U.S. Route 129
US 129, also referred to as the Tail of the Dragon, consists of 318 curves in only 11 miles. The route runs from Deals Gap in North Carolina (only about 20 minutes from the Town of Lake Santeetlah) into Tennessee.
This motorcycle and sports car destination is easily one of the most scenic drives in America, as well as one of the deadliest, according to CBS News.
Just short of 70 miles from the Town of Lake Santeetlah, Cades Cove is a popular destination in Tennessee for those who wish to admire the true beauty of Great Smoky Mountains.
The park offers guests campgrounds, hiking and biking trails, and several historic churches available for rent upon request. A variety of animals can also be seen at any given time during your visit, including deer, elk, bear, turkeys, and horses.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
Located approximately 15 miles from Robbinsville, this section of the National Forest Service land is home to over 100 species of trees with some being over 20 feet in circumference!
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is open year round to guests and offers two hiking loops. The forest also has a picnic area, although camping is prohibited.
Construction began in 1942 and was completed in 1944 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during World War II. Fontana Dam stands at 480 feet high and stretches over 2,365 feet across the Little Tennessee River.
The dam is just under 25 miles from Lake Santeetlah is open daily during the months of May through October. The visitor center offers guests a souvenir shop, maps, and historic information and displays about both the dam and the TVA.
Yellow Creek Falls
Only 12 miles from Lake Santeetlah on Tapocco Road on US 129, this 0.33 mile hike is ideal for both experienced and inexperienced guests who would like to explore the beauty of the mountains. The trail leads to a 70 foot waterfall!
Yellow Creek Falls is also a great spot to swim, but remember to use caution when water levels are high due to summer thunder storms.
Opened in 1996, the Cherohala Skyway starts in Graham County, North Carolina and leads into Tellico Plains Tennessee. This gorgeous stretch of road is a designated National Scenic Byway and reaches elevation over 5,400 feet above sea level.
The skyway is a popular designation for motorists and leaf-lookers in the fall, but also hikers and those who are interested in the history of the area. A popular hiking spot is referred to as the Hooper Bald, which leads to a 500-acre field. Several graves can also be seen on the skyway, including that of 9 USAF crew members and an unknown man killed by Bushwhackers in 1864.
Stecoah Valley Center
A renovated schoolhouse on the other side of Stecoah Mountain, the Stecoah Valley Center is located approximately 15 minutes from Robbinsville.
Throughout the year, the center hosts a variety of music festivals and concerts, art and craft shows, art and culinary classes, and other festivals. You can also enjoy a lunch or light snack at the Schoolhouse Café or try Appalachian Dinners, which are served before concerts, no reservations required.
Located approximately 30 miles from Lake Santeetlah, the Nantahala Gorge offers a variety of different activities to area guests. Activities include, but are not limited to:
4th of July Heritage Festival
Every year in the Town of Robbinsville a Heritage Festival is held. The yearly festival typically includes food stands, crafts from local vendors, moonshine exhibits, a greased pig chase, corn hole competitions, lumberjack contests, horseshoe tournaments, a silent auction, street dancing, local musicians, and a Veterans Ceremony.
The exact date of the festival varies from year to year, although it is held during the week of Independence Day. More information about times and dates can be found here.
Each spring the annual Ramp Festival is held. The festival includes various booths and of course plenty of ramps, which is a type of wild onion found in the mountains.
The exact date of the festival varies, but to inquire about specific dates and times please contact the Graham County Travel and Tourism office.