Best Kayak Tour in Bryson City, North Carolina
May 30, 2023
Kayaking in Bryson City, NC
Our family recently visited Bryson City, NC for a weekend getaway and had an amazing time. Our first activity was a kayak tour on Fontana Lake with Carolina Bound Adventures, and it was an unforgettable experience. Fontana Lake is a man-made lake surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and mountains. The crystal-clear waters and abundant wildlife make it a paddler’s paradise, and kayaking on the lake provides a unique perspective of the natural beauty of the area. The emerald green waters of the lake reflect the surrounding landscape, creating a stunning scene that is truly unforgettable.
Carolina Bound Adventures is a local tour company that offers guided kayaking tours of Fontana Lake. Our guide, Mark, was incredibly knowledgeable about the area and provided all the necessary equipment, including kayaks, paddles, and life jackets. He even gave us a quick lesson on how to maneuver the kayaks. Mark pointed out the local wildlife and taught us so much about the history of the lake. Carolina Bound Adventures guided tour is a great option for those who are new to kayaking or want to learn more about the area.
One of the most striking features of Fontana Lake is its size. Covering over 10,000 acres, the lake is one of the largest in the region, providing ample opportunities for exploration and adventure. The lake’s many coves, inlets, and islands offer endless possibilities for kayaking, fishing, and hiking, while the surrounding mountains provide a stunning backdrop for any activity. The lake’s temperature varies depending on the time of year, with the water temperature reaching up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months and dropping to around 50 degrees in the fall and winter months. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and a variety of bird species. It’s also known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of fish species, including bass, trout, and catfish.
Overall, kayaking on Fontana Lake with Carolina Bound Adventures is a must-do activity when visiting Bryson City. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, the lake is suitable for all skill levels. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views and wildlife sightings. I used my iPhone for these images and just made sure to put it in a waterproof case.
Here are 5 fun facts about Fontana Lake:
- Fontana Lake is a man-made lake that was created in the 1940s as part of a hydroelectric project by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
- The lake is named after the town of Fontana, which was flooded during the creation of the lake. The town’s cemetery was relocated to a nearby hill, which is now known as “Fontana Cemetery Hill.”
- Fontana Lake is one of the deepest lakes in the eastern United States, with a maximum depth of 440 feet.
- The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, walleye, and trout. It is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts.
- Fontana Lake is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which offers visitors a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife watching.
5 Tips from Mark for Kayaking on Fontana Lake:
- Check the weather: Before heading out, check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Avoid kayaking in strong winds, thunderstorms, or other hazardous conditions.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks: Fontana Lake is a large body of water, and you’ll need to stay hydrated and fueled up during your trip. Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going.
- Wear a life jacket: Always wear a properly fitting life jacket when kayaking. It can save your life in case of an accident.
- Know your limits: Choose a route and pace that is appropriate for your skill level and physical abilities. Don’t push yourself too hard or take unnecessary risks.
- Respect the environment: Fontana Lake is a beautiful and fragile ecosystem, and it’s important to respect the environment and leave no trace. Pack out all trash and waste, and avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging the natural habitat.
What to Wear and Bring:
- River shoes or sandals that will stay on your feet. I purchased black Teva sandals and they were perfect. They are SO comfortable, waterproof, and because of the strap on the back, they stay on! For kids, I think the perfect shoes are Natives.
- Plan that you could get wet! Dress for the anticipated weather of the day.
- I recommend bringing water to drink and sunblock. Remember to put sunblock on your legs and top of your feet. They get a lot of sun.
- Wear a hat.
- Croakies for glasses or sunglasses. I got the Chums floating croakies and they were perfect.
- Waterproof holders for phones, I always use this one off Amazon and it works great!
- Be sure to bring a towel and a change of clothes for after your trip.
- Polarized sunglasses. I love Costas.
- Long sleeve shirt with UV protection. This one is great for kids.