Lake Santeetlah, located in Graham County, has 76 miles of
mostly natural forested shoreline, is
over 3,000 acres in size and is surrounded by the Cheoah District of
Nantahala National Forest. Almost 80% of the shoreline is public
land which is managed by the North Carolina Forest Service.
kayaking and canoeing are popular activities and Cheoah Point
on the east side of the Lake Santeetlah offers swimming at a
lakeside beach, picnic areas, over 26 campsites and hiking trails.
Cheoah Point is the only campground with facilities on Santeetlah
Nearby Forest Service Campgrounds are Horse Cove
located on Big Santeetlah Creek with 17 camp sites, toilets, and no
showers (Modest fee per day/open winter with no fees/first come
first served) and the group camp at Rattler Ford which has four
sites (up to 50 people each site), showers, and toilets (Fee per
site by reservation). For more information contact the Cheoah
District Office at 828-479-6431.
The lake was created in 1928 by the damming of the Cheoah
River to create hydroelectric power as it flows northward to join
the Little Tennessee River. During the last decades of the twentieth
century non-public lands were developed as scenic residences and
vacation homes, most notably in the area now incorporated as the
town of Lake Santeetlah.
Location: Along US Highway 129 in Graham County, NC.
Distance: From Asheville allow 2 -21/2 hours
Address: Highway 129, Lake Santeetlah NC
Tips: Since most of the surrounding land is public
access, there are many primitive campsites scattered along the
shoreline. These free sites however have no facilities, no toilets
Graham County NC Travel and Tourism Authority, 12 Main Street,
Nantahala National Forest, Cheoah Ranger District Office,
Lake Santeetlah Town Hall, 4 Marine Drive, Lake Santeetlah NC 28711;
Santeetlah Marina, 1 Marine Drive, Lake Santeetlah NC 28711;
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest,
Nantahala National Forest,
Great Smoky Mountains
Directions: From Asheville take I-40 West towards Knoxville.
Take Exit 27 to merge into US Highway 74/19 West towards
Waynesville/Murphy. Approximately 20 miles past Bryson City take
right onto Highway 129 to Robbinsville. Santeetlah Lake is six miles
north of Robbinsville on Highway 129.