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Featuring the Outdoor Sports, Great Events and Many Attractions of Monroe and Surrounding Counties in Tennessee Mountain Country www.advocateanddemocrat.com

Summer 2012


Explore the Caverns & Take a Boat Ride Deep Underground!

Coca-Cola and Root Beer Floats, Hamburgers & Cheeseburgers

Memories & Prices from Yesteryear

For even more excitement, check ou

t our

Serving Lunch Fare & Bakery Items From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Tuesday thru Saturday

(423) 337-6616

Donna & Pete Marrs 501 North Main Street • Sweetwater, TN Inside Picket Fence Galleries

Highway 68 • Sweetwater www.thelostsea.com

• Classic Sandwiches • Seafood • BBQ • Pizza • Cold Beer • Bottled Beer • Free Wifi • Info Center • Entertainment, Supplies

Adventure every Saturday at 1pm!

Jason Miller, Pharm. D. Brent Hickey, Pharm. D.

Your Hometown Pharmacist

Save Money with our Prescription Savings Plan

Tellico Plains, TN

Cherohala Skyway Next To Exxon Station GPS Coordinates: Lat. 35.3632961,Long.-84.2927527 N35° 21.7978’, W084° 17.5652’

423-253-2322

• Diabetes Testing • Diabetes Teaching • Full Medication Management Services • Home Delivery Services • Blood Pressure Screening

707 Veterans Memorial Drive

Call for On Site or Off Site Event Catering Details

outpostpaviliontellico.com

(Next to Citizens National Bank)

423-253-6003

Find Us On 2 | www.advocateanddemocrat.com

Super Saturday

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


Welcome to Tennessee Mountain Traveler Country!

Contents

Summer 2012

Featuring the Outdoor Sports, Great Events and Many Attractions of Monroe and Surrounding Counties in Tennessee Mountain Country www.advocateanddemocrat.com

Summer 2012

On the Cover

The Monroe County Advocate & Democrat is proud to produce the Tennessee Mountain Traveler three times a year to showcase the many attractions in Tennessee Mountain Traveler Country. This full-color tourism magazine is distributed to more than 14,000 tourists throughout East Tennessee. Tennessee Mountain Traveler Country is a region blessed with rich heritage, friendly people, unmatched scenery and outdoor recreation with our lakes, rivers and mountains. From roaring waterfalls, world-class whitewater rafting and fly fishing to quiet mountain streams and peaceful lakes, you can do it all on the water here. Take a spin on our byways, carved through mile-high mountain peaks, or visit the Cherokee National Forest. Come learn about the Cherokee Indian Heritage as you travel through the Tennessee Overhill Region (Monroe, McMinn and Polk counties). Experience the unique antique shopping and dining experiences in Tennessee Mountain Traveler Country, including Madisonville, Sweetwater, Tellico Plains, Vonore, Lenoir City, Loudon, Athens, Etowah, Englewood, Dayton and others. Special thanks to the Tennessee Overhill Association, Monroe County Tourism Department, Fritts Photography, and many others involved in this publication. For more information about this publication, call 423-337-7101.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

Tennessee Mountain Traveler Country offers rich scenery and outdoor recreation year round. Local photographer Kevin Fritts, of Fritts Photography, captured this serene image of Bald River Falls in Tellico Plains. Visit Fritts Photography online at www.frittsphotography.com or on Facebook.

4...................Upcoming Events 6........................Parade of Flags 8-9.....................Fort Loudoun/ Sequoyah Birthplace 10..............Scopes Monkey Trial 12.................Sweetwater Valley Cheese Farm 12.........................Regional Map 14-15..Cherohala Skyway Map 16............................The Lost Sea 17......................Civil War Trails 18................Purdy’s Petting Zoo 20-21...........................Waterfalls 22-23..................................Rivers 24..........................Tellico Plains 26.........................Cooney’s Corner

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Fun in the Sun Summer 2012 Calendar of Events July 13 & 14 Fenders Antique Tractor Engine and Homestead Show in Sweetwater The annual show features antique tractors and gas engines, antique farm equipment with demonstrations, farm and home antiques, and other special exhibits. There are always activities for children and usually a hay ride for all ages. Admission is $3 for adults, children under 3 get in free. The show site is located on Murray’s Chapel Road, easily accessible from Interstate 75’s Exit 60 or 62. Visit the website http://www.fenders. lcten.com for more information.

Aug. 5  Sequoyah Remembrance Day at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Attending the Vonore event will be Eastern Band enrolled member Dawn Arneach talking about Cherokee Genealogy. For More information, call 423-884-6246.

Aug. 25 Linsdale Bluegrass Festival in Delano Biannual event with an exciting lineup of Bluegrass bands, jammers and good country food. For more information, call 423-336-5948

Aug 25-26 Polk County Fair in Benton Rides, exhibits and displays. Special events include a 4-H show, rabbit contest, sheep, and dairy show and sale. Bluegrass music and food.  For more information, call 423-715-3975.

Sept 8 Fried Green Tomato Festival in Niota Enjoy one of the South’s finest delicacies – fried green tomatoes, along with entertainment, craft vendors and tours of the Niota Depot, the oldest standing depot in the state of Tennessee For more information, call 423-887-3631.

Sept. 8-9 18th Century Trade Faire at Fort Loudoun in Vonore A living history event that recreates a colonial marketplace, complete with merchants, artisans, and entertainers. Call 423-884-6217 for info.

Great Island Festival at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore Published by:

609 E. North Street Sweetwater, TN. 37874 Phone: (423) 337-7101 4511 Highway 411 • Unit 5 Madisonville, TN 37354 Phone: (423) 442-4575 www.advocateanddemocrat.com

Thomas Wilson Publisher

Tommy Millsaps Editor editor@advocateanddemocrat.com Layout and Graphic Art Team: Jessica Cross jessica.cross@advocateanddemocrat.com Kristen Calhoun kristen.calhoun@advocateanddemocrat.com

Advertising Team: Sharon Livingston Advertising Manager admanager@advocateanddemocrat.com Asia Capshaw Sales Representative asia.capshaw@advocateanddemocrat.com Lorie Samples Sales Representative lorie.samples@advocateanddemocrat.com Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published in the Tennessee Mountain Traveler. No reproduction may be made without written permission of the publisher.

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Cherokee crafts and demonstrators, Stick Ball games, blacksmith, and authentic Cherokee food. For details, call 423-884-6246.

Sept 28-29 National Muscadine Festival Music, grape stomping and events at Tsali Notch Vineyard and downtown Sweetwater celebrating the vineyard and Sweetwater’s charm. Visit www.national muscadinefestival.com or call 337-6979 for more information.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


(1776 - 1843) Father, Soldier, Silversmith, Statesman, and Creator of the Cherokee writing system

Come Experience Our Petting Zoo with Your Friends & Family!!

Handmade Cherokee Baskets • CDs • Jewelry Handmade Native American Pottery Prints by Cherokee Artist Donald Vann ...and more unique gifts from which to choose!

Mon - Sat 9am - 5pm • Sun Noon - 5pm (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) Nominal Admission Fee • Group discounts Operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tennessee’s ONLY Tribally-Operated Historical Attraction.

Birthday Parties • Mobile Zoo • Gem Mining School Field Trips • Pony Rides • Pond Fishing

120 Plemons Road • Sweetwater

Fall Festival

September 8th & 9th

Hours:

Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, M pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm

ppurdyspettingzoo.com m Hwy 360 • P.O. Box 69 • Vonore, Tennessee 37885 423-884-6246 • sequoyahmuseum.org Located in the Great Smokey Mountains of East Tennessee on the shores of beautiful Tellico Lake, 37 miles south of downtown Knoxville.

Purdy’s Petting Zoo is an approved USDA facility.

Pulled Pork, Loaded Potatoes, Baby Back Ribs, Beef Brisket, Smoked Chicken, Smoked Chicken Salad

OPEN 7 Days A Week Monday-Thursday 11am-8pm Friday & Saturday 11am-9pm • Sunday 11am-3pm GPS Coordinates: N 35° 22.127, W 084° 18.240

Find Us on Google Maps

9188 New Highway 68 • Tellico Plains

Voted Best BBQ in Monroe County!

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

423-253-2019

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June 14-July 28 Downtown Madisonville

Parade of Flags The annual Parade of Flags event, sponsored by the Downtown Madisonville Association, runs June 14-July 28 and is one of the most anticipated events each year in all of Monroe County. Madisonville, located in the center of Monroe County, is the Monroe County seat and is easily accessible by Highway 68 and Highway 411. Madisonville comes alive with red, white and blue during this anticipated celebration each summer. This Parade of Flags event memorializes American citizens, either in the military or any citizen, by flying an

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American flag during the week of July 4 in their honor. The flags are flown on the yard of the historic Monroe County Courthouse and Madisonville City Hall. Each flag and pole, along with an identifying name plaque is available for purchase from the Downtown Association for $25. For information, call Susan Saunders at 442-1975, Linda Hensley at 295-4151 or Madisonville City Hall at 442-9416 and ask for Parade of Flags information. The event is a cooperative effort of the Downtown Madisonville Association, Monroe County and the City of Madisonville.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


Wherever you live, we’re close to home. Blount Memorial is Monroe County’s close-to-home hospital. Our convenient location makes it easy for county residents to access top-notch health care services, facilities and technologies, including: Cancer Care

Heart Attack Treatment

Stroke Care

The hospital’s oncology program is accredited through the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons ensuring the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Blount Memorial ranks in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide for heart attack treatment. If you experience heart attack symptoms, call 911.

Blount Memorial ranks in the top 10 percent statewide for stroke care offering everything you need to prevent, treat and survive stroke.

865-983-7211 www.blountmemorial.org

Call today to reserve your dates!

Coker Creek Village Coker Creek, TN

Weddings • Reunions • Mountain Retreats • Special Events

423-261-2310 ~ www.cokercreekvillage.com

Since 1963 Serving Groups from 8 to 350!

Group Meeting Facilities • Cabins • Dining Hall

Recreation & Adventure Activities! Horseback & Mountain Bike Trail Rides (Guided) Climbing Tower & 300’ Zip Line Teambuilding Course • Paint Ball • Hiking Trails Disc Golf • Sand Volleyball • Pool Gold Panning • Gemstone Mine • Hayrides Whitewater Rafting & More!

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

Country, Classic or Barn Weddings! Food Catering Services! Great Rates! Quality Service!

(Located 1 hour from West Knoxville) 1-75 Exit 60 (Sweetwater Exit), 35 Miles South on Hwy 68

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The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum and Fort Loudoun State Historic Area on Highway 360 in Vonore are partnering for the Great Island Festival, slated for September 8-9, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. At the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, visitors will have the opportunity to experience Native American food, arts and crafts demonstrations, music and dance. Special demonstrations and displays will include a look into the Cherokees’ military service including a Civil War encampment and battle re-enactment and a Cherokee timeline featuring time periods of the 1400s through the 1900s. Visitors can meet Miss

Cherokee. Special entertainment will be provided by the Warrior Dancers of Ani-Kituhwa, Diamond Go-Sti, a native culturalist, flutist and storyteller Eddie Bushyhead, a Cherokee stickball demonstration game. Tennessee’s Wildlife Birds of Prey program will be at Sequoyah on both days as well. The 1809 Cherokee log cabin-style blacksmith shop will be open for demonstrations. Other activities include a poster contest

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from the Cherokee Elementary. Darts, beads, talking sticks, face painting and free Cherokee name cards will be available for children. Traditional Indian Fry bread and Indian tacos, fresh squeezed lemonade, kettle corn and other food and drinks will be sold. The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum is owned and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Its mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians in Eastern Tennessee, particularly the life and contributions of Sequoyah. Born more than 200 years ago, Sequoyah created a writing system that, within months of its introduction, enabled thousands of Cherokee to read and write in their own language. In addition to the museum and gift shop, Sequoyah is home to a Cherokee burial site, an open-air

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


amphitheater, a reconstruction of Sequoyah’s blacksmith shop, a shoreline trail, a boat dock and picnic tables. The 18th century Trade Faire at Fort Loudoun as part of the Great Island Festival will feature encampments of soldiers, settlers and Native Americans. There will be demonstrations throughout the day in artillery and musketry, along with several battles and skirmish re-enactments. Merchants and artisans will be on hand to peddle food and wares reminiscent of the time. Music and other entertainment acts will include The Traveling Caudells, a traditional vocal duo; Out of the Ordinary, featuring a hammered dulcimer, English guitar, harp and vocals; and the Beggar Boys, talented singers and fiddlers. An 18th century magician,

Common Stocks Curious Booth of Wonders, and the Amazing Juggling Budabi Brothers will also delight and astonish visitors of all ages. Returning this year will be Faire Wynds Circus, featuring musicians, a conjuror, equalibrialist, contortionist and an escape artist. Fort Loudoun is a reconstruction of the original fort, in service from 1756-1760. The original site is buried 17 feet below the reconstruction. The site was buried to preserve it when the Tennessee Valley Authority closed Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River in 1979. Fort Loudoun was originally constructed during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) to counter the threat of French activity in the Mississippi Valley. The fort was also ideally located to ensure continued trade between the Cherokee and South Carolina and to strengthen relations between the British and the Overhill Cherokee Nation. However, it was the

deterioration of that relationship that led to the surrender of the fort. In August 1760, the Cherokee captured Fort Loudoun and its garrison. Fort Loudoun routinely returns to life with dedicated staff and re-enactors on garrison, or reenactment, weekends. Garrison Weekend is a time when the daily lives of the men, women and children of Fort Loudoun are recreated for the public. On these days, park visitors will find living history re-enactors in costume at the Fort. Visitors can view an 18th century infirmary, the soldiers’ barracks, the commanders quarters, blacksmith shop and a Cherokee encampment. For more information about the Great Island Festival, contact the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum at 423-884-6246 or Fort Loudoun State Historic Area at 423-884-6217. Visit online at www.sequoyahmuseum.org or www.fortloudoun.com.

The September 8-9 Great Island Festival is named for the “Great Island,” a Cherokee village site 250 years ago. Festival parking is at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum; located at 576 Highway 360 in Vonore. Free shuttle buses will provide transportation for visitors from each site (approximately 1.5 miles). Adult tickets are $5 to the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum and $5 to the Trade Faire. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Advance tickets are on sale at both locations until September.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

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Evolution vs. Creation Rhea County recreates the Scopes Monkey Trial

A new look at “the world’s most famous court trial” and the community and people who made it happen will come to life July 20-21 as Dayton celebrates the 25th annual Scopes Festival. “We have a new play that captures the tension of the creationevolution debate in 1925 as well as the dramatics of the Scopes Trial itself,” festival Chairman Tom Davis said. ‘Front Page News: The Scopes Monkey Trial’ looks at the trial through the eyes of several newspaper reporters as well as the men who hatched the plan to bring the trial to Dayton.” Playwright Deborah DeGeorge Harbin said she was looking for a new way to tell the story of the high school teacher who was charged with teaching the theory of evolution and violating a new state law. “In addition to the drama of the trial itself, I was drawn in by the way news coverage varied so widely from paper to paper and reporter to reporter. It seems that the meaning of the Scopes Trial truly was – and is – in the eye of the beholder, and I wanted to show that by incorporating many different perspectives on the trial.” Of course William Jennings Bryan, who assisted the prosecution, and Clarence Darrow, who led the defense, were the headliners in the 1925 trial, but District Attorney General Tom Stewart

played a critical role in keeping the legal process on track during the eight-day trial. “At the beginning of my research, I knew very little about Tom Stewart, but he caught my attention from the start. His titan efforts to keep the trial focused on the legal issues alone struck me as a heroic struggle toward an almost impossible goal – and yet, in many ways, he ultimately succeeded.” While members of the cast already are busy studying their lines, the jury will be chosen from the audience at each performance. One of those jurors will have speaking lines, Davis said. “Front Page News: The Scopes Monkey Trial” will be presented in the Scopes Trial courtroom in the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton at 8 p.m. on Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 and 21. Tickets are available online at www.scopesfestival.com. For more information, visit the website or call MainStreet Dayton at 423-775-9847.

July 20-21 Rhea County Courthouse

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Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


For a free guide go to www.southeasttennessee.com or call 423-424-4266 Paul Archambault, Tourism Director Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association

Bringing Health Care Home to Monroe County

T

he Blount Memorial Health Center at Tellico West in Vonore makes it easy for Monroe County residents to get the expert health care services they need. Whether you are searching for a family doctor, require in-home skilled nursing care or need physical therapy, Blount Memorial is here – in Monroe County – to help.

Available services include: Business Health (occupational health

services for business and industry), 423-884-6958 Counseling and CONCERN (individual, couple and family counseling), 423-884-1945

Family Medicine at Tellico West (children, teens, adults and seniors), 423-884-6958

Home Services (physician-ordered, skilled care and related home health services), 423-884-1941

Hospice and Palliative Care

(compassionate, end-of-life care including symptom management and support), 865-977-5702

Total Rehabilitation at Tellico West (pediatric, adult and geriatric services including orthopedic and aquatic therapies), 423-884-1901

Health Center Tellico West

www.blountmemorial.org

$EER#ROSSINGs6ONORE 4.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

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The Udder Story What started out as a small dairy farm in 1987 has grown into a cheese-making, farm-touring, awe-inspiring adventure in the heartland of East Tennessee. Located in Philadelphia in south Loudon County, Sweetwater Valley Farm has made a name for itself by producing quality cheese from cows right on the farm, the only dairy in Tennessee to do so. Walking excursions on the farm allow

families and groups to witness cows in their natural habitat. The walking tour passes the feed bins, where an all-youcan-eat buffet is created for the herd. Next, the adventure moves to the calf barn, past the mature cows, and then on to the milking parlor. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and takes place during the summer on days that the weather permits. The Udder Story barn features farm

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exhibits and hands-on material for people of all ages. Items can be purchased in the shop for mementos and consumption. To reach Sweetwater Valley Farm, take Interstate 75 to Exit 68. The farm is located off Highway 11 about one mile from the Monroe and Loudon County line. For more information, contact Sweetwater Valley Farm at 877-862-4332 or visit www.sweetwatervalley.com.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


Philadelphia, Tennessee For more information 877-862-4332 www.sweetwatervalley.com email: info@sweetwatervalley.com

Restaurant & General Store

Family Restaurant. Family Priced. Home Cooked Buffet

Soups • Salads • Meats • Vegetables • Desserts Full Menu Available. Breakfast All Day.

423.337-5825

1-75 & Oakland Road (Exit 62) Sweetwater, Tennessee

Open Daily at 6:00 am

Festival for Life

A Relay For Life Event - Meigs County, TN Chapter

Saturday, October 13, 2012 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Live Music By

The Road Crew

The Buchanan Boys, Kinslee Melhorn, Jim Ricketts & Lauren Masters

Food & Craft Vendors To Become A Vendor Call Lisa Oliver: 423-506-8143 Towanha Jennings: 423-664-2707 lisaoliver32@gmail.com • towanhaj@hotmail.com Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

www.advocateanddemocrat.com | 13


Monroe Co. Tellico River Visitor Center 920 ft.  at Sweetwater





Oosterneck Creek 1,045 ft.  Overlook and boating takeout on the Tellico River. When the water is up, the Tellico River, with it’s Class III, IV, V, rapids, is quite a challenge for canoeists and kayakers.

Caney Branch 1,370 ft. 

Tellico Plains

68

165

Tellico Ranger Station 

Tellico River 950 ft.  The Tellico River is famous for its trout fishing.

Coker Creek Welcome Center

Tennessee Emergency Information Cherokee National Forest Tellico Ranger Station 250 Ranger Station Road Tellico Plains, TN 37385 (423) 253-8400 Ducktown, TN

Sheriffs Department Monroe County, TN (423) 442-3911

The wilderness areas surrounding the Cherohala Skyway are beautiful and alluring, but not necessarily suited for everyone to explore. As a visitor to wilderness, you should be aware that you are Eagle Gap Trailhead entering a primitive environment. 3,600 ft.  You will face the challenge of Grassy Gap Trailhead being entirely self-sufficient–no 3,400 ft.  trail signs, no restrooms, no water spigots. Some people may just rather drive by, enjoy the Spirit Ridge 4,950 ft. d view, and visit more developed trails and recreation areas. Take a leisurely stroll (about 3/10th of a mile) East Rattlesnake Rock 4,110 ft.  along an easy grade Unicoi Crest 4,470 ft.  d  through a northern Brushy Ridge hardwood forest to a Stratton Ridge 3,750 ft.  d fabulous vista overlooking 4,420 ft.   Overlooking Sassafras West This is a perfect place to the Byway and a seemingly Ridge and other major Rattlesnake Rock Trailhead stretch, enjoy a picnic endless range of mountains. ridges running south State Line 4,000 ft.  lunch (5 tables), or use The trail is accessible for down to the Tellico (Beech Gap 4,490 ft.) the restroom facilities. A the physically challenged River. bulletin board provides and two picnic tables are additional information easily accessed from the Mud Gap Trailhead parking lot. about the Skyway. 4,480 ft. 



Weather Conditions Important to consider before traveling the Skyway. Snow is common from mid November through mid Aprilespecially in the higher elevations. Note: The Cherohala Skyway is a State maintained road, with the amenities maintained by the US Forest Service. For each state, please contact the appropriate Sheriffs Department for road conditions and the appropriate Forest Service Ranger Station for recreation information.

Obadiah 3,740 ft.  d Listen carefully to the sound of Santeetlah Creek far below while enjoying the mountain vista offered at this scenic overlook.

Haw Knob Slopes 4,890 ft. 

Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center 225 Cherohala Skyway Tellico Plains, TN 37385 423-253-8010 Coker Creek Welcome Center 12197 New Hwy 68 Coker Creek, TN 37314 423-261-2286

Big Junction 5,240 ft.  d

Hooper Cove 3,100 ft.  d  This open area with a view into the Santeetlah Creek drainage offers a perfect spot for a picnic lunch (four tables).

143

Wright Cove 4,150 ft.  Huckleberry 5,300 ft. 

Santeetlah 5,390 ft.  Over a mile-high in elevation, enjoy a picnic (3 tables) at the highest overlook along the Skyway.

411

1127

Whigg Cove 4,570 ft. 

Bald River Falls Located on Forest Service Road 210, you can view Bald River Falls without leaving your car as water cascades over 100 feet onto the rocks below. Further along the road you may be interested in visiting the State operated trout hatchery.

b Cell phone coverage along the Cherohala Skyway is very sporadic. There is a public phone at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center. Above Indian Boundary there is some cell phone coverage.

Lake View 3,360 ft.  d A perfect place to enjoy distant views of Tellico Lake. This lake was created from TVA dams of the Little Tennessee River.

Wheel Chair Accessible Fishing Picnic Tables Hiking Canoeing Camping Cell Phone Coverage

Hooper Bald Trailhead 5,290 ft. d  A quarter-mile hike leads to Hooper Bald, near the site of the old hunting preserve where many exotic species, including the Russian boar, were imported by George Moore in 1908. An information board, restrooms, and two picnic tables are easily accessed from the parking lot.



w w w. a d v o c a t e a n d d e m o c r a t . c o m

Shute Cove 3,550 ft. d  A quiet picnic can be enjoyed at the one table available at this pullover. A few steps to the small wooden platform presents a beautiful view into the valley below.

il

Turkey Creek 2,630 ft.   Overlook with 3 picnic tables and Restroom. Beautiful view from the Appalachians over the Tennessee River Valley. Tellico Plains can be seen in the distance.

Charles Hall Museum

64

 b

Visitor Center

Information Station  Bulletin board welcomes visitors with general information about the Skyway and Tellico Ranger District.

;Sa_Ia

   



a n’s T

The Tellico River has been the scene of human occupation for I-75 12,000 years. For much of this time it was the domain of Native 11 Americans. From at least 1650 AD, the Cherokee Indians Sweetwater resided here. Madisonville After the Cherokee Removal in 1838, the area was opened for 411 Euro-American settlement. Tellico, “tel-li--quo” means “plains” in Cherokee. Cherohala Skyway

+ 0 - : 7 0 ) 4 )

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest    In 1936, an extraordinary 3,800 acres of “one of the few remaining tracts of virgin hardwood in the Appalachians” was set aside as a memorial forest in honor of Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer, a poet, journalist, and World War I soldier killed in action, is best remembered for his poem, “Trees.” This impressive forest contains some of the finest timber grown in these mountains with many huge trees over 20 feet around the base and more than a hundred feet high. A 2-mile loop trail winds beneath the towering trees and through a forest carpeted by a rich variety of wildflowers, ferns, and moss-covered logs from the fallen giants. The Memorial Forest, also part of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, can only be seen on foot.

d Photo Site

o Drag

Indian Boundary Campground    b Just off the scenic Skyway on Forest Service Road 345. Offering 100 campsites as well as day use picnicking, swimming and biking. Open April-September. Reservations are recommended. Call the Tellico Ranger Station or the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center for information.

 Restrooms (no water)

Vonore



Horse Cove Campground

 Rattler Ford Group Campground (By reservation through the Cheoah Ranger Station) To Robbinsville and the Cheoah Ranger Station

129

Santeetlah Gap 2,660 ft.  A bulletin board provides information about the Cherohala Skyway.

North Carolina Emergency Information Nantahala National Forest Cheoah Ranger Station Rt. 1, Box 16-A Robbinsville, NC 28771 (828) 479-6431 Sheriffs Department Graham County, NC (828) 479-3352

Robbinsville, NC

To C hat tan oog a

w w w. m o n ro e c o u n t y       . c h e ro h a l a . o r g


Tunnel underground Caves are cool, literally. The temperature at Lost Sea, America’s largest underground lake, is a constant 58 degrees so in the summer it is cool. In the winter when it is really cold outside, it feels nice and warm inside. This is probably a good reason the Native Americans used the cave many years ago. The cave was actually owned by a Cherokee chief by the name of Chief Craighead. There is so much history within the caverns at Lost Sea. Because of some of this history the Lost Sea has been named a Civil War Trail Marker. In the early 1860’s, the Lost Sea caverns were known as the Great Craighead Cave. In 1861 drafted into the Confederacy at the age of 18, attorney Charles Wesley Hicks stated on his 1922 Civil War questionnaire that he and a detail of 10 other men mined saltpeter from the Great Craighead Cave and shipped several hundred pounds of niter to the powder works in Richmond, Va., approximately every two weeks. A date of 1863 can be found today on the walls within the cave at Lost Sea. The date has been carbon tested and does prove to be authentic. It was probably put there from the carbon of a confederate soldier’s torch. This is the oldest known date in the cave. In 1905, a 13-year-old boy named Ben Sands, wiggled through a tiny, muddy opening 300 feet underground and found himself in a huge room half filled with water. The room was so large that his light was swallowed up by the darkness

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long before reaching the far wall or the ceiling. The Lost Sea opened as a commercial attraction to the public in June of 1965. Attendance has grown steadily every year. Today, the Lost Sea welcomes more than 180,000 visitors a year. The overnight Wild Cave Tour has grown in popularity. The Wild Cave Tour started in the late 1970s and has become a major part of the Lost Sea. The Wild tour involves a three to four-hour caving tour and then an opportunity to spend the night in the cave after the tour. Cavern tours at Lost Sea are open every day but Christmas Day. The hours vary with the season. The Lost Sea is located on New Highway 68 just outside of Sweetwater. Several other gift shops are open seasonally including the Glass Blower, Sweet Shop, Cavern Kitchen Restaurant and the General Store where you can purchase dirt and pan for gemstones. You can also plan your next birthday party at Lost Sea several options are available. Please visit the website at www.thelostsea.com or call for additional information 423-337-6616.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


On the trail of history Monroe County played a key role in the Civil War with its strategic position. The history is now told through the Civil War Trail Markers, according to Monroe County Director of Tourism Julie Morgan.

“War Comes to Madisonville, Enjoying Forced Hospitality” Monroe County Courthouse Madisonville was divided in its loyalties, occupied by both sides during the war. Union troops destroyed the Courthouse and damaged the jail in 1864. A monument to troops serving on both sides was erected in the Courthouse square after the war.

“Caught in the Middle” Coker Creek Coker Creek suffered the effects of the Civil War. The conflict closed the lucrative gold mines and brought devastation and terror to the inhabitants. Both the Union and the Confederate armies foraged for supplies from long-suffering civilians, while violent vendettas continued. Both armies used the Unicoi Turnpike Trail (present-day Joe Brown Highway and State Route 68) to move soldiers and supplies.

“The Great Craighead Cave” The Lost Sea This cave was rich in saltpeter, or niter, which was a key ingredient of gunpowder, obviously a much-needed commodity during the war. Contracts here required 250,000 pounds of the substance to be delivered to the Confederate powder works in Augusta, Ga., in 1862. But production never came close to that amount. The approach of Federal troops caused the works to be shut down in the fall of 1863.

“Sweetwater Depot, Strategic Target” Downtown Sweetwater Sweetwater was an important transportation center during the war thanks to the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad. Military control over the railroad seesawed from one side to the other during September 1863 as armies maneuvered for control of Knoxville and Chattanooga. Confederate Gen. James Longstreet used the town for his campaign against Knoxville.

“Gripped in the War’s Iron Fist” Tellico Plains Located outside the Charles Hall Museum and Skyway Visitors Center, the newest marker added in the county depicts the roll Tellico Iron Works had in the war.

Unfortunately healthcare emergencies do happen, but when they do, Sweetwater Hospital’s 15 bed emergency room uses the latest technology in Respiratory Care, Lab, CT, MRI & X-ray to treat our patients with the highest quality care in the region.

Count on Sweetwater Hospital's 75 years of experience delivering the region's best care.

Raft a river, ride a train, hike or bike a forest trail, canoe a lake, or soar above it all in a glider plane. Then have supper and stay the night in a charming Tennessee Overhill town.

FREE VISITOR GUIDE

Dr. Celia Harrison, Emergency Room Director

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

877-510-5765

www.tennesseeoverhill.com

www.advocateanddemocrat.com | 17


Getting close to nature

“There is a petting zoo in Sweetwater?” That is the reoccurring question that the Purdy family loves to answer. Yes, there is a petting zoo in Sweetwater and it is lots of fun for anyone or any age, including the Purdys. The exotic animals at the petting zoo are a must see. In 2008, Mark and Melissa Purdy, started the petting zoo not only for a business but for a way for their family to bond together outdoors. As the Purdys started the petting zoo, they realized it was going to require lots of patience, love and some magic. Petting zoos are all about getting people closer to nature. Currently the petting zoo has approximately 90 animals that can be hand fed. Animals that you will see include: camel, Japanese sika deer, dangaroo, Zdonkey (half zebra and half donkey), ring-tailed lemur, alpacas, llamas, Nigerian dwarf goats, Tennessee fainting goats, Grants zebra, white and chocolate fallow deer, Hawaiian sheep, Sicilian miniature donkey, mini zebu , Scottish Highlander, African spurred thigh tortoise, peacocks, turkeys, Patyagonian cavy from Argentina, rabbits, miniature African Pygmy goats, miniature horse, ponies, miniature pot-bellied pigs and others The family has baby goats, sheep

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and baby deer being born. They are also expecting the birth of a mini-Sicillian donkey soon. The petting zoo also offers opportunities for schools to bring their students to a field trip designed specifically for the groups who attend. These trips do not have to be only for schools but are wonderful for churches and small groups as well. In addition to the field trips, there is also the magical hassle-free birthday party opportunity. New this year is the opportunity to book birthday parties year around and have an indoor party. At birthday parties, each child who attends gets to do pony rides, visit the petting zoo, and gem mine. During the summer, Purdy’s Petting Zoo offers summer camps. During camps, the participants get to experience many opportunities that today’s children do not have. Camps are held in June and July. Purdy’s Petting Zoo is open seasonally, Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. The zoo is located a short distance from Interstate 75’s Exit 60. Go east on New Highway 68 and turn onto Cleveland Farm Road. If you would like more information or have questions, please call Mark and Melissa at 423-295-5156 or go to www.purdyspettingzoo.com.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


Come to Our Old Fashioned Cruise-In 2nd Saturday in April-October July 14, 2012 August 11, 2012 Septmeber 8, 2012

Hwy. 411 Madisonville

179 Tellico Reliance Road Reliance, TN 37369

423-338-8500 Cell 423-519-6081 www.hiwasseeangler.com steve@hiwasseeangler.com

442-2128

GUIDE SERVICE s&ULL$AY(ALF$AY4RIPS s4ROUT 3MALLMOUTH 2OCK&ISH s7ADEOR&LOAT4RIPS s#USTOM4RIPS!VAILABLE s&LY&ISHING#LASSES

Meigs County Tourism 0/"OXs$ECATUR 4.s (423)

334-5850

Gibson Shoe Store Andrews, NC

Cherokee Removal Memorial Park Visitor’s Center 339-2769 Open Wed.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

“Get Hooked On Meigs County� For Watts Bar Lake Activities Call The Chamber At 423-334-5496

Open 9am-6pm Monday-Saturday

Factory Return Outlet

Madisonville, Tennessee The Hub of Monroe County

Mayor - Alfred McClendon Vice-Mayor - Glenn Moser City Recorder - Ted Cagle Board of Aldermen • Bobby D. Bruner • Sherri Anderson • Bill Spradlin • Linda Hensley • Glenn Moser

Bargain Hunters Welcome! Gently Used Books New Books Buy • Sell • Trade

Audio Books • Local Interest • Maps

Open Tuesday - Saturday 10am to 5pm Closed Sunday & Monday 108 Scott Street Old Downtown Tellico Plains

www.tellicobookshelf.com

423-253-3183 Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

MOTOR INNS OF AMERICA 4740 New Highway 68 S • Madisonville, TN

For Reservations or Other Information

(423) 442-9045

www.motorinnsofamerica.com Halfway between Knoxville & Chattanooga At the intersection of Hwy 411 & 68 IN THE HEART OF MONROE COUNTY

• 1 minute to 12 fast food restaurants • 10 minutes to Hiwassee College • 12 miles to I-75 • 12 mintues to 2nd Largest Flea Market • 40 minutes to Knoxville Airport

For Your Comfort and Convenience We Offer... • Free Local Calls • No smoking rooms • Double or King • Air Conditioning & Heat

• Cable TV with HBO • Ample Truck Parking • Handicap accessible rooms • Free high speed internet available

We gladly accept

BERT’S

Hometown Grill & Pizzeria

CHARBROILED CHICKEN BURGERS HAND CUT STEAKS Est. 1987

902 Tellico Street • Madisonville, TN Next to Wal-Mart

423-442-2222

bertshometowngrill.com www.advocateanddemocrat.com | 19


Bald River Falls

Fall in Love

with our Falls

People are drawn to Southeast Tennessee from near and far to explore the beautiful natural landscapes of the Tennessee Overhill region, a three-county area that includes the southern half of the Cherokee National Forest. One of the major draws to this area is the many waterfalls located throughout the forest. There are more than 50 waterfalls ranging from five feet to 130 feet high. Some are easily

accessible and others, due to their remote locations, require a hike. Choosing which waterfall to see is the greatest challenge. The spectacular 90-foot Bald River Falls (GPS: 35° 19.44’N, 84° 10.357’W ) can be seen from the bridge on Forest Service Road #210 (a paved road just a few miles from Tellico Plains). Have your camera handy, because a photo from the bridge with the

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falls behind you will be one of your trip’s favorites. Located in Chilhowee Recreation Area, Benton Falls (GPS: 35° 8.428’N, 84° 35.766’W ) is a 65-foot waterfall with water cascading down step-like rocks. The three-mile round-trip hike is rated easy/moderate. From Ocoee Scenic Byway (Highway 64), take Forest Service Road #77 to Chilhowee Recreation Area ($3 day use fee). The trailhead can

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


be found in the parking lot. Forty-five foot Coker Creek Falls (GPS: 35° 11,835’N, 84° 22.217’W ) with a series of waterfalls/ cascades ranging from eight feet to 20 feet high is a kayaker’s and photographer’s favorite. Stop at Coker Creek Welcome Center/Post Office on Highway 68 to get directions. Hike is around 3 miles but you don’t need to make the entire trip to see a waterfall. The hike is rated easy/moderate. Other lesser known falls are Turtletown Falls (GPS 35° 9.834’N, 84° 21.166’W ) and Falls Branch Falls (GPS: 35° 21.287’N, 84° 3.864’’W ). Turtletown Falls is 40 feet high and flows over a large ledge then separates into two falls. A bonus waterfall, Lower Turtletown Falls, may be seen if you hike a little further downstream from the main falls. On Highway 68, turn at Farner Post Office, cross the railroad and turn left on Duggan Road, bear left on Farner Road entrance to the falls, Forest Service Road #1166, is the first road on the right. Follow the dirt road for 1.5 miles down to the fall’s parking lot. The trail is three miles roundtrip and rated easy/ moderate. Falls Branch Falls is an 80-foot waterfall located off the National Scenic Byway, the Cherohala Skyway (Highway 165). At the Rattlesnake Rock parking area, hike about 100 feet (take the left fork) to the Falls Branch Trail #87. Once at the falls, follow the creek downstream to see several cascades. The roundtrip is about 3 miles. Rated moderate. Bonus: Located in a wilderness area, you can see a very impressive oldgrowth forest site with huge trees: poplars, buckeyes, birches, hemlock, and black cherries. Keep in mind, waterfalls are beautiful, but they are not to be climbed on. They can be dangerous, and in some cases people have been seriously injured while climbing on waterfalls. Avoid stepping into fast flowing water but if you must walk into a creek, be aware, moss covered rocks can be very slippery. Be sure to bring plenty of drinking water. The Tennessee Overhill Association (TOHA) has directions to most waterfalls in the southern Cherokee National Forest. Call 877-510-5765 for more information. Coker Creek Welcome Center has maps to Coker Creek Falls and Turtletown Falls. You may also check out the Cherokee National Forest website www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee. TOHA began in 1990 when the Southeastern Tennessee counties of McMinn, Monroe, and Polk were selected as a pilot area for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Heritage Tourism Initiative.”  At that time, a diverse group of people, organizations, and government agencies serving the three counties came together to build a different kind of tourism program, one that honored local  history, traditions, culture, and natural resources.  Visit the Overhill website at www.tennesseeoverhill.com.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

Benton Falls Coker Creek Falls

Fall Branch Falls

Turtletown Falls

www.advocateanddemocrat.com | 21


Sweet Summertime

E

ach year more than two million people visit the Cherokee National Forest with its spectacular scenery and hundreds of miles of hiking trails. And each year thousands will cool off in the refreshing rivers located throughout the Cherokee National Forest. There are four scenic rivers in the Tennessee Overhill Region (Monroe, Polk, McMinn counties) that visitors won’t want to miss: the Ocoee, Conasauga, Hiwassee and Tellico rivers. All four are within a short driving distance of each other and each one offers a different experience.

Ocoee River The Ocoee River, with its Class III-IV whitewater rapids, draws more than 300,000 visitors each year for rafting, kayaking, camping, hiking, and mountain biking. Experienced kayakers and canoeists love the Ocoee, but novices can experience the whitewater too. Commercial rafting companies provide expert guides to allow the most inexperienced person to scream down the Ocoee and believe they did it themselves. There is an age limit - youngsters must be 12 years of age or older. The Ocoee Whitewater Center, built for the 1996 Olympic Whitewater competition, is perched on the banks of the Ocoee River near Ducktown in Polk County. The Olympic Race Course is open for commercial rafting on scheduled days. The Tanasi Mountain Biking Trail System starts there too, with more than 30 miles of biking trails that appeal to families as well as seasoned riders. The Whitewater Center is also the site of what locals call the “Blue Holes.” These are

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pools of water that families enjoy for wading, dipping, and snorkeling. Getting There: The Ocoee River Recreation Area lies along U.S. Highway 64 between Ducktown and Ocoee.

Conasauga River Located just a few miles south of the Ocoee River, the Conasauga is a crystal clear river surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest. Snorkelers can view tropical colored fish, schools of freshwater drum (some up to 10 pounds) and thousands of other fish at a designated fish viewing area. The great variety, colors and number of fish in the Conasauga River amaze even those who have snorkeled on marine coral reefs. According to visitor information distributed by the Cherokee National Forest Service, at least 39 species of fish have been identified in the viewing site and the number of species found in the Conasauga is higher than the entire Columbia River System. The fish are present year round in large numbers but the best time to see them at peak color is during late April through June, when no rain has fallen for several days. The water temperature in late spring is in the 60’s, therefore it is recommended that visitors wear a wet suit for warmth, flotation and protection from the rocks. The water temperature in July begins to reach 70 and temperatures reaching more than 80 occur in August. A snorkel, mask and water shoes are also recommended. Visit www.wildlifeviewingareas.com for detailed directions to the viewing site. Getting There: Located off Forest Service Road 221, south of Ocoee on U.S. Highway 411 just before Conasauga.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


Tellico River Just 30 minutes from the Hiwassee River is the pristine Tellico River, located just a few miles out of the quaint town of Tellico Plains. The Tellico is surrounded by 30,000 acres of remote backcountry where the river rises from the Unicoi Mountain Range near the Tennessee/North Carolina state line and flows down through a mountain gorge before it reaches the broad plains at the town of Tellico Plains. The Tellico River is popular for kayakers when the water levels rise to Class III - IV rapids after a rainfall. For others, the river provides opportunities for swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking, backpacking and wildlife viewing. The Tellico River is nationally recognized as a premier trout stream, renowned for brook, brown and rainbow trout. The trout is stocked March through August by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA). The trout are raised for stocking the river at the Pheasant Field fish rearing pools which are open to the public and are located at the end of the Tellico River Road (FSR210). The road is a favorite for photographers and people who enjoy scenic drives. It winds alongside the river. Bald River Falls, a nearly 100-foot waterfall, is located on the Tellico River and can be seen from the road. Getting There: From Tellico Plains, follow State Highway 165 (East) to Forest Service Road 210. The road follows the river.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

Hiwassee River The Scenic Hiwassee River is located about 6 miles north of the Ocoee. Ninety percent of the area around the river is surrounded by mountains, forested hill sides and pastoral river bottoms. Perhaps this is why the Cherokee Indians named the river Hiwassee, meaning “a meadow place at the foot of the hills.” This wide river, which is part of the Tennessee Scenic River System, offers visitors a peaceful setting for canoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking and fishing. The river is classed as primarily Class I (moving water with small waves and few obstructions) with some Class II (easy rapids with wide, clear channels, some maneuvering required). Certain sections are considered Class III (rapids with high waves capable of swamping an open canoe, requires complex maneuvering). Anglers can try their hand at catching largemouth bass, yellow perch, catfish, and brown and rainbow trout. There is no fee for fishing on the river, but state fishing rules apply. There are some parking areas along the Hiwassee River that require a parking fee. Commercial fly fishing guide services are available. Getting There: The Hiwassee Scenic River is accessible from U.S. Highway 411 and State Highway 30 (East) between Benton and Etowah. For more information about summer fun and other things to do and see in the Tennessee Overhill, contact 1-877-510-5765 or visit tennesseeoverhill.com.

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Hidden treasure

Best known as the gateway to the Cherohala Skyway and the Cherokee National Forest, Tellico Plains is often just a drive-thru for visitors. If you don’t stop, however, you have missed out on an opportunity to enjoy the town’s special eateries and shops, along with its great scenery and the friendly folks who call Tellico Plains home. The mountain town has a wide array of activities that, unlike the picturesque landscape, are often hidden from the natural eye. Time moves at a slower and simpler pace in Tellico Plains, where local artisans sell their arts and crafts in the downtown shops, the aroma of down home cooking feels the air from local restaurants, outdoor recreational opportunities are plentiful, and remnants of a traditional mountain heritage are preserved. Along the main highway, the Charles Hall Museum showcases rich history and artifacts, while the Cherohala Visitors Center allows tourists to learn more about the area. With comfortable temperatures

year-round, hiking, camping, picnicking, swimming, bicycling, boating, fishing, hunting, sight-seeing and more attract thousands of visitors to the town annually. Campgrounds can be found at Indian Boundary, cabins can be rented throughout the town, and the Fish Hatchery rears trout in large pools. Bald River Falls, just a short drive into the Cherokee National Forest, cascades nearly 100 feet. The falls can be viewed from the road or hikers can walk to the top of the falls on a marked trail. In the summer, the town gears up for the annual Square Dance (usually scheduled for the Fourth of July or the weekend before), held in town square with live music on the gazebo and dancing throughout the night. In October, nearby Coker Creek hosts the annual Gold Festival. The two-day festival features music, oldtime displays, an authentic old-fashioned queen competition and a wide array of arts and craft vendors. The annual Candlelight Walk in December showcases a Victorian

Christmas celebration, complete with luminaries, carriage rides, the tree lighting, a cookie caper, a gingerbread house contest, a live nativity scene, Santa Claus, the Grinch, and more. For more information on all Tellico Plains has to offer, visit www.tellico-plains.com.

Tellico Plains is more than just a gateway to the Cherohala Skyway

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Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


THE TOWN OF TELLICO PLAINS, TN

Welcome!

Indian Boundary Outpost Located Inside the Indian Boundary Recreation Area, Just Inside Camping Loop B

From the Citizens of Tellico Plains

The Small Town with the Big Back Yard

“Getaway to the Cherokee National Forest & The Cherohala Skyway”

April 17th - November 6th Camping... Picnicking... Fishing... Swimming... Hiking... Forgot your bait or ice?... The Outpost has you covered. We have a variety of practical and unique items - forgotten camping, picnicking or fishing supplies or maybe something you've never seen but always wanted.

Recreation, hunting, fishing, swimming, camping, kayaking, canoeing, picnicking or just a leisure drive across the Skyway. Enjoy street dancing at our 4th of July Celebration. If you can’t find it in Tellico Plains, it can’t be found!!!

Come & See!

Whether your visiting us for a day or a week stop by The Outpost and visit with our friendly staff. The ice cooler is full and chilling, snacks are stocked and drinks are in the cooler.

See you at The Outpost! Rethia Roberts, Owner

CHEROHALA SKYWAY VISITOR CENTER

18 Years Best Service in Monroe County NEW Summer Menu

Best Food • Best Service • BestValue

Open Seven Days 128 Bank Street • Tellico Plains

423-253-2880

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

Open Monday-Sunday 9:00-5:00 Winter Hours: (Jan.-Feb.): Fri.-Sat. 9:00-5:00 & Sunday 1:00-5:00

225 Cherohala Skyway • Tellico Plains

423-253-8010 • Friendly Folks • Current Skyway & National Forest Information • Ample Free and Paved Parking • Outdoor Picnic Facilities • Super Clean Bathrooms • A Modern “Not-For-Profit” Gift Shop

Center owned and operated by Monroe County, Tennessee

www.cherohala.org The Official Website of Cherohala Skyway www.advocateanddemocrat.com | 25


Step into Cooney’s Corner Georgia pilot Cliff Kluge came down the stairs of Cooney’s Corner with a heavy box and a big smile on his face. He had just made a rare find, a bunch of thick radio repair manuals published many years ago. The manuals are almost impossible to find and just what he needed to feed his radio repair hobby. Kluge’s joyous find is a scene played out over and over in historic downtown Sweetwater, as the town’s wide variety of antique and other stores attract shoppers from all over. The friendly atmosphere in Sweetwater, ample downtown parking and great places to eat further enhance each visitors’ experience. Cooney’s Corner exemplifies the unique antique shops Sweetwater has to offer. Kevin Cooney and his wife, Mary Beth, did not take a direct path to becoming antique store owners. New Jersey-born Kevin Cooney was a highly successful baseball coach, spending the last 20 years as the head coach at

the big-time baseball program Florida Atlantic. Playing baseball had been Cooney’s life as a youngster. “I never dreamed of anything else,” he said, as he prayed for a baseball career. Cooney made it to the minor leagues, but admits he became bitter when an arm injury ended his career. “I was really lost,” he admits. Little did he know his baseball career was not over. He would enjoy a long teaching and coaching career that focused as much on building young men into good people as it did, the fundamentals of baseball. “God did answer my prayers,” Cooney said he came to realize. But while enjoying the warm Florida weather, he knew his wife always wanted to get back to her Loudon County roots in East Tennessee. When Cooney retired in 2008, the family began building a home in Loudon County and spent a lot of time

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in Sweetwater looking for furniture and antiques. It’s then that the Cooneys met the owners of Sweetwater Valley Antiques, Ron and the late Janice Johnson, who were looking to sell their antique store as the Johnson family coped with illness in their family. “We should buy that place,” he told his wife. She needed some convincing and Cooney admits he was not even used to balancing the family checkbook let alone running a business. Cooney said that first winter of 2010 was bleak as he struggled to find his niche in the antique business. But he received some good advice, as nearby shop owners told him to buy what he was interested in. Cooney’s Corner has plenty to keep both men and women interested. The store is open seven days a week (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays). Visit cooneyscornerantiques.com or call 423-351-9480.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


Cooney‛s Corner Cooney's Corner offers four rooms packed with an eclectic mix of antiques. Specializing in country store items, advertising signage, primitive furniture, antique tools, unique smalls, glassware, and unusual decorative items, Cooney's Corner has something for everyone. Located in Sweetwater, TN on the corner of Morris and Main streets, across from the Southern Railroad Car, Cooney's Corner is housed in two historic downtown buildingsJ.J. Ward & Co. General Merchandise in 1896, Browder's Hardware Store in 1906, and later McKinney's Clothing Store.

Cooney's Corner Is Open Seven Days A Week Mon-Sat 10am-5pm • Sunday 12pm-5pm 423-351-9480 www.cooneyscornerantiques.com Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012

www.advocateanddemocrat.com | 27


OVERNIGHT RENTALS, REAL ESTATE Arrowhead Land Company, Broker home of

Caney Creek Village Log Cabins

Welcome To

Caney Creek Village Creek Side Cabins with Full Baths, Pool & Fishing Pond

Arrowhead Land Company, Broker

(Physical Address: 5859 Hwy 360, Ballplay Road)

Beautiful Wedding Chapel! Perfect For Your Special Day!

4 Miles North of Tellico Plains, Reportedly Oldest Tollroad in US

PO Box 296•Tellico Plains, TN 37385

423-253-3670

www.caneycreekvillage.com • dixiew39@aol.com

Come relax with us a while for some: • Homemade Cooking, Italian, Country, & Hand Packed Burgers • Live Entertainment - Call for Schedule • Friday Bluegrass - Call for Schedule • Country Inn/Motel

Stay with us at the Cotton Pickin Country Inn after your scenic drive on the beautiful Cherohala Skyway! See Y’all Soon!

100 Scott Street, Tellico Plains, TN • 423-253-3463

www.thecottonpickininn.com

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Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2012


Summer Tennessee Mountain Traveler 2012