Little Tennessee River NC 28 Bridge at Iotla to US 19 Bridge

Iotla, North Carolina

0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars
0 Reviews
0 out of 5
The Little Tennessee first appears to the traveler on US 23/441 south of Franklin as a small creek. One will wonder how such a small stream can grow to a full-size river between here and Iotla. It flows generally north between the Nantahala Mountain Range to the west and the Cowee Range to the east before reaching the impoundment at Fontana. The riverside alternates between farmlands and woodlands in Section A, while below Lost Bridge it becomes heavily forested, except where CR 1114 occasionally hits it. The area near Franklin and around much of Macon County is widely known for its great mineral deposits and is certainly a rock hound’s heaven. The “Little T” is one of the few rivers in North Carolina that lends itself to overnight canoe camping. Generally speaking, there is enough water to carry gear, while the rapids aren’t so formidable that the paddler is likely to finish the day with wet provisions. Unfortunately, there aren’t many streams remaining that can claim both these qualities. The good ones have either been dammed, leaving nothing but flat water, are too shallow to carry the necessary equipment, or are too rough to maneuver through rapids with the extra weight in the boat. Be aware that much of the land along the Little Tennessee is in private ownership, so paddlers should seek permission before camping. The Needmore tract is managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

Little Tennessee River: NC 28 Bridge at Iotla to US 19 Bridge Professional Review and Guide

"The Little Tennessee first appears to the traveler on US 23/441 south of Franklin as a small creek. One will wonder how such a small stream can grow to a full-size river between here and Iotla. It flows generally north between the Nantahala Mountain Range to the west and the Cowee Range to the east before reaching the impoundment at Fontana. The riverside alternates between farmlands and woodlands in Section A, while below Lost Bridge it becomes heavily forested, except where CR 1114 occasionally hits it. The area near Franklin and around much of Macon County is widely known for its great mineral deposits and is certainly a rock hound’s heaven. The “Little T” is one of the few rivers in North Carolina that lends itself to overnight canoe camping.

Generally speaking, there is enough water to carry gear, while the rapids aren’t so formidable that the paddler is likely to finish the day with wet provisions. Unfortunately, there aren’t many streams remaining that can claim both these qualities. The good ones have either been dammed, leaving nothing but flat water, are too shallow to carry the necessary equipment, or are too rough to maneuver through rapids with the extra weight in the boat. Be aware that much of the land along the Little Tennessee is in private ownership, so paddlers should seek permission before camping. The Needmore tract is managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Iotla
Distance: 23
Elevation Loss: Minimal
Duration: 2 sections that take 9 hours to paddle
Class: Class I-III
Local Contacts: Wildlife Resources Commission.
Local Maps: Franklin, Alarka, Wesser (USGS); Macon, Swain (County)
Driving Directions: Directions to Little Tennessee River: NC 28 Bridge at Iotla to US 19 Bridge

Recent Trail Reviews

There are no reviews for this trail.

Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018