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MURPHY WEATHER

Early Trip Down Hiwassee Lake in Murphy, NC

So far in “On the Road with Riley,” we have hiked, biked, and run across the Appalachian terrain. This, however, does not fully encapsulate the vast array of adventures that await in Western North Carolina. Therefore, on this outing, we took to the waters for an early morning kayaking excursion on Lake Hiwassee. 

Lake Hiwassee is located in Cherokee County, NC and covers more than 6,000 acres with nearly 180 miles of shoreline. In full, the lake measures 22 miles long and is over 200 feet deep in some areas. Unlike other lakes in the region, Lake Hiwassee is largely undeveloped (less than 7%), giving boaters a lovely view of the natural shore and surrounding forest. 

Getting an early start

Subjectively speaking, the lake is prettiest at either dawn or dusk. As such, we arose at daybreak and arrived at the boat ramp by 7:00 AM. Let me emphasize that as a teenager who often sleeps into the latter hours of the day, this was considerably difficult. However, I can say with full confidence that I’m glad we did so. With the crisp air on my cheeks and a paddle in my grasp, we embarked on our morning exploration. Once out on Lake Hiwassee, we were engulfed by a low-hanging fog that hovered slightly above the water’s lustrous surface.

Our journey began at the boat ramp located across from the Murphy Fire Department. We paddled down the Hiwassee River (which effectively becomes a lake during the summer) and eventually made our way up the Valley River and into Murphy’s Konehete Park. Before heading back, we ventured forth into a larger section of the lake and encountered a steep rock face with a summit known as “Lover’s Leap.” 

Have fun ... but be safe

All things considered, kayaking Lake Hiwassee was a wonderful experience. If you decide to explore the waters, be sure to properly equip yourself with a life jacket and remember to stay hydrated (especially if the sun is out). I would recommend bringing snacks, as well as a good hat and sunglasses. Lastly, I find that bringing a waterproof speaker is a great way to lighten the mood. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and as always, happy trails (or in this case, lakes)!

- Written by Riley Lachance

On the Road with Riley - Hiwassee Lake

Lake Hiwassee is located in Cherokee County, NC and covers more than 6,000 acres with nearly 180 miles of shoreline. In full, the lake measures 22 miles long and is over 200 feet deep in some areas. Unlike other lakes in the region, Lake Hiwassee is largely undeveloped (less than 7%), giving boaters a lovely view of the natural shore and surrounding forest. 

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