Our Gorgeous Mountain Lakes Are Perfect for Canoeing in Murphy NC and All Around

lake-santeetlah-marina-slide3If you take every opportunity to indulge your canoeing passion, we invite you to visit our paddlers’ paradise. With eight sizable lakes just a short hop from Murphy, NC, you can splash your boat in different waters every day of the week. With the proper clothing and safety gear, you can go canoeing no matter the time of year!

Believe it or not, you can start your canoeing adventure right in downtown Murphy. First, stop at Appalachian Outfitters on Tennessee Street, where you’ll find PFDs and other safety gear, plus helpful area maps and local knowledge. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website also provides tons of useful boating information (including launch ramp locations).

Next, explore the Valley and Hiwassee Rivers via the Murphy River Walk Canoe Trails, featuring convenient parking and several put-ins around town. What will you see on your Murphy canoe trip? Well, during the summer months, Hiwassee Lake is filled to the gills with water, which spills into these rivers and backs up into the inlets and marshes. Enjoy life in the slow lane as you drift along, spying birds, fish, and probably a few small mammals that aren’t visible from the nearby walking trails.

If your canoe naturally gravitates toward lakes, plan a trip to nearby Hiwassee Lake, offering over 160 miles of shoreline in its 22-mile length. Much-smaller Apalachia Lake is just a stone’s throw away, and it’s secluded and absolutely beautiful. To reach either lake, put in at the Hanging Dog Recreation Area boat ramp; or launch your canoe below the Hiwassee Dam or Apalachia Dam.

If you’ve gotten the itch to explore more of our regional lakes, you’re in luck: they’re all within an hour’s drive. To the north, you’ll find massive Fontana Lake, with over 230 miles of shoreline and the most impressive dam you’ll ever see. Neighboring Santeetlah Lake offers enticing coves and stunning high-elevation mountains as a backdrop. Nantahala Lake is also worth a visit, as you can ogle the high-dollar lakefront houses while you paddle along the wooded shoreline.

Next, head south to Chatuge Lake, spread equally between North Carolina and Georgia. With 130 miles of shoreline, you’ll find lots of quiet creeks where you can stop for a snack. Finally, explore Georgia’s Blue Ridge Lake and Nottely Lake, just a half-hour’s drive from Murphy, NC. Although all these lakes attract seasonal pleasure boaters, there’s plenty of room for everyone.

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