There’s nothing like spending some time at a cool mountain lake near Murphy, NC. You herd the family into the car (or truck), pack a picnic lunch and some sunscreen and cold water, and get ready to chill out for the day. When you arrive, you soak up some fresh mountain air and decide whether you’d like to swim, fish, or do absolutely nothing. And sometime during the afternoon, you decide to top off this splendid day with a delicious ice cream treat. It really doesn’t get much better than this!
So, decide which beautiful mountain lake you’ll visit today. To make your decision easier, you’ll find all three lakes located along Route 294 just a stone’s throw west of Murphy, North Carolina.
Enjoy a good old-fashioned summer picnic at this scenic lakeside spot with plenty of room for everyone. Bring some sandwiches and snacks from town; or pair some grilled burgers and hot dogs with salads and cold drinks. While you dine like kings, enjoy Cherokee Lake’s serene setting, and soak up the peace and quiet.
After lunch and a quick pit stop, stroll the walking trails, or spend a few lazy hours casting your line from the dock. With a current North Carolina fishing license, and equipped a good rod and tackle, you’ll be ready to face off against those crafty, elusive mountain fish.
Directions: Take Highway 64 West, and turn right on Highway 294. Travel just a few miles. Turn right on Forest Service Road 313 to enter the Cherokee Lake picnic area.
As mountain lakes go, Hiwassee Lake is pretty impressive. This sprawling lake covers almost 6,100 acres, has nearly 180 miles of winding shoreline, and extends for a generous 22 miles. In other words, you’ll find plenty to see (and plenty of fish) there.
If you enjoy picture-postcard mountain scenery, you’ll have some stunning photo ops here. Hiwassee Lake is completely nestled in the Nantahala National Forest, and the view from the dam-area overlook is simply amazing. The lake stretches on forever, and it’s bordered by miles and miles of wooded shoreline.
Directions to scenic overlook: Take Highway 64 West, and turn right on Highway 294. Travel several miles, and look for the U.S. Forest Service sign on the right.
Now, let’s assume you’d like to do some serious fishing, boating, or water-skiing. Or, you’ve had enough of the hot, steamy weather, and you’d like to splash around the lake to cool off. Or, maybe you want to enjoy a picnic lunch before taking a leisurely hike through the woods. You can access those activities at Hanging Dog Recreation Area, located just an easy drive from Murphy.
Directions to Hanging Dog Recreation Area (from Murphy): Drive about 4 miles northwest on Peachtree Street, which turns into Joe Brown Highway. Look for the entrance to Hiwassee Lake on the left.
If you’ve been looking for a serene, unspoiled mountain lake with amazing views, put Apalachia Lake on your “must see” list. This gorgeous 10-mile-long lake feeds into the Hiwassee River, and the Nantahala National Forest is right next door.
As the crow flies, you’re not too far from Hiwassee Lake, but Apalachia Lake has a remote character all its own. With very little shoreline development, and virtually no recreational facilities, Apalachia Lake is one of the purest mountain lake settings you’ll ever find.
If you want to enjoy some laid-back fishing, kayaking, or canoeing, you can take advantage of a convenient launch ramp. Or, you can meander through the woods on a scenic hiking trail. In other words, you make your own fun at Apalachia Lake, and you probably won’t have much company.
Directions: Take Highway 64 West, and turn right on Highway 294. Stay on 294 for quite a distance, and you’ll eventually see the Apalachia Lake turnoff sign.
ENJOY ICE CREAM TREATS AT THE SWEET TOOTH
Wrap up your lake excursion with some delicious ice cream confections from The Sweet Tooth. This incredibly popular family ice cream shop is located at 658 Andrews Road, not far from downtown Murphy, NC. During the summer season, The Sweet Tooth is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This little walk-up ice cream shop has a quirky character, and the building features lots of ice cream-y photos that you can view while waiting for your order. There aren’t any one-size-fits-all ice cream cups here – perish the thought! Instead, you’ll enjoy your own personal ice cream treat that comes with your choice of toppings. So, dig in and enjoy every bite as you reflect on the perfect ending to a great summer day at the lake.
The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team