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  1. #1
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Lake Santeetlah?

    I'm looking at paddle/camping Lake Santeetlah in the fall probably early October. Does anybody have information on this lake? It's in the GSMNP about 20 miles out of Robbinsville, NC.

    I like wilderness camping and try to avoid established campgrounds so finding a hide away spot to paddle to is my preference.

    Thanks, Cakes
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

  2. #2
    Senior Member Roche's Avatar
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    Hey there Cakes,

    FYI - the Smokies require all campers to use the designated sites - a real pita - but I have yet to run into a ranger in the backcountry - YMMV.

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    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    Roche, Lake Santeetlah doesn't fall under the guidelines of the Smokies. I went kayaking and camping there about 4-5 yrs ago. It was in Oct and the fall colors were great. Map below shows where the campsites are.

    There are times that the only way you can do something is alone that waiting on the convenience of others means that a lot of opportunities will pass you by
    Spirit Walker

    Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. ― Mark Twain

    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

  4. #4
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Oh wow, many places to choose from! Do you have a favorite place and where did you launch/park car ect.?
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

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    Senior Member Roche's Avatar
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    Ewker: Thanks for the correction - so Lake Santeetlah is outside of the park.

    Cakes: Follow my wife's guidelines - ignore most of what I say.

  6. #6
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roche View Post
    Ewker: Thanks for the correction - so Lake Santeetlah is outside of the park.

    Cakes: Follow my wife's guidelines - ignore most of what I say.
    Thanks Roche, I'll check with the ranger station anyway. I Paddle/Camp Lake Fontana often and am aware of the guidelines for acquiring the proper permits there. They have changed a few things within the last couple years so better safe than sorry.
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldcakes View Post
    Oh wow, many places to choose from! Do you have a favorite place and where did you launch/park car ect.?
    we parked and launched at boat ramp close to the ****.

    There is one island where camping is allowed and we stayed on it and on a peninsula next to it.

    I will post some pictures of that trip in a little while
    There are times that the only way you can do something is alone that waiting on the convenience of others means that a lot of opportunities will pass you by
    Spirit Walker

    Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. ― Mark Twain

    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

  8. #8
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will be in the area next weekend and will do some car scouting. I stayed on that lake in a bed & breakfast probably 16 or 17 years ago and I remember watching sail boats and how beautiful it was. Always wanted to go back.
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

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    Santeetlah is a finger lake so you can paddle into some pretty remote places. All very beautiful. 80% of the shoreline is NF. I have a house on the lake so I have never camped on the lake (other than my dock once) but see lots of great places I would like too. The island looks like a great place as someone mentioned. I also like an area back towards the Joyce Kilmer forest. Santeetlah creek flows into the lake there and makes for some nice, relaxing water sounds. You can drive to this area though. If you want a more remote place the island would be a good choice or an area just beyond the island and there is an eagles nest close by as well. Don't count on catching fish for your dinner for sure. It's a tough lake to fish. Enjoy!

  10. #10
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonnyg View Post
    Santeetlah is a finger lake so you can paddle into some pretty remote places. All very beautiful. 80% of the shoreline is NF. I have a house on the lake so I have never camped on the lake (other than my dock once) but see lots of great places I would like too.
    Wow, So many opportunities in your own back yard! You'll be hanging there soon I bet and discovering all her secrets.
    Quote Originally Posted by sonnyg View Post
    The island looks like a great place as someone mentioned. I also like an area back towards the Joyce Kilmer forest. Santeetlah creek flows into the lake there and makes for some nice, relaxing water sounds. You can drive to this area though. If you want a more remote place the island would be a good choice or an area just beyond the island and there is an eagles nest close by as well.
    I'd like to explore both, Thanks for your suggestions. I'm not surprised there is an eagle's nest there, I've seen eagles on Fontana and Calderwood.


    Quote Originally Posted by sonnyg View Post
    Don't count on catching fish for your dinner for sure. It's a tough lake to fish. Enjoy!
    Check, no fishing, just exploring & relaxing. Will be headed to Calderwood this weekend for a couple days and will try & swing by there & check it out.
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

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