friends at Rock/Creek. Clinics launch every hour from 10:00am-3:00pm.

• Kayak Clinic. Learn the basics of Kayaking with skilled instructor Samantha Christen from Rock/Creek- Chattanooga. You will learn boat safety and terms along with basic paddling maneuvers on beautiful Indian Boundary Lake.  All equipment and instruction is furnished by our friends at Rock/Creek.  Clinics launch every hour from 10:00am-3:00pm. 

11:00am AND 2:00pm- Charles Hall Museum

• Cherokee Heritage Presentation. Lamar Marshall, Cultural Heritage Director at Wild South, will present a 45 minute graphic PowerPoint presentation that covers the history, geography, ecology and lifestyles of the Eastern Cherokees from 1700 to 1840. Participants will view the Museum’s collections of Cherokee artifacts including Cherokee jewelry, pipes, bowls, work tools, gaming pieces and much more.

4:00pm AND 6:30pm– Tellico Grains Bakery

• Hidden Rivers Showing- Tellico Grains Bakery. Come see a new short film series on the vibrant rivers of East Tennessee and Southern Appalachia, showcasing the beauty of the Cherokee National Forest and the Tellico River area. Presented by filmmakers from Freshwaters Illustrated.

6:30pm-

• Full Moon Trail Ride- Gee Creek Lost Corral. Take your horse on an evening trail ride led by The Backcountry Horsemen of East Tennessee. Riders will get to enjoy the Gee Creek Wilderness area under the light of the full moon.  This is a bring-your-own-horse event.

Sunday August 2nd:

9:00am – Participants leave Visitor’s Center

• Guided Hike Bald River Falls- Bald River Falls.One of the most scenic trails in the area was once a railroad track for trains which hauled out the huge logs down to Tellico Plains during the early logging days. Now this beautiful gorge is protected as designated Wilderness, and the trees having regrown over the past 100 years since the last logging occurred are wonderous.

• Snorkel Citico Creek- Young Branch of Citico Creek.  We’ll explore the chilly water with wetsuit, snorkel and mask provided by the Forest Service. Expert guides will show you many species of fish, turtles, amphibians and other critters that live in mountain rivers and creeks. 

10:00am – Cherohala Visitors Center

• Leave No Trace/Wilderness 101 Workshop.Leave No Trace Master Educator and SAWS-Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards founder, Bill Hodge, will teach the principles of Leave No Trace and also provide a basic understanding of Wilderness and what it means to you.  

10:00am-3:00pm– Indian Boundary Boat Ramp

• SUP!  Learn the basics of SUP! – Standup Paddleboarding with skilled instructor Daxton Bacalman from Rock/Creek- Chattanooga. You’ll learn how to get up on the board, STAY on the board and then do some basic paddling maneuvers on beautiful Indian Boundary Lake.  All equipment and instruction is furnished by our friends at Rock/Creek. Clinics launch every hour from 10:00am-3:00pm.

• Kayak Clinic.  Learn the basics of Kayaking with skilled instructor Samantha Christen from Rock/Creek- Chattanooga. You will learn boat safety and terms along with basic paddling maneuvers on beautiful Indian Boundary Lake.  All equipment and instruction is furnished by our friends at Rock/Creek.  Clinics launch every hour from 10:00am-3:00pm. 

2:00pm– Historic Tellico Plains

• Photo Hike. This guided walk through downtown Historic Tellico Plains will have you taking better pictures with your point-and-shoot or smartphone in no time. We’ll explore simple tips and techniques that will turn your snapshots into photos that you’ll be proud to share.

*Each of the events is scheduled as its own Meetup.  Registration is very important so that you don’t miss out on this fun-filled weekend!*