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Clay County Adventures
Clay County has long been known for its outdoor adventures thanks to the area’s wealth of natural recreational resources that include Lake Chatuge, a Tennessee Valley Authority reservoir, and the Nantahala National Forest, which covers approximately 66,000 acres, or 47% of the county.

Boaters and water skiers can zoom across the waters of Lake Chatuge from a variety of public and private access points. Anglers will enjoy testing their skills against trout in the Hiwassee River or a number of area creeks, or pull out all the stops and enter a bass tournament on Lake Chatuge.

     

Mountain bikers and hikers alike are jumping on the Jackrabbit Mountain Bike Trails, close to 15 miles of singletrack trails on a peninsula on Lake Chatuge that were specifically designed to appeal to all skill levels. In fact, the Clay County School System includes mountain biking in its after-school and summer programs for students.

Clay County Parks and Recreation provides ample opportunities for fitness and adventure: trails, athletic fields, tennis, playgrounds, and lake access for swimmers, boaters, and anglers. The Clay County Recreation Park offers 25 campsites, while Jackrabbit Mountain Campground has 99 camping sites. Primitive campers will find sites in the Nantahala Forest to pitch their tents, and even those on horseback can camp out at the Bristol Horse Camp in the Fires Creek area.

You can even have a Clay County adventure by car, as part of North Carolina’s Waterfalls Scenic Byway enters Clay County at Winding Stair Gap on Highway 64.

A mountain
location brings
a steady stream of visitors to purchase local services.
 

Hiking
Hikers can get a workout on numerous hiking trails of various skill levels in the Nantahala Forest lands, including some that reward hikers with a breathtaking waterfall vista. There’s also opportunity to hit part of the Appalachian Trail near the Standing Indian day use area.
             

Eco-Tourism
Clay County’s access to all types of outdoor adventure means the door is wide open for businesses that target themselves to the eco-tourism market. Marinas, outfitters, bicycle shops, guide services, campgrounds and similar businesses have a steady market of visitors and local residents who need their services. Other, more broad-based businesses, such as supermarkets, gas stations and automobile repair services, and retail clothing and gift shops also benefit from the regular influx of visitors and second-home owners in Clay County.
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