Tellico Plains, Tennessee
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, with a population of 936, is located in Monroe County, TN and is 28.1 miles from Athens, TN.
Tellico Plains was established in 1911. The area along the Tellico River was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples. The historic Muscogee settled here, before moving further south. In the late 18th century, the Cherokee settled in this area.
Tellico Plains is situated at the gateway to the Cherohala Skyway and the Cherokee National Forest. Outdoor recreational opportunities include hiking, camping, picnicking, swimming, bicycling, boating, fishing, hunting, sightseeing and more. Backpackers can enjoy secluded unspoiled wilderness, protected in the 640,000-acre Cherokee National Forest.
Travel Story: Inside Cherokee National Forest: Same mountains, similar trails, fewer people
Tellico Plains Hotels >>
Cherohala Skyway; image courtesy of Tellico-Plains.com
Tellico Plains Attractions:
Charles Hall Museum - The museum is 5000 square feet of local history. It consists of more than 200 guns, an extensive telehone collection, and an impressive coin collection, among many other items. You can also find many antiques that were used by Tellico residents over the years. Mr. Hall has on display the most extensive collection of historical photos of the area. The Charles Hall Museum is packed with antiques from centuries past, and 99% of the items in the museum are his own personal collection.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway - The train route consists of a 26-mile round trip through historic Murphy Junction along the beautiful Toccoa River. This railroad was built over 100 years ago and is the only mainline railroad excursion service based in Georgia. Each trip begins at the depot in Blue Ridge, Georgia and includes a stop in McCaysville which permits passengers to disembark and stretch their legs while exploring the downtown communities of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. Each round trip takes approximately 3 1/2 hours.
Cherokee Chieftain Downtown Johnston Park - The Cherokee carving sculpted by wildly famous artist Peter Toth stands in the park as a reminder of the Cherokee heritage.
Cherokee Heritage Trails - From the serene peaks of the Balsams to the muddy banks of the Little Tennessee River, Cherokee Heritage Trails wind through the southern Appalachians, telling the story of the Cherokee people, Ani-Kituhwa-gi, who once commanded all of the Southern Appalachians. Although most of the Cherokee were forcibly removed to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears in 1838, a small group remained in their homeland, becoming the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Today they own about 57,000 acres - the Qualla Boundary, a remnant of their ancestral lands.
Cherokee National Forest - Cherokee National Forest is a place of scenic beauty that provides opportunities for anyone interested in nature and history. The Forest stretches from Chattanooga to Bristol along the North Carolina border. The 640,000-acre Cherokee National Forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee. It lies in the heart of the Southern Appalachian mountain range, one of the world's most diverse areas. These mountains are home to more than 20,000 species of plants and animals.
The Lost Sea, is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's largest underground lake. Deep inside a mountain near Sweetwater in East Tennessee is a remarkable body of water known as The Lost Sea. The caverns have been known and used since the days of the Cherokee Indians. From the tiny natural opening on the side of the mountain, the cave expands into a series of huge rooms. Nearly a mile from the entrance, in a room now known as “The Council Room,” a wide range of Indian artifacts including pottery, arrowheads, weapons, and jewelry have been found, testifying to the use of the cave by the Cherokees.
Tellico Arts Center - Features more than 70 talented local artists and craftspeople; fine art, fabric art, pottery, books, and musical recordings.
Tellico Blockhouse - The Tellico Blockhouse was a United States fortification used officially from 1794 through 1807. The site functioned in some smaller capacity through December 1811. The Tellico Blockhouse served as a check against white encroachment as those of European decent were required to have written passes from the commander of the Blockhouse before entering deeper into Cherokee land.
Tellico River, Blueway & Lake - Tucked into the Cherokee National Forest, this scenic river is known for its swift waters and trout fishing. Photographers love it. Depending on the natural flow of waters, kayaking and canoeing are allowed.
Tellico Visitor Center/Museum - This is a great place to stop before visiting the reconstructed fort. It offers information on the area’s history and artifacts that were excavated prior to the Fort’s reconstruction. There is also a bookstore and gift shop.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum - Relive the golden age of railroading at this museum, the largest operating historic railroad in the Southeast. Experience the classic Missionary Ridge Local, take an all-day excursion to Summerville, Georgia, or see the beautiful Hiwassee River Gorge.
Tellico Plains Festivals:
Cherohala Skyway Festival - Highlights of the festival are mountain music, southern foods, handmade crafts, and original art of talented craftsmen and artisans. Exhibits include working antique engines, antique tractors, an antique lawn mowers. Pioneer demonstrations include weaving, pottery wheel throwing, general wood carving, carving & playing Native American flutes, blacksmithing, corn shelling, corn meal grinding with a Grist Mill, rope pulling, old time salve making in an iron pot, fly fishing demonstrations & lessons, BMTA's cross cut saw demonstrations, and MC Beekeeping Assoc observation bee hives & antique bee keeping equipment.