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 year.
East Lakeshore Trail 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.
Boat Access: 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 and the other serves the Glendale branch. The 3rd landing is at the south end of Glendale Branch near Coytee Loop. These are all on the map (although the Coytee Loop map may be incorrect).
From I-75 (Lenoir City Hwy 321):
Take exit 81 to Hwy 321 N. Travel southeast on Hwy 321 N, 8.3 miles to Hwy 95 on right. Follow signs to the trailheads.
From Maryville (Hwy 321):
From the intersection of Hwy 129 & Hwy 321 S, travel west on Hwy 321 S for 12.8 miles to Hwy 95 on left. Follow signs to the trailheads.
From Vonore (Hwy 411):
From the intersection of Hwy 72 & Hwy 411, travel north on Hwy 411, 5 miles to East Coast Tellico Pkwy on left (Across from Hwy 72 Junction). Follow signs to the trailheads.
Trail Descriptions & Maps
Canal Branch – about 1.5 miles:
The Canal Branch extends southward from the Canal Trailhead located near the new US 321 bridge, which is the northern terminus of the East Lakeshore Trail. The trailhead parking is unimproved and there is no kiosk at this time. It will be improved when the US 321 bridge and highway construction is fully complete. The trail offers fine lake views and junctions with the Baker Hollow Brancy at the Mizell Trailhead located off Jackson Bend Road.
Baker Hollow Branch – 3.1 miles:
(New trailhead to be built at the end of Antioch Church Road in 2018.)
The Baker Hollow Branch connects with the Davis Ferry Branch near Antioch Church Rd. (future trailhead location). It features large trees, the Mizell Bluff overlook, steep side hills, and many fine views of the lake, especially in the winter.
Davis Ferry Branch – 3.2 miles:
The Davis Ferry Branch extends from the end of Antioch Church Road, extending southward paralleling the road for about one mile and then passing through a small portion of the Wind River golf course. This is private land; please stay on the trail and be courteous to golfers. It is an easy, pleasant hike through forested areas and along Powerline Cove of the Tellico Lake ending at the Glendale Trailhead where it joins the Gldendale Branch.
Glendale Branch – 3 miles:
The Glendale Branch extends south from the Glendale Trailhead to an intersection with the Coytee Loop interpretive trail. This trail is 3.0 miles via Power Point and 2.2 miles via the Shortcut. From the Glendale Trailhead to Power Point is 1.2 miles. The Powerline Point Loop interpretive trail is 2.2 miles and goes from the trailhead to Powerline Point and returns via the Glendale Shortcut Trail. The degree of difficulty is easy.
Glendale Shortcut Trail:
The Glendale Shortcut allows hikers to walk a 2.2 mile loop around Powerline Point and return to the Glendale Trailhead. The degree of difficulty is easy.
Coytee Loop Branch – 2.4 miles:
The Coytee Loop Branch extends north from the Coytee Trailhead 2.4 miles and includes a 1.6 mile self guided interpretive loop trail. It incorporates eight learning sites marked by lettered posts along the trail. The degree of difficulty is easy to moderate.
Sinking Creek Branch – 4.5 miles:
The Sinking Creek Branch extends south from Coytee Trailhead 4.5 miles to Sinking Creek Trailhead. It features several bridges including an 85 foot steel & concrete bridge erected by TVA in 2011, and elevated 15 feet above Coytee Cove adjacent to Coytee Trailhead. The degree of difficulty is easy to moderate.
Lotterdale Branch – 3.8 miles:
The Lotterdale Branch extends south from the Sinking Creek Trailhead 3.8 miles to the entrance road into Lotterdale Campground. Parts of the trail traverse along East Coast Tellico Parkway. The degree of difficulty is easy to moderate.
Jackson Bend Branch – 5.1 miles:
The Jackson Bend Branch extends south from the Lotterdale Campground entrance road 5.1 miles to the Peterson Road Trailhead. This branch showcases a variety of landscapes and scenic views and includes an elevation gain of about 200 feet. A 1/4 mile connecting trail to a map kiosk at the campground entrance provides ready access to the East Lakeshore Trail for campers. The degree of difficulty is easy to moderate.
Morganton Branch – 3 miles:
From the Peterson Rd. Trailhead the Morganton Branch extends to the southern terminus of the East Lakeshore Trail at Wildcat Pointe Trailhead. A variety of interesting and scenic lake views reward the hiker especially along the Baker Creek arm of Tellico Lake featuring a 140′ boardwalk. Before reaching Wildcat Pointe Trailhead, the trail ascends to a ridge with an elevation of approximately 200 feet above the summer lake level providing excellent views of the area in the wintertime. At the top of the ridge, a spur trail extends one mile out to a point above Tellico Lake. This trail offers nice views during the leaf-off season. The degree of difficulty is easy to moderate.
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)
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.