Superb Hikes In and Around Tellico Village

Tellico Village Hiking Club Muddy Boots

Active Baby Boomers have and are pursuing planned retirement communities in the most affordable mountain towns, those who provide the ultimate choices for maintaining good health and overall well-being while enjoying some of the finest landscaping the country has to offer. One of the most popular waterfront retirement communities in Tennessee known for superb hiking trails is Tellico Village built on the shores of Tellico Lake, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Some of the walking and hiking trails are within the neighborhood while others nearby, maintained by the Villagers, such as the East Lakeshore Trailare located just across the lake. Known as one of the best areas for hiking in the United States, this historic region draws visitors world-wide and is recognized as one of the best destinations to imbibe the wonders of nature while pursuing a lifestyle filled with an abundance of outdoor activity. Who wouldn’t want to hike in region with the stunning Great Smoky Mountains views off in the distance?

Currently at Tellico Village, residents can experience one of four hiking trails without even leaving the property.  An additional expansion is already in progress which will fully connect the trail system and will add even more hiking options for individuals who abide here in this beautifully planned retirement community.  Folks, defying aging, are finding that one of their top priorities in retirement living is finding a home in a community that provides walking and hiking trails where they can both exercise and socialize while enjoying the amazing natural beauties that are signature to the Great Smoky Mountains. Tellico Village is the place! Currently there are four hiking trails imbedded in this 5,000 acre village located on the western shore of the 16,000 acre Tellico Lake offering a multitude of options for “being one with nature” while connecting with neighbors and friends for an exhilarating mountain stroll.

At the 26,000 square foot Wellness Center, residents can enjoy a paved walking and hiking trail which provides 4 exercise stations for a great workout or perhaps a nice relaxing cool down after one of the many fitness classes offered at the facility.  Fresh air and a visit with neighbors is always an option on this pathway.  If a travel through forestry is what hikers are seeking, the Toqua walking trail parallel to Toqua Road meanders through lush topography and regional grasses that grace the Toqua Golf Course.  This 45 minute stroll will definitely reignite the spirit while burning some extra calories. For a bit more aggressive hike, the modest elevations of the Coyatee trail weaves through the serene woodlands which pass by a peaceful forest pond and provides hikers an escape from the stresses of everyday living.  There is also a 3-mile trail with superb views of Tellico Lake that wraps through the Kahite neighborhood offering a walkway through nature unmatched by any other community found here.  We can see how aging well is easy at one of the finest waterfront retirement communities in Tennessee.

In addition to the hiking trails that are found at Tellico Village, there are several other hiking options nearby that can be explored by residents and visitors to this select Tennessee Region.   

  • Within a 15 minute drive of Tellico Village,  the East Lakeshore Trail can be found on the eastern shoreline of Tellico Lake and offers a 30.3 mile trail that encircles the lake leading through rich forestry while intersecting lake inlets along the way.  Recognized in May of 2012 as part of the US National Trails systems, East Lakeshore Trail is considered one of the top hiking destinations in Tennessee.
  • The “Boy Scout” Trails were originally built by Loudon Country Troop 54 of the Boy Scouts of America, thus the name.  The trails are located off Route 44 on the northern border of Tellico Village and Tellico Dam.  These winding trails offer slight elevations while being able to enjoy shoreline excursions along Tellico Lake providing impressive scenery that includes views of Tellico Lake, the Village and the majestic Smoky Mountains. 

For the seasoned hiker, East Tennessee presents some of the best hiking trails in the world found scattered inside Great Smoky Mountain National Park, only 45 minutes from the Village. Hiking experiences for all skill levels at the park include:

  • Gregory Bald is best known for its azalea blooms mid-to-late June draws avid gardeners worldwide to this scenic trail.  Every color of the rainbow is featured in this spectacular display of azaleas with colors ranging from fire red, salmon, yellow and even multicolored azaleas scatter the region.  There is also a year round draw to this trail which offers incredible views of Cades Cove, Fontana Lake and the eastern rise of the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • Mt. Cammerer overlooking the Pigeon River Gorge is said to house the best views in the park from the infamous “Stonefire Tower”.  Restored in 1995, this vantage point provides a 360 degree panoramic view of the statuesque Great Smokey Mountain range and is one of the most popular trails in the park.
  • Rocky Top is an aggressive trail that leads to Spencer Field where this preserved grassland provides some of the best views of the North Carolina side of the Smokies.  Avid hikers will find impressive mountain foliage if they choose to follow the 1.2 miles that continue along the Appalachian Trail.  Good “ole” Rocky Top provides an unmatched vantage point to view Fontana Lake, Cades Coves, the quaint and obscure towns of Townsend, Maryville and beyond.  This one is definitely a highly traveled course.
  • Mount LeConte connects the Alum Cave Trail where hikers dodge large icicles in the Spring hoping for a glimpse of the peregrine falcons who nest here.  This highly geographical exploration will lead hikers through Arch Rock, Inspiration Point and the infamous “Eye of the Needle.”  Cliff Top at the summit point found near LeConte Lodge provides stunning views of Clingmans Dome and an amazing westward view of the rolling mountains.
  • Andrews Bald is an aggressive 1.7 mile upward hike which leads to open grassy plains that is often referred to as the “balds in the Appalachians” because of the awesome views provided for the southern side of the Smokies.  This is a perfect destination for an enchanting picnic with friends and family.
  • Abrams Falls hosts the most scenic waterfall in the park.  This 5.2 mile roundtrip hike to the Falls is still today considered one of the most popular trails in the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • The Jump-Off trails sits atop a 1000 foot cliff on the northeastern side of Mt. Kephart.  This steep climb leads to some of the best views of the central and eastern Smoky mountains because of the ridge that was created by the popular Appalachian Trail.
  • Charlies Bunion is a treacherous climb that leads to an altitude of nearly 6000 feet at the highest point of the narrow ridge often referred to as “the spine of the Appalachians.”  This vantage point provides some captivating surveillance of the Great Smoky Mountain region.
  • Porters Creek Trail is full of history where a side trail leads to an 1875 farm site which was built by John Messer.  There is also a 1930’s cabin found here that was erected by the Smoky Mountain hiking club.  This popular trail features a bubbling stream flowing through lavish forests of yesteryear while a multitude of wildflowers abound in the spring.  Enthusiastic horticulturalists can enjoy a wide array of regional flowers that include the likes of bloodroot, hepaticas, violets and even rue anemone during a change of season hike.  Fern Branch Falls features a 50-foot cascade at the two mile point for a spectacular photo opportunity.
  • Big South Fork National Recreation area is two hours away and a location where many Villagers hike. There are also numerous trails in the Cherokee National Forest and throughout the Cumberland Mountains. Accessibility to great hiking is another reason why Tellico Village is viewed as one of the best planned retirement communities in Tennessee.

Hiking is a fantastic way to stay-in-shape while taking in some incredible works of nature that are signature to this region.  Here are just a few of the healthy benefits of taking that mountain stroll.  Improved cardio and muscular fitness; reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes; minimizing risk of cancer; increased bone density; reduced depression; better quality of sleep; lower risk of early death if active for 7 hours a week and weight control as hiking burns an average of 370 calories an hour based on a 154 pound person.  Boomers across the country have decided to take control of their health and hiking has proven to be one of the most popular remedies to satisfy the need for a better quality of life.

Tellico Village is a location for enjoying a fulfilling and active life.  This exquisitely planned retirement community features a multitude of housing options in one of the eight neighborhoods found here.  Each one is distinctively named with Cherokee influence, Tellico Village features:  Chatuga, Chota, Coyatee, Kahite, Mialaquo, Tanasi, Tommotley and Toqua.  There are approximately 7,000 lakefront and golf course homes of all sizes within the confines of rolling hills and captivating aromatic forestry which surround this one-of-a-kind location.  Besides the top-rated hiking trails scattered throughout, Tellico Village has far more to offer its residents with avid past times such as boating, golf and over 60 active social clubs that keep its residents living the ultimate lifestyle. Other amenities found here include:


  • Three 18 Hole Championship Golf Courses
  • Lakefront Yacht Clubhouse with dining
  • Three Golf Clubhouses with dining
  • 26,000 Square Foot Wellness Center
  • Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pools
  • 10 Tennis Courts
  • 8 Pickleball Courts
  • Full Service Marina with Boat Slips
  • Community Parks
  • New Library

For avid boaters, Tellico Lake is named one of the Best Places in the U.S. for Boating by Boating Life Magazine and there are several lakefront properties to choose from at Tellico Village.   Golfers can enjoy 3 championship golf courses:  The Links at Kahite Golf Course, The Tanasi Golf Course and The Toqua Championship Golf Course with clubhouses at each location.  For gathering with neighbors and friends, The Tellico Village Yacht Club is located in the center of the property and offers exquisite waterfront dining and marina services.  What a great way to relax after a sunset cruise on the lake.

On rainy days or for those who prefer going to the gym, fitness enthusiasts can enjoy the benefits of visiting the 26,000 square foot Tellico Village Wellness Center which houses an indoor lap pool, indoor walking track, saunas, locker rooms, 4 Har-Tru indoor tennis courts, and wellness classes.  The Kahite Activity Center also has fitness classes, a swimming pool and 2 Har-Tru tennis courts.  Active residents and their families can also enjoy The Chota Recreation Center which is a 17,460 square foot facility that features a heated outdoor pool, pickleball courts, full gym and a children’s playground.  Staying fit at Tellico Village quickly becomes second nature.

In addition to all the great assets found at Tellico Village, there are some of the most affordable mountain towns and the exciting city of Knoxville in close proximity to the Village offering fun day trips to explore the rich history living in this cultural mountain region.  Here's a few places the Villager's frequent:

Tellico Plains is a rustic mountain town located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and offers quaint farmlands, scenic walkways and is the ‘gateway to the Cherokee National Forest’ which features nearly 700,000 acres of outdoor playground to enjoy biking, boating, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking and kayaking.  Bald River Falls offers a spectacular 100 foot waterfall display and provides the perfect place to restore the soul or share a picnic with friends and loved ones.  The views here are worth the drive.

Gatlinburg is found in eastern Tennessee has become a ‘go-to’ destination stop due to its historic value and access to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  In 1856, Radford Gatlin established a post office in his town store which put Gatlinburg on the map.  This mountain escape gives surprises beyond the adage ‘the gateway to the Smoky Mountains’ as it is encompassed by Cove Mountain, Grapeyard Ridge, Sugarland Mountain and Big Ridge Mountain which provides a complex array of mountain ranges.

Knoxville is definitely a hopping city in Tennessee, for sure.  This acclaimed destination has become known as‘The Marble City,’ ‘Heart of the Valley’ and ‘Queen City of the Mountains, and was the original capital city of the state of Tennessee.  The University of Tennessee is based here and attendance is very popular due to the rich culture, captivating scenery and its location in the middle of the Great Valley of East Tennessee which sits upon the convergence of three rivers. Amidst this beautiful natural environment resides modern, hip downtown Knoxville filled with mouth-watering restaurants, world class galleries, funky and regional festivals, concerts and museums.  Knoxville provides the perfect getaway for those who call Tellico Village home.

Jonesborough was founded nearly 20 years before Tennessee became a state and is said to be the oldest town in the state.  This historic and preserved small town provides a great day trip for residents of Tellico Village and tourists alike because it is located on the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  Here visitors can enjoy a wide array of activities like cycling, fishing, rafting, caving, kayaking, golfing, antique shopping or just a nice get away to a little simpler place in time.

Townsend this adorable mountain town is located ‘on the peaceful side of the Smokies’ and provides residents and visitors a distinctive assortment of outdoor activities.  Whether attending one of the many year round festivals, shopping at one of the many unique boutiques, dining in superb local restaurants or just  enjoying the ‘best of the best’ forest wildlife during a hike in one of the trails found here folks will know that a visit to this charming destination will make one feel refreshed and revived.

So when someone says “take a hike”,  say "take me" to Tellico Village, one of the finest planned retirement communities you’ll find with walking and hiking trails of all skill levels. If you’re exploring affordable mountain towns in Tennessee, be sure to ‘take a hike’ at Tellico Village and learn more about one of America’s Happiest Communities. 

Call Tellico Village direct at 888.287.0676 to schedule a tour.


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