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The Broken Arrow Lodge is featured on this web-site. The MapGuide, Tennessee River Valley Geotourism, was launched in November 2011. It is one of only 11 National Geographic online Mapguides developed worldwide to date. It currently provides a unique interactive online guide to 625 distinctive natural, historical and cultural sites in a region Where Rivers and Mountains Meet, from the Smoky Mountains through Knoxville, Chattanooga and North Georgia. The project is guided by the East Tennessee River Valley Geotourism Council, representing 24 tourism, natural resource, cultural, and historical agencies and organizations in the region. The MapGuide is a wonderful tool for travel planning, fostering the stewardship of the region’s great places, and enhancing sustainable economic development in the region.

 Banded Darter

Peeking Redline Darter

 See other local attractions listed below.

Snorkeling on Citico Creek

by Delores Sowders

“Few places in the world equal the biodiversity of streams in the southeastern United States.”


The U.S. Forest Service is offering snorkeling excursions on Citico Creek. For groups with a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20, reservations may be made by contacting Sherry Hicks @ 423-496-0103. Payments ($20.00 per person) will be made through the Ocoee Whitewater Center and must be received one week prior to the scheduled program.



My story:  Put on your snorkeling gear and come with me on an amazing adventure in Citico Creek.  Just slip beneath the surface of the water and immediately you are transported into an ethereal world of underwater magic.  Sounds are muffled so that immediately everything is eerily quiet.  Your weightless body slides through the water effortlessly -- a nice feeling I don’t experience much anymore.   It’s as if suddenly you’re in your own world, free to examine every nook and cranny of the creek.  The fish are even curious and come close – just close enough to get a good picture – if you’re lucky!  I’m sure I should remember this fact from grade school but everything is 25% larger and farther away than you think it is.


Some of you, I’m sure, have snorkeled in the ocean, a river or creek and know what I’m talking about.  But me!  Since I’ve never been a really good swimmer and putting my head under water is just such an unnatural thing to do,    I was always afraid to try snorkeling.  This past week, however, everything fell in place for me to do this very unnatural thing!  Put together two grandchildren that are ‘water dogs’, a sister that was ready to try something new, and a former biologist with TVA and current aquatic naturalist contractor with the US Forest Service (Gary Williams) who was willing to share his knowledge -- I just had to try it. 


I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.  When the sun shines through the water it literally dances from the reflection of the sun’s rays.  And those colorful rocks that are so much a part of Citico Creek are even more beautiful.   My granddaughter says the rocks look like a fairy tale castle with cliffs and boulders.  Well, you get the idea.


It was such an awesome experience! For the last 15 years, Gary Williams has been doing this very thing – snorkeling throughout the streams, rivers, and lakes of the Tennessee River system and most recently the Conasauga River.  We learned that there are 65 different species of fish in Citico Creek alone!  One of the darters is found only in Citico Creek -- that's right, no where else in the world  – amazing, huh!  On this particular Saturday, we saw four different  darters and Gary found one of the ‘Citico Darters’ on Sunday.  We actually saw 20 different species of fish and darters. 


Fish observed this day:


 Blotched   Chub

 Central Stoneroller     


 Dusky Salamander               

Rock Bass  

Tennessee Shiner

Gilt Darter  


Smallmouth Bass                

 Whitetail Shiner   

Banded Sculpin  

 Northern Hogsucker      

Redbreast Sunfish 

Warpaint Shiner

Citico Darter  

Greenside Darter

 River Chub

Tennessee Darter

Telescope   Shine      

Sriped Neck  Musk Turtle

 Spotted Bass

Redline Darter

Black Redhorse  



We hope you get a chance to come snorkeling on Citico Creek and discover this treasure located right in our back door, as they say.  Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of that ‘Yellowfin Madtom” or a 'Citico Darter'.


Directions to Broken Arrow Lodge on Citico Creek: Take I-75 to Loudon, TN exit #72.  Turn left onto TN-72 head east for 15.6 miles to US 411.  Turn left onto US 411 toward Vonore and travel 2.4 miles to TN-360.  Turn right onto TN-360 ( Citico Road). After 7 miles the highway turns right and crosses an embayment.  Don't turn right; go straight ahead on Citico Road.  Follow Citico Road for 9 miles to the cabin.  The cabin is located on the right. Travel time from Knoxville is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.


For  lodging information at Broken Arrow Lodge,
call Delores at (423) 295-2546
Other local attractions


The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum:   www.sequoyahmuseum.org

A property of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians which promotes the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians in Eastern Tennessee, particularly the life and contributions of Sequoyah    


Fort Loudoun State Historic Area:      www.fortloudoun.com 

Ft. Loudoun was a British colonial fort in present-day Vonore, TN.  Learn about the French & Indian War by visiting this gorgeous state park.


Cherohala Skyway:  www.cherohala.com

The Cherohala Skyway is one of most popular National Scenic Byways in North America and winds through the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee from Tellico Plains, TN to Robbinsville, NC.


The Lost Sea:  www.thelostsea.com

Stroll through an 18th century village, explore huge fascinating caverns, then float across America’s largest underground lake!


Sweetwater Valley Farms Cheese:  www.sweetwatervalley.com

Please plan to stop by our farm store and see where our fine cheeses are made. You may also want to go on one of our farm tours. On days that the weather permits, we will take you on a walking tour to see our dairy and tell you about the process from cows to cheese.


Mayfield Dairy:     www.mayfielddairy.com

Free tours to see milk being processed and ice cream being made.


Ocoee Outdoors:  www.ocoee-outdoors.com

Our guided Ocoee River whitewater rafting trips will be one of those adventures you will never forget!! The beautiful Ocoee River with its many white water areas is challenging, and a great trip for the family. With 35 years of white water rafting we know the Ocoee River like the back of our hand, as well as the best places on the river in Tennessee.


Smoky Mountain Kayaking:  www.smokymountainkayaking.com

Touring-style kayaking has found an ideal habitat on the lakes of east Tennessee, and while not the only way to experience the area's lakes, kayaking is without a doubt one of the best.