The purpose of the East Lakeshore Trail project is to provide a recreational and educational hiking experience along a portion of the east shoreline of Tellico Lake. It is the product of a successful partnership between WATeR and the Tennessee Valley Authority and has been designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Recreation Trail. The trail is open all year.
Construction of the East Lakeshore Trail has been accomplished mainly with volunteer labor. The concept began in 2002 and was solidified with a formal cooperative agreement between WATeR and TVA in 2003. Now it is a reality with completion of 31 miles of trail.
The project involves initial trail layout, trail construction including installation of bridges, water bars, fence stiles, sign installation and construction of stairways as needed. Also required is the development of trailhead parking areas with bulletin board kiosks, scenic view areas with benches, and boat landing areas making the trail accessible by water.
Some segments of the trail are identified as self guided interpretive trails for environmental education purposes. Currently, the East Lakeshore Trail consists of nine completed segments available for public use and enjoyment.
From north to south they are:
- Canal Branch (1.5 miles)
- Baker Hollow Branch (3.2 miles)
- Davis Ferry Branch (3.3 miles)
- Glendale Branch (2.8 miles plus a shortcut trail of 0.28 miles)
- Coytee Loop Branch (2.4 miles)
- Sinking Creek Branch (4.5 miles)
- Lotterdale branch (3.8 miles)
- Jackson Bend Branch (5.1 miles plus a 0.25 connector trail to Lotterdale Camp Ground)
- Morganton Branch (3 miles plus a one mile spur trail along Wildcat Ridge)
East Lakeshore Trail (map ») is located along the east shoreline of Tellico Lake opposite Tellico Village and Rarity Bay. The completed portion of the trail lies between mile 1 and mile 18 of the Little Tennessee River channel at Wildcat Point. Access to the trail is provided at nine existing trailheads with parking for 15 to 20 vehicles. Most trailheads are paved and have an information bulletin board kiosk with a large map of the trail. Maps and directions are on the East Lakeshore Trail page.
At this time we have 3 boat landings with easy access to the trail for boaters. Two are in power line cove, one serves the Davis Ferry Branch (map ») and the other serves the Glendale branch. The 3rd landing is at the south end of Glendale Branch near Coytee Loop (map ») (Note: the Coytee Loop map landings may be incorrect).
Work on the East Lakeshore Trail is generally performed several days a month. Those wanting to volunteer their time to a worthwhile community project can call Mel Fisher (865) 657-9062, George Zola (614) 937-0767, or Bob Martin, (865) 458-9233.
Adopt a Trail
Those interested in adopting a section of the trail for routine maintenance contact Tom Siegele, firstname.lastname@example.org. Under this project, the trail sections are visited at least once a month to keep the trail in good condition by removing fallen branches, pruning back overhanging brush, small trees and other vegetation, and reporting fallen trees or other major problems.