Paddle & Hike Private Day Tour
- Fantastic Lake Kayaking
- Fulfilling Hike
- Moderate & Difficult Options
- Viewpoint or Historic Town
- Amazing Natural & Cultural History
- Top-shelf Backpack & Trekking Poles
- Tasty Trail Snacks & Picnic Lunch
This day of flat-water paddling and mountain hiking in amazing Great Smoky Mountains National Park gives you the best of both worlds – water and land . Our multi-sport adventure starts with a scenic drive from Asheville, NC to Fontana Lake (including pick up at your hotel in Asheville, or we can rendezvous at the lake). This tour has two options, with significant variation in difficult and level of adventure between the two. Both feature majestic paddling across a pristine lake with breathtaking views of the towering, forested mountains around us.
Difficulty: Level 2
Duration: 6-8 Hours
Distance: 12+MI / 19+KM
With this option, our paddle takes us to Hazel Creek and the historic town site of Proctor where the W. M. Ritter Lumber Company once thrived. We will exit our boats on shore and hike through this historic area exploring old home sites, cemeteries, and forgotten farm fields. Your guide will explain how early life and industry worked in this hard environment. We’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch at one of the Park’s backcountry campsites before heading back across the lake in our kayaks to our awaiting vehicle. After loading the boats, we can check out the Eastern United States’ tallest dam and its amazing museum. Eventually we’ll head back to Asheville, ending our amazing Historic Paddle & Hike adventure in the Smokies.
Difficulty: Level 4
Duration: 12-14 Hours
Distance: 16+MI / 25+KM
With this option we’ll paddle across Fontana Lake to a small island for a short break or a swim if desired. After our break we’ll continue to where Eagle Creek flows into the lake. Our hike starts by leaving the shores of Fontana Lake, and following an old logging historic railway. Along our journey we will ford Lost Cove Creek many times while enjoying the amazingly diverse forests of the Smokies. Our goal today is reaching some of the Park’s best mountain top views from the historic Shuckstack fire tower off the historic Appalachian Trail. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch at the tower while soaking up the stunning scenery. After lunch, we’ll retrace our steps back to our boats and end our day with a relaxing paddle back to our waiting vehicle. After loading the boats, we can check out the Eastern United States’ tallest dam, Fontana Dam at 480’, and its wonderful museum. Afterwards, we’ll head back to Asheville ending our amazing High Mountain Paddle & Hike adventure in the Smokies.
(Important: We run hikes in almost all weather conditions and very rarely cancel. See our terms and conditions for information on cancellations and refunds.)
$225-$305 Per Person
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2
The difficult level of this tour depends on which hiking option you prefer – A (historic town of Proctor) or B (Shuckstack Fire Tower). Option A is a Level 2 difficult. Option B is Level 4.
- Level 1: 2-6 miles, less than 500 feet elevation change on good trails
- Level 2: 3-8 miles, up to 2000 feet of elevation change on good trails
- Level 3: 4-10 miles, up to 3000 feet of elevation change on good to rugged trails
- Level 4: 4-12 miles, up to 4000 feet of elevation change on rugged trails or off trail
- Level 5: 6-16 miles, up to 5,500 feet of elevation change on rugged trails or off trail
SOLITUDE LEVEL 2
- Level 1: around other hikers the entire time
- Level 2: around other hikers most of the time
- Level 3: around other hikers some of the time
- Level 4: see a couple other groups during the hike
- Level 5: most likely to have the trail to ourselves