Tony Barbarette, the owner/operator, of Smoky Mountain Kayaking and I met today. He is a retired Army Intelligence Officer. He recently took a hobby he was passionate about, and turned it into what is becoming a full-time business. There are a handful of white water kayaking/tubing businesses within a two-hour drive of Gracehill Bed and Breakfast; Tony's, is for the most part, the only lake kayaking and tours on flat water. He is based out of Maryville, Tennessee. Tony does tours on Douglas, Tellico, Chilhowee, Norris, and Calderwood Lakes, in the Fontana Dam and Abrams Creek area, and the Tennessee and Little Tennessee Rivers. One of the trips, if the water level is correct, you can kayak through an old train tunnel, or take a history tour of Fort Loudon State Historical Area. See the Sequoyah Birth Place Museum where Sequoyah invented the Cherokee Alphabet, and the Chota Memorial and Oconostota Burial Site.
His comments from a kayaking trip a couple of days ago-- "What a beautiful Smoky Mountain day on Abrams Creek it was! Clear blue skies, cool breezes, and not another boater in sight! Ann and Roland Long from Texas were my companions. The mountain laurels were in full bloom along the water's edge, and we all took advantage of the great photo backgrounds. I'm gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend with paddle tours scheduled for Fort Loudon Historical Area on Tellico Lake, tours to Chilhowee Lake, and Abrams Creek. Folks need to book early to get their first choice of the trip and time they would like." The photo's about sum it up! mizkathleen @Gracehill.