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Summer 2013 Edition

A SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE ADVOCATE & DEMOCRAT Featuring the Outdoor Adventures, Interactive Attractions and Fun-Filled Events in Monroe County, Southeast Tennessee and bordering North Carolina.

Welcome to Tennessee Mountain Traveler Country!

The Advocate & Democrat is proud to produce the Tennessee Mountain Traveler three times a year to showcase the region. This full-color tourism magazine is distributed to nearly 15,000 tourists throughout East Tennessee and North Carolina. Tennessee Mountain Traveler Country is a region blessed with rich heritage, friendly people, unmatched scenery and outdoor recreation. 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

hike in 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. Special thanks to the Tennessee Overhill Association, Monroe County Tourism Department, Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority, Graham County, N.C. Travel and Tourism and many others involved in this publication. For more information about this publication, call 423-337-7101.

Contents Summer 2013

4-5.................Upcoming Events 6............................. Madisonville 7............................ Tellico Plains 8.................................... Townsend 9.................... Tail of the Dragon 10-11...................... Scenic Rivers 12............... Stecoah Valley, NC 14.................... Train Excurison 15............................ The Lost Sea 16-17.. Cherohala Skyway Map 18................................ Waterfalls 19................. KOA Campground 21............... Purdy’s Petting Zoo 22................... Hiking/Camping 24-25..... Great Island Festival and 18th Century Trade Faire 26-27........ Muscadine Festival 30............ Celebration of HOPE 31........ Autumn Gold Festival

10-11 24-25


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Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Not So Boring Photography Contact: Email: Cell: 423-404-4347

Published by:

On the Cover Freelance photographer and Madisonville, Tenn. resident Mason Boring developed a love of capturing memories at an early age, recording any shenangans he could. Five years ago, however, he picked up an DSLR camera and discovered a new love, photographing his adventures in the great outdoors. One of Boring’s photos was even featured in a gallery on National Geographic’s website. Boring calls his work Not So Boring Photography, as each image displays more than a simple story. Boring shot the cover photo on a trail, which begins at Unicoi Crest overlook, off the Cherohala Skyway. Several of his photos can be found throughout this edition.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

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

Advertising Team: Sharon Livingston Advertising Manager

Tommy Millsaps Editor

Lorie Samples Sales Representative Sweetwater & Vonore

Thomas Wilson Publisher

Layout and Graphic Art Team: Jessica Cross Kristen Calhoun

Peggy Harrill Sales Representative Madisonville & Tellico Plains

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. | 3

Sept. 6-7 Smoky Mountain Fiddler’s Convention and Craft Fair Bluegrass musics begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and competition begins Saturday at 10 a.m. in Loudon at Legion Field. Jammers are welcome. Festival includes an antique show, craft show and local art. Contact: 865-986-6822, or email cpangle@visitloudoncounty. com.

Aug. 14, 21, 28 Tailgate Market

Aug. 24 The Stray Birds concert

Open from 8-11 a.m., the Tailgate Market at the Steocoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County, N.C., has fresh veggies and locally grown and crafted food products, such as fresh jams, jellies, baked goods and more.

The Stray Birds will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County, N.C. Purchase tickets online at www.

Aug. 17 Art Sampler An interactive demonstration of several artisans’ creative methods and techniques at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham Center, N.C. Visitors are invited to create their own art piece with instruction from the demonstrating artisans.

Aug. 17 The Jeff Little Trio concert The Jeff Little Trio will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County, N.C. Purchase tickets online at www.

Aug. 22-24 Scenic Cit y Line Dance Extravaganza Held at the Marriott Hotel/ Chattanooga Convention Center, the event features 48-hours of dance workshops in three ballrooms for beginners through advanced level dancers. For more details, visit www.

Aug. 24 Southern Brewers Festival The Southern Brewers Festival features the nation’s rarest and most popular craft breweries with more than 100 draft beers. Presented by Big River Grille & Brewing Works, the event is from 2 p.m. to midnight and showcases live music on the downtown Chattanooga Riverfront. For more information, visit www.

Aug. 31 Red June concert Red June will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County, N.C. Purchase tickets online at www.

Sept. 4, 11 Tailgate Market Open from 8-11 a.m., the Tailgate Market at the Steocoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County, N.C.

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Sept. 7-8 Tennessee Valley Railroad’s Railfest The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, the largest operating historical museum in the Southeast, hosts the 52nd annual event, showcasing train rides, demonstrations, a petting zoo, children’s activities, food and live entertainment. Activities for all ages. For more information, visit

Sept. 7 Firefighters 5K Run/Walk The 5K will begin at the Sweetwater Lions Club Park at 8:30 a.m. All proceeds from the event will be used by the North Monroe Volunteer Fire Department for operating expenses and to pay for a new tanker. Contact: Craig Brackett at 865207-9331 or email cbrackett@

Sept. 7-8 Great Island Festival and 18th Century Trade Faire Held at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum and Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore, the annual two-day event showcases the lifestyle at the Fort in the 18th century and celebrates the life of Sequoyah and the Cherokee in East Tennessee. See pages 24 and 25 for more details. Visit www.sequoyahmuseum. org for more information or call 423-884-6246.

Sept. 7-29 Football at the Falls For its seventh annual year, Ruby Falls invites football fans to enjoy the big game after a tour of the attraction. Each Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the Ruby Falls lobby and Fun Forest deck area (located at the end of the Ruby Falls tour) will have multiple high-definition flat screen TVs showing the day’s pigskin action. There will also be Ladder Ball and Madden Tournaments. For more information, visit pages/Football-at-the-Falls/.

Sept. 8 Fried Green Tomato Festival The festival is held at the Niota Depot in McMinn County. Festival will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Eric Curtis and The Saggy Bottom Girls will perform. Visit for info.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Sept. 14 Miss Muscadine Festival Pageant Held at Sweetwater Elementary School on Broad Street, the annual pageant crowns a queen just in time for the National Muscadine Festival. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children ages 3 and under are free. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the pageant begins at 6:30 p.m. Contestant registration is $50 and is open to any female who is a freshman-senior in high school. Deadline to register is Aug. 31. Registration forms are available online or at Sweetwater City Hall. Visit for more information.

Sept. 14-21 National Heritage Quilt Show The McMinn Living Heritage Museum’s annual juried quilt show will feature Civil War-era reproduction fabrics and pat-

terns. Submission guidelines are available online. Museum will be open on Saturdays for the exhibit. Contact: 423-745-0329 Visit for more information.

Sept. 21 Annual Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride

Sept. 27-29 National Muscadine Festival

This is the largest, organized ride marking one of the trails used during the removal of Native Americans from their homeland. An estimated 25,000 motorcycles will take part in the three-day ride that begins in Chattanooga and concludes in Florence, Ala. (extended ride ends in Oklahoma). Preride activities begin on Sept. 19. For more information, visit www.trailoftears-remembrance. org.

The third annual festival hosted by the Sweetwater Merchants and Property Owners Association brings people to historic downtown Sweetwater each fall and to Tsali Notch Vineyard. Activities include jelly-making, storytelling, and and picking fresh muscadine grapes. Visit for more information. See pages 26-27.

Sept. 27-28 Townsend Fall Heritage Festival Held at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in

Townsend, the annual event highlights and showcases Appalachian roots, jam sessions, clogging, bluegrass and mountain music, arts and crafts booths, local artisans, traditional Appalachian demonstrations, storytelling and more. For more information, visit

Sept. 28 A Celebration of HOPE See page 30 for details.

Oct. 12-13 Autumn Gold Festival in Coker Creek Held on the grounds of Coker Creek Elementary School, the annual festival brings crafts, artisans, food vendors and entertainers together for a two-day showcase. See page 31.

Dear Visitor, Are you interested in learning more about Tellico Plains and the Monroe County area in general? What better way is there to obtain information than by subscribing to the local paper? The Advocate & Democrat’s news coverage includes four municipalities in Monroe County: Madisonville, Sweetwater ,Tellico Plains, and Vonore as well as the surrounding areas. We’ll let you know of upcoming events in Coker Creek and at Fort Loudoun. We’ll offer you Real Estate ads from Chestnut Valley to Paint Rock. And we’ll bring you feature stories from Rural Vale to Rarity Bay. We print two times each week: Sunday and Wednesday. Subscriptions to be mailed outside Monroe County are only $7.50 per month with the coupon below. To subscribe, just clip the coupon below and return it along with your payment to:

The Advocate & Democrat • Subscription Department P.O. Box 389 • Sweetwater, TN 37874

Yes, I’d like to learn more about Monroe County. Start my subscription for the term indicated. My payment is enclosed. 3 Months - $24 6 Months - $48 12 Months - $90

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Check or Money Order Enclosed. (It’s not a good idea to send cash in the mail) Name: _____________________________ Phone: _________________ Address: ___________________________________________________ Please Charge my ____________________ (All major CC’s accepted) Acct # ___________________________________________________ Exp. Date: ____________________ V# (3 digit on back) ___________ Yes, I am interested in advertising in the Tennessee Mountain Traveler. Please send advertising information to the following location. Name: _____________________________ Phone: _________________ Address: ___________________________________________________

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013 | 5

Kefauver Park

In the center of it all Madisonville

is the county seat for Monroe County and is in the geographic center of the county. Highways 68 and Highway 411 intersect the town, which has a charming downtown with the historic courthouse in the middle. A number of restaurants are spread throughout the town and there are numerous retail choices for shopping. Madisonville is also home to Monroe County’s own Hiwassee College. Madisonville has a variety of events throughout the year, including the Parade of Flags in June and July along with the Downtown Association’s Halloween trick or treat event each October and a Christmas Parade in December. The city also has one of the best public parks anywhere in East Tennessee. Whether you’re looking for exercise, a place to take the kids, a fishing trip, a game of tennis or just some relaxation,

Kefauver Park in Madisonville has what you’re looking for. Work on the park began in the late 1990s and opened to the public not long after. Initially set up as a walking trail and picnic area, over the years the city has added playgrounds, pavilions, tennis courts and the extremely popular mini water park. Located on the south end of Madisonville on Highway 411, many think the park is name after the late Sen. Estes Kefauver, but is actually named after Madisonville resident David Kefauver. The walking trail is just short of a mile long and usually has several walkers on it, no matter the time of day or the weather. There are three picnic pavilions, four basketball courts, a tennis court and two different play areas. The park is also book ended by two baseball fields, sits next to a football field and has a fish filled lake as its centerpiece. The center pavilion, the biggest one at the park, can be reserved for events. To make a reservation, call 519-0075.

Commercial Land/Buildings, Residential Homes/Lots, Farms/Acreage

Wm. E. “Bill” Howe Principal Broker

Howe Realty & Auction Co. 675 New Hwy. 68, P.O. Box 147 Sweetwater, Tennessee 37874 Cell (423) 519-9355 Toll Free (800) 337-9356 Fax (423) 337-6662 Each office independently owned and operated. TAL# 4476 Firm#1303

Philadelphia, Tennessee For more information 877-862-4332 email: 6 |

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

A hidden

Tellico Plains is best known as the gateway to the Cherohala Skyway and the Cherokee National Forest, but

it 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 yearround, hiking, camping, picnicking, swimming, bicycling, boating, fishing, hunting, and sight-seeing attracts 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 October, nearby Coker Creek hosts the annual Gold Festival. See page 31 for more information. The annual Candlelight Walk in December showcases a Victorian Christmas celebration, complete with luminaries, carriage rides, the tree lighting, a cookie caper, a live nativity scene, Santa Claus, the Grinch, and more. •

For more information on all this town built on mountain heritage and tradition has to offer, visit


Enjoy our covered pavilion & seating! Fresh subs and sandwiches.

Last Gas for 50 Miles! Only 4 Mile to the Scenic Cherohala Skyway

Food • Drink • Gas • Groceries Old Fashioned Candies • Unique Gifts Dragon and Cherohala Souvenirs ll! Sti ne Camping & Fishing Supplies • Live Bait shi on Mo 's See Jim Tom

“Home of the World Famous Chicken Salad Sandwich”

First store off the Cherohala Skyway!! 828-479-4171 Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

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 The Official Website of Cherohala Skyway | 7

Photos: Mason Boring | Not So Boring Photography

Gateway to the Smoky Mountains Townsend

Mountain Tourism Development Authority at 800-525-6834 or visit Stop in to the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center at Townsend, located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, or the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center at Maryville, located at 201 South Washington Street.

is known as “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies” with its abundance of outdoor activities, accommodations, craft shops, and seasonal festivals, provides an ideal vacation getaway or retirement home site. It is a perfect destination for visits to Cades Cove and other attractions in the Smokies. Townsend, itself, is a great place to visit, to do business, or to live. It has many recreational and sight-seeing opportunities of its own - as well as being adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This enchanting community has an interesting history, and some fascinating local attractions. Described as an open-air museum, Cades Cove is 1,800 acres of wide-open space nestled along the base of the Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee. For those who want to experience Cades Cove with a guide, Cades Cove Heritage Tours provides tours for visitors to relax and enjoy the natural scenery and wildlife.  The Heritage Tours operates year round but offer regularly scheduled tours between April 15 and Nov. 15 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.   Cades Cove Loop Road, an 11-mile stretch where visitors can sightsee from their cars or pull aside and walk to historic spots, can be accessed from Little River Road in the national park.  Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to motorized traffic on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10 a.m. to allow bicyclists a chance to enjoy the Cove.  For more information, please contact the Smoky

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Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Ride on the wild side By Ronald E. Johnson The Tail of the Dragon, also known as Deals Gap or just the Dragon, is considered by many as one of the world’s premier motorcycling and sports car roads. Anyone looking for an exciting piece of asphalt will enjoy this stretch of U.S. 129 at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line. The road, paved in the 1920s, was only lightly traveled for decades, primarily by locals and lost tourists. In 1992, the road was mentioned in Rider Magazine and word was out. The Dragon is truly a unique road. In 14 miles, there are only two intersections. There are no buildings other than the Crossroads of Time and our Tail of the Dragon store. There are 318 curves in the 11 miles located on the Tennessee side. Most of the roadway is bounded by United States Forest Service property and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Deals Gap, located at the North Carolina and Tennessee state line, is the highest point on the Dragon at 1,962 feet above sea level. To those coming from the North Carolina side, the Dragon begins at Fugitive Bridge with a view of the Cheoah Dam where Harrison Ford jumped in the movie “The Fugitive.” It ends 14 miles across the mountain at the Tabcat Creek Bridge in Tennessee.



Great Smoky



3 (Fugitive)


to Fon

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ch Rd

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The Cherohala Skyway, Tellico Town Square 106-A Scott St., Tellico Plains 423-253-2088 Across from Downtown Creamery

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013 | 9

Just around the river bend... E

ach year more than two million people visit 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. For more information about summer fun and things to do and see in the Overhill area, contact 1-877-510-5765 or visit

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 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.

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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 60s (°F), 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°F and temperatures reaching more than 80°F occur in August. A snorkel, mask and water shoes are also recommended. Visit 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.

Hiwassee River An alternative to the fast moving water of the Ocoee River is the Scenic Hiwassee River, 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.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

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 an exceptional and 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). Local businesses rent rafts, funyaks and tubes. The river is known for excellent fishing where anglers try their hand at catching large-mouth bass, yellow perch, catfish, and brown and rainbow trout. There is no fee for fishing on the river, but state fishing rules do apply. Some parking areas along the river 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.

Tellico River Just 30 minutes from the Hiwassee River is the pristine Tellico River, located just outside of the quaint town of Tellico Plains. The river 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 a mountain gorge before it reaches the town. The 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 are stocked by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) and are raised at the Pheasant Field fish rearing pools, which are open to the public and are located at the end of Tellico River Road (Forest Service Road 210). The road is a also a favorite for photographers and people who enjoy scenic drives. Bald River Falls, a nearly 100-foot waterfall, is also located on the Tellico River. Getting There: From Tellico Plains, follow State Highway 165 (East) to Forest Service Road 210. The road follows the river.

s ’ n a y Br


Wine And Spirits 660 New Highway 68 Sweetwater, TN


Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm Friday-Saturday 9am-11pm 1 1/2 Miles East of I-75 • Near Jacky Jones Ford

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

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Pulled Pork • Smoked Ribs Smoked Chicken • Steaks Smoked Turkey

Family Atmosphere Second to None Home Town Service! 517 N. Hwy 68 • Sweetwater, TN • 423-351-7190 • Find us on Facebook | 11

Artsy adventures

Growing from an abandoned 1926 school building just a few short years ago to the vibrant center of the Stecoah com-

the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) and learn a variety of crafts and skills through the Appalachian Arts programs – both of which help preserve the Appalachian heritage of the area. The property is surrounded by a third-mile-long garden trail and native azalea garden. The building is currently on the N.C. Study List of Historic Places and, if approved, will be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and relies on donations and grant funding. All gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Stecoah is about a half-hour west of Bryson City via U.S. Highway 74 West and North Carolina State Highway 28 North – roughly midway between Bryson City and Fontana Dam. Stecoah is about 15 minutes north of Robbinsville via North Carolina Highway 143 and North Carolina State Highway 28 South. •

munity today, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County, N.C., offers more than 20 programs to approximately 16,000 people annually. The center brings music to the mountains through the summer performing arts series An Appalachian Evening, recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 Event in the region. Other cultural events include the annual Spring Bluegrass Festival, Harvest Festival, Artisans Drive About and Christmas in the Mountains Art & Craft Show. The Stecoah Valley Artisans Gallery offers the opportunity to buy original artwork and fine crafts that have made North Carolina famous. The Stecoah Valley Food Ventures project offers a renovated commercial kitchen and meeting facilities to support the development of food-related small businesses. Culinary arts workshops and traditional Appalachian arts classes are also offered. Local youth can learn to play stringed instruments through

For more information, please visit or call 828-479-3364.

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Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Enjoy Summer on the Water —


Share a summer of fun swimming, boating, and fishing on rivers and lakes. But remember that waterways can be dangerous, and that conditions can change quickly and without notice. Take precautions! Avoid dams and structures such as powerhouses and electrical substations. Observe all signage, warning signals, sirens and barriers.

Remember to WEAR IT! Brookfield encourages everyone to wear a life jacket when recreating on or near the water. Always check water conditions before you recreate. Š 2013 Brookfield

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013 | 13

All aboard! Hiwassee River Rail Adventure In Tennessee Mountain Country, there is more than one way to get around. In addition to Scenic Byways, such as the Cherohala Skyway and exciting roads, such as The Dragon, lazy rivers and white water adventures, you can take peaceful train rides. Passengers step back in time when they ride restored vintage trains alongside the Hiwassee Scenic River, into the Hiwassee River Gorge, and over the famous Hiwassee Rail Loop. Trains run from AprilNovember. Passengers may choose a half-day round trip from Etowah to the Hiwassee Rail Loop or a day-long excursion from Etowah to Copperhill, with a mid-day layover for lunch and shopping.

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Twenty miles of the railroad corridor is listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to the historical significance of the rail line and the fact that the corridor has retained so much of the original “look” that it had when the line was built in 1890. Because nearly 30 miles of the line runs through the Cherokee National Forest and into the remote Hiwassee River Gorge, Hiwassee River Rail Adventure also attracts people who like viewing scenery and wildlife. Visit for more information or call 423894-8028 x 0, the Etowah Ticket Office 423-263-7840 and General Trip Information 877-510-5765.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway A great family adventure on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway starts at the historic depot in downtown Blue Ridge, G.a. The train winds alongside the beautiful Toccoa River with one stop in the twin border towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tenn. The regular four-hour trips are 26 miles, round trip, winding along the beautiful Toccoa River for one hour (each way) in vintage climate controlled rail cars  or open air rail cars. For more information on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, visit http://www. or call 800-934-1898.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Cave rave C

Facebook photo

Actor and producer Kirk Cameron, who starred in the sitcom “Growing Pains” and the “Left Behind” movies, is a frequent visitor of The Lost Sea.

aves 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. The cave was actually owned by a Cherokee chief by the name of Chief Craighead. Because of its 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. A date of 1863 can be found on the walls within the cave. The authentic, carbon-tested date was probably put there from the carbon of a confederate soldier’s torch. 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 long before reaching the far wall or the ceiling. The Lost Sea opened as a commercial attraction to the public in June of 1965. Today, the Lost Sea welcomes more than 180,000 visitors a year. Cavern tours at Lost Sea are open every day but Christmas Day. The hours vary with the season. There are also opportunities for an overnight Wild Cave Tour. The Lost Sea (and a variety of gift shops) is located on New Highway 68 just outside of Sweetwater.

Visit or call 423-337-6616 for information.

Come visit our new shop! Co

We have hundreds of uniquee gifts and collectibles. • Civil War Memorabilia • Antiques • WWII Memorabilia • Old Guns • Folk Art • Fossils • Arifacts • Geodes • Old Bottles

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455 New Hwy 68, Ste. 1 • Sweetwater, TN 37874

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Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Steaks • Seafood Pasta • Sandwiches Salads • Homemade Soups

“Home of the Big Kid Cookie”


101 E. Morris Street, Sweetwater, TN 37874

In the heart of Sweetwater’s Antiques District

Mon-Thurs: 10am-4pm • Fri-Sat: 10am-8pm Closed Sunday | 15

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Monroe Co. Visitor Center at Sweetwater

Tellico River 920 ft.  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

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.

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.


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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.

Eagle Gap Trailhead 3,600 ft. 

Grassy Gap Trailhead 3,400 ft. 

Visitor Center Charles Hall Museum

Caney Branch 1,370 ft. 

Tellico Plains



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

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

Brushy Ridge 3,750 ft.  d Overlooking Sassafras Ridge and other major ridges running south down to the Tellico River.

West Rattlesnake R Trailhead 4,000 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. 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.

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.

Cherohala Skyw 225 Cherohala S Tellico Plains, TN 423-253-8010

Coker Creek We 12197 New Hwy Coker Creek, TN 423-261-2286

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

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.

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 entering a primitive environment. You will face the challenge of being entirely self-sufficient–no trail signs, no restrooms, no water spigots. Some people may just rather drive by, enjoy the view, and visit more developed trails and recreation areas.

Spirit Ridge 4,950 ft. d 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 hardwood forest to a Stratton Ridge fabulous vista overlooking 4,420 ft.   Rock This is a perfect place to the Byway and a seemingly stretch, enjoy a picnic endless range of mountains. State Line lunch (5 tables), or use The trail is accessible for (Beech Gap 4,490 ft.) the restroom facilities. A the physically challenged 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. 

way Visitor Center Skyway N 37385

elcome Center y 68 37314

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.

1127 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).


Whigg Cove 4,570 ft.  Haw Knob Slopes 4,890 ft.  Big Junction 5,240 ft.  d

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.

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.

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.

Horse Cove Campground

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


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

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




Restrooms (no water)

d Photo Site


Ta on’s Drag


0 - : 7 0 ) 4 )


     . c h e ro h a l a . o r g

Fall in Love

Bald River Falls

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.

Bald River Falls 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 falls behind you will be one of your trip’s favorites.

Benton Falls Located in the Chilhowee Recreation Area, Benton Falls (GPS: 35° 8.428’N, 84° 35.766’W) is a 65-foot waterfall 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).

Coker Creek Falls 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. The hike is around three miles but you don’t need to make the entire trip to see a waterfall. The hike is rated easy/moderate.

Turtletown Falls Turtletown Falls (GPS 35° 9.834’N, 84° 21.166’W) 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

18 |

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.

Fall Branch Falls Fall Branch Falls (GPS: 35° 21.287’N, 84° 3.864’’W) 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 Fall Branch Trail 87. Once at the falls, follow the creek downstream to see cascades. The roundtrip is about a three-mile moderate hike.

The Tennessee Overhill Association (TOHA) has directions to waterfalls in the southern Cherokee National Forest. For more information, call 877-510-5765 or visit the Cherokee National Forest website

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Peaceful setting T

he beauty and quiet setting of the KOA Campground just off Interstate 75 at 269 Murray’s Chapel Road near Sweetwater make it a favorite with overnight campers and family vacationers. Free Wi-Fi, paved interior roads and several select patio sites make it big rig friendly with 67 RV sites along with tent sites and cabins. The catch and release pond is fully stocked with bass, blue gill and catfish. If you like bird watching, you will absolutely love this KOA. The camp store now features garden art by local folk artists. Local attractions include the Lost Sea, Mayfield Dairy Farm, Sweetwater Valley Cheese Farm, Sweetwater’s antique district, Tennessee’s largest indoor flea market and easy access to all the attractions featured in the Tennessee Mountain Traveler. Brand new for the 2013 summer water wars, new jump pillow, pedal carts to rent, climbing wall and tire swing added to playground with very nice basketball court. For beach volleyball, the camp’s hauled in so much sand you will think you are at the beach. • For more information about the campground, go online at or call 865-213-3900.

Explore the Caverns & Take a Boat Ride Deep Underground!

In Business for 9 Years Bikers Wanted Catering Available Monday-Friday 6am-3pm Saturday 7am-2pm • Sunday 7am-3pm

104 Calderwood Hwy Maryville, TN 37801

(865) 380-5430 Voted ‘Best Burger’ in the Blount County Reader’s Choice Winner of WBIR’s Food of the Year for her Chocolate Gravy



From the Citizens of Tellico Plains

The Small Town with the Big Back Yard

“Getaway to the Cherokee National Forest & The Cherohala Skyway” For even more excitement, check ou

t our

(423) 337-6616

Super Saturday

Highway 68 • Sweetwater

Adventure every Saturday at 1pm!

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

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! | 19

Phone: 423-442-8638 Fax: 423-442-8641 4930-D New Highway 68 Madisonville, TN 37354 email:

Serving Your Real Estate Needs

We offer Title Documents, Real Estate Closings, Abstract and Title Insurance.

19 Years Best Food

Serving Monroe County and East Tennessee with excellent service in all of your real estate needs.

It will be a pleasure to serve you! Locally owned & operated with over 35 years experience. Judy Thacker - Owner

Bargain Hunters Welcome!

128 Bank Street, Tellico Plains 423-253-2880

Gently Used Books New Books Buy • Sell • Trade

Audio Books • Local Interest • Maps

Open Tuesday - Saturday 10am to 5pm Closed Sunday & Monday

Menu to Fill All Budgets and Appetites

108 Scott Street Old Downtown Tellico Plains


FALL OR WINTER 2013 SPECIAL! $95/person Two Nights/Three Days Includes 4 meals, 2 nights lodging, team building course, and lots off fun!

Weddings • Reunions • Mountain Retreats • Parties Special Events • Group Meeting Facilities Cabins • Dining Hall

20 |

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

‘There is a petting zoo in Sweetwater?’ T

hat is the reoccurring question that the Purdy family loves to answer. 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, 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, kangaroo, 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 petting zoo also offers opportunities for schools to bring their students to a field trip designed specifically for the groups. These trips do not have to be only for schools but churches and small groups as well. In addition, there is also the magical hassle-free birthday party opportunity. Book birthday parties year around and have an indoor party. At birthday parties, each child who attends gets to do pony rides, and visit the petting zoo and gem mine. •

Purdy’s Petting Zoo is open seasonally, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 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.

Come Experience Our Petting Zoo with Your Friends & Family!

Birthday Parties • Mobile Zoo • Gem Mining School Field Trips • Pony Rides • Pond Fishing g 120 Plemons Road • Sweetwater

Daily 10-5, Sunday 1-5 Purdy’s Petting Zoo is an approved USDA facility.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013 | 21

The great outdoors

Mason Boring | Not So Boring Photography

Big Frog Mountain • Hiking- Managed as a black bear reserve, Big Frog Mountain Recreation Zone is a destination for backpacking, day-hiking and hunting. The area offers about 35 miles of backcountry trails, some of which climb more than 4,000 feet. Hike Big Frog Trail #64 to the top of Big Frog Mountain. The steep climb tops out at more than 4,000 feet elevation. Group size is limited to 12 people in the Wilderness. Several trailheads give access to the Big Frog trail. This trail is part of the long distance to Benton MacKaye Trail. • Camping-Primitive tent camping is available at three campgrounds in the vicinity. Jacks River is across the road from the confluence of the Jacks and Conasauga Rivers. Tumbling Creek is within walking distance of Ocoee Lake, a portion of the Ocoee River. Sylco Campground is near the Big Frog Wilderness boundary.

Hiwassee River • Hiking- Spectacular forested hillsides and pastoral river valleys compliment the beauty of the Hiwassee River Gorge. Hike along scenic Hiwassee River on the John Muir National Recreation Trail #152, which is also part of the Benton MacKaye Trail. Try a short out-and-back hike from one of the trailheads or plan a back-country trip along this 20.7-mile trail. Trailheads

are located at Big Bend, Childers Creek and at the end of Forest Road 108. • Camping- Quinn Springs Recreation Area is located off Highway 30 near the river, where site amenities include tables, fire rings, showers and drinking water. Gee Creek State Park is located on the northern bank of the Hiwassee River and offers campsites with tables, fire rings, showers and drinking water, as well as a group camping area. Lost Creek Campground provides a more remote experience, located off Forest Road 103, with tables and fire rings, but no showers or drinking water.

Tellico River • Hiking- Nearly 30,000 acres of remote backcountry surround the Tellico and North River corridors. The Benton MacKaye Trail offers hiking opportunities and multiple trails connect the Cherohala Skyway with Tellico River Road. Indian Boundary Recreation Area boasts trail #129, an easy and popular 3.2mile hike/bike trail skirting the edge of the lake. For a longer hike, try the six-mile Sycamore Creek Trail #163, a section of the Benton MacKaye Trail. Access the trail at Pheasant Fields on Tellico River Road. For up close views of the river, travel along the Tellico River Road (Forest Road 210). Stop to admire the area’s best known waterfall, 90-foot Bald River Falls.

22 |

• Camping- If you are looking for a destination campground with modern facilities, try Indian Boundary Recreation Area. Located off the Cherohala Skyway, it has more than 90 campsites equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, lantern posts and electrical hook-ups, with easy access to drinking water, showers, flush toilet facilities and an on-site dump station.

Coker Creek • Hiking- Hike Coker Creek Falls Trail #183, a scenic 3.2-mile trek along the gorge in Coker Creek. View a series of deep, clear pools followed by cascading, stair step falls. Access the trail by Forest Road 2138 off County Road 22, or as a spur off John Muir National Recreation Trail #152. The Unicoi Turnpike Trail is a 2.5-mile section of one of the oldest known travel routes in North America. Historically, it served as a principal route from the Atlantic coast to the interior southeast. It became part of the Trail of Tears, the main route for the Cherokee removal of 1838. Interpretive panels along the way describe this historic trail. The trail can be accessed on Forest Road 40, off Highway 68 near Coker Creek.

For more information on trails in the area, visit

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Madisonville, Tennessee The Hub of Monroe County

Mayor - Glenn Moser City Recorder - Alfred McClendon Board of Aldermen • Augustus Davis • Sherri McCrary • Bill Spradlin • Linda Hensley • Susan Saunders

A Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™ For Two Years in a Row 2012 & 2013

Come to Our Old Fashioned Cruise-In 2nd Saturday in April-October

Bike Night 4th Thursday of Every Month Hwy. 411 • Madisonville


WELCOME TO MONROE COUNTY A Great Place to Work & Live


The most advanced health care is close to home. Q 9ecc_ii_eded9WdY[hWYYh[Z_j[ZYWdY[hfhe]hWc Q 7c[h_YWd>[Whj7iieY_Wj_ed%7c[h_YWdIjhea[ 7iieY_Wj_edY[hj_Ó[ZWZlWdY[Zfh_cWhoIjhea[ 9[dj[h Q B?<;F79AZ[ÓXh_bbWjeh%ced_jehfWhjd[hi^_fm_j^ HkhWb%C[jhe7cXkbWdY[

Shan Harris, Director 103 College Street South, Suite 6 Madisonville, TN 37354 423-442-3652 Mobile: 423-519-3369 Email: Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Q IJ;C?IJI[]c[dj;b[lWj_edCoeYWhZ_Wb?d\WhYj_ed j[Wc\eYki[Zed_cc[Z_Wj["[¢[Yj_l[^[WhjWjjWYa jh[Wjc[dj Q C_d_cWbbo_dlWi_l["heXej#Wii_ij[Zikh][ho\eh dkc[hekiYWdY[h"XWh_Wjh_Y"]od[Yebe]_YWbWdZ khebe]_YWbfheY[Zkh[i | 23

Living Fort Loudoun State Historic Area Fort Loudoun State Historic Area, located on Highway 360 in Vonore is a reconstruction of the original fort, in service from 1756-1760. 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. Unfortunately, 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 reenactors 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 soldiersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; barracks, the commanders quarters, blacksmith shop and a Cherokee encampment.

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, located on Highway 360 near Fort Loudoun State Historic Area, is owned and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians with a mission is to promote appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indian, 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. The museum features video, electronic displays and exhibits from periods of Cherokee occupation of the Tennessee Overhill area. A gift shop is also located inside the museum. The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum is also home to a Cherokee burial site, an open-air amphitheater, a reconstruction of Sequoyahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blacksmith shop, a shoreline trail, a boat dock and picnic tables. On Sept. 7-8, Fort Loudoun and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum will come alive for the Great Island Festival and 18th Century Trade Faire.

24 |

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

history The Great Island Festival and 18th Century Trade Faire • Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8 • In the 1700s there was an island in the channel of the Little Tennessee known as “Miliaquo” or “The Great Island.” That island is now submerged under the waters of Tellico Lake. The formation of Tellico Lake created another island, which is the home of Fort Loudoun State Historic Area and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum today. Each year, the weekend after Labor Day, the two attractions combine for the annual Great Island Festival and 18th Century Trade Faire. Held on the grounds of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, the 22nd annual Great Island Festival showcases Native American history through arts and crafts, Cherokee dancing, music, storytelling, and more. There will also be food vendors and a Civil War Battle Re-enactment. Play the traditional Cherokee stickball game, prepare for war with the warrior dances, or write your name in Cherokee. Step back in time at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area with the 18th Century Trade Faire, featuring encampments of soldiers, settlers and Native Americans. There will be demonstrations throughout the day in artillery and musketry, along with several battles and skirmishes. Merchants and artisans will be on hand to peddle food and wares reminiscent of the time. Period food will also be sold and there will be live music and entertainment at both locations. The two-day event

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Parking is available at both sites and free shuttle buses operate between the two. Admission costs are $5 for adults (13 and up). Children 12 and under are free. Visitors must pay at both places.

For more info., call Sequoyah Birthplace Museum at 423-8846246 or visit www., or Fort Loudoun State Historic Area at 423-884-6217 or visit | 25

Stomping good time Historic Downtown Sweetwater

is an antique lover’s paradise featuring large antique malls and quaint antique shops that are sure to please all antique enthusiasts. Each antique store has its own personality and flavor; therefore, if you don’t find what you are looking for in one shop, you will more than likely find it in another. In addition to the wonderful antique stores, downtown Sweetwater is home to unique gift stores, ladies fine clothing, and quality local cafes. All shops and cafes are centrally located around the memorial garden and gazebo in the heart of downtown. Parking is plentiful in front of shops or in nearby parking lots. Don’t forget to visit the Sweetwater Heritage Museum downtown at the corner of North and High streets open 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The museum tells the story of Sweetwater’s beginnings as a railroad town, but also tells much more. Sweetwater’s downtown, with easy access off Interstate 75 between Chattanooga and Knoxville, has undergone dramatic renewal during the past decade and is home to several parades and celebrations year around. The third annual festival hosted by the Sweetwater

26 |

Merchants and Property Owners Association brings people to historic downtown Sweetwater each fall and to Tsali Notch Vineyard, which is located just a few miles outside of Sweetwater. This year’s festival is Sept. 27-29. Activities include, entertainment, a parade, jelly-making, storytelling, and and picking fresh muscadine grapes along with much more. • Visit for details as they are updated.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

2013 National Muscadine Festival Schedule of Events Sept. 27-29 Friday, September 27 FREE ADMISSION • 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. at Tsali Notch Vineyard Activities including vendors, wagon rides and muscadine picking. • 7-10 p.m. in Downtown Sweetwater Live music with SouthBound (free admission). Vendors and BBQ cookers begin.

Saturday, Sept. 28 FREE ADMISSION 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Downtown Sweewater • Parade line up begins at 9 a.m. at K-Mart • Parade begins at 10 a.m. • Stomping at the gazebo at 10:30 a.m. • Food & art & craft vendors • BBQ competition at Hunt Commons--judging begins at 10 a.m. Buy a Taste Em All ticket and vote for the People’s Choice Award. BBQ can be sold beginning at noon • KIDS ZONE- $5 all-day armband • Muscadine Wind 5K at Tsali Notch Vineyard at 12:30 p.m.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

Live Music at Main Stage and Bandstand: • 11 a.m.- Noon Carla Jo Carr & the Silver Wings Band • 12:15 - 1:15 p.. Emily Selleck & JJ Williamson • 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. John Truitt Band • 3 - 4 p.m. Caleb & Friends • 4:15 p.m.-5 p.m. Sounds of Light

Gazebo Demonstrations: • 11 - 11:30 a.m. Sam Veneable • 12 - 12:30 p.m. Rebecca Layman- UT Extension, Preparing jams & jellies • 1 - 1:30 p.m. Allison Cox- Southern Living • 3 - 3:30 p.m. Todd Richesin- Bobby Todd Aniques • 4 - 4:30 p.m. BBQ awards & wreath auction

Sunday, Sept. 29

Noon to 5 p.m. at Duck Park Battle of the Bands Vendors ALL WEEKEND: Shuttle--$5 per person/$20 familly runs to Tsali Notch Vineyard, The Lost Sea and downtown Sweetwater. Proceeds from shuttle benefit Sweetwater First Assembly youth. ** All events subject to change. | 27



Tues., Fri., Sat., Sun. 8am-5:30pm 3949 Hwy 411 N. • 423-420-6504


Gibson Shoe Store Andrews, NC Open 9am-6pm Monday-Saturday

Factory Return Outlet

Shop. Dine. Play. Dine. Play.

Whether d an hour or the whole day inyou spend an hour or the whole day in Downtown Sweetwater, we are sure you n Sweetwater, we areHistoric sure you willoffer enjoy discovering all that we have to offer ng all that we have to will find yourself returning to our wonderful elf returning to ourand wonderful town again and again! in! 28 | Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

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




687 Oakland Road, Sweetwater, TN 37874 (I-75 Exit 62, 1/2 Mile West) Tues.-Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-2

Motorcycles & ATVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Cherokee Removal Memorial Park Visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center 339-2769 Open Wed.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

GPS Coordinates: N 35° 22.127, W 084° 18.240

Find Us on Google Maps

9188 New Highway 68 â&#x20AC;˘ Tellico Plains

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

Monday-Thursday 11am-8pm Friday & Saturday 11am-9pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sunday 12am-6pm



â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get Hooked On Meigs Countyâ&#x20AC;? For Watts Bar Lake Activities Call The Chamber At 423-334-5496

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013 | 29


Possibility aglow A celebration of HOPE Septem ber 28

Balloon Glow Festival Hiwassee College in Madisonville will be aglow in a Celebration of HOPE on Sept. 28. Hiwassee HOPE (Home, Opportunity, Possibility, Education) is a new program specifically designed for students in foster care. Through a partnership with Holston United Methodist Home for Children and the Department of Children’s Services, the program is dedicated to helping foster students have a successful and rewarding future. From 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, the campus will host a Balloon Glow Festival. Enjoy tethered hot air balloon rides, live music, food, games, an inflatable Kid’s Zone and much more, all leading up to a mesmerizing musical light show with colorful hot air balloons. Admission is $5 for adults and children ages 12 and under are free.

The event is sponsored by The Bingham Group and Monroe Life Magazine. For more information about the Balloon Glow Festival, contact Lisa Bingham at

Hiwassee Auditorium Ribbon Cutting In coordination with the Balloon Glow Festival, Hiwassee College will hold a special event and ribbon cutting ceremonies for their newly renovated auditorium. Beginning at 5 p.m., enjoy Barbecue Under the Tent and a meet-and-greet with performers. The Crackerjax Cloggers, Brittany Marie, Willie Wate, and Emi Sunshine Hamilton will take the stage first, followed by the night’s headliner--country music star Aaron Tippin,

30 |

whose hits include “Kiss This,” “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly,” and “Workin’ Man’s Ph.D.” The Raging Rebels will also perform on the Hiwassee College Quad. Tickets are $75 per person and include the performances, barbecue dinner with all the trimmings and the Balloon Glow Festival. All proceeds from the auditorium celebration will go toward the Hiwassee College Auditorium Renovation Fund. For more information about the auditorium celebration, contact Todd Littleton at Aaron Tippin

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013

October. 12-13 H

eld on the grounds

of Coker Creek Elementary School, the Autumn Gold Festival brings crafts, artists, food vendors, and entertainers to Coker Creek in a two-day showcase. During the festival, judges will crown the Autumn Gold Festival Queen, Junior Queen, Princess and Doll Princess. Winners will be selected based on authentic, old-fashioned costumes, accessories, poise and presentation. Visitors can also try their hand at a variety of activities, including gold panning. More details TBA. The annual event is the only fundraiser for the Coker Creek Ruritan Club, which provides community service, scholarships, fire department support and more to the area. â&#x20AC;˘ For vending information and more details, email autumngoldfestival@gmail. com, call 423-261-2242, or visit the Facebook page at Autumn Gold Festival in Coker Creek, TN.

45th Annual

Autumn Gold Festival

Tennessee Mountain Traveler- Summer 2013 | 31

Riverstone Lodge & Restaurant

FFor years, historic hi t i Riverstone Ri t Lodge L d has h been b offering ff i its it guests t comfortable accommodations amid the peaceful, natural c surroundings of Townsend, TN, the "Quiet Side of the Smokies." Because the Lodge is conveniently located only 18 miles from Gatlinburg in one direction, and 15 miles from Pigeon Forge in another direction, guests can enjoy a relaxing getaway in the heart of the Smokies with easy access to area attractions. What's more, Riverstone is only 1/2 mile from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and approximately 8 miles from Cades Cove. Riverstone Family Restaurant is conveniently located right here on the grounds. Great food and great service are just a few steps from your room. And guests at our Lodge get 10% off every meal at the restaurant.

Riverstone Lodge & Restaurant

8511 State Highway 73 â&#x20AC;˘Townsend,TN 37882

Trailhead Steak & Trout House

7839 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy Townsend,TN 37882

Tennessee Mountain Traveler Summer Edition 2013  

Featuring the outdoor adventures, interactive attractions and fun-filled events in Monroe County, Tenn. and bordering North Carolina.

Tennessee Mountain Traveler Summer Edition 2013  

Featuring the outdoor adventures, interactive attractions and fun-filled events in Monroe County, Tenn. and bordering North Carolina.