About Rhea County
The county borders the northwestern bank of Chickamauga Lake from Hiwassee Island to Watts Bar Dam, and then up the lower end of Watts Bar Lake past Spring City. A number of resorts, marinas, campgrounds and other recreational areas are available. Upper Chickamauga Lake takes on the appearance of the old Tennessee River. Great fishing for smallmouth, largemouth, striped bass and catfish is the rule in the tailrace beneath Watts Bar Dam.
The sprawling 38,000-acre lake above the dam is one of the state's best sport fisheries. Whether you like to fish a bobber for bluegills or 'bream,' cast plugs for feisty bass or set your hook into giant rockfish - Watts Bar's got all the right stuff.
If hiking is your pleasure, Rhea County has four natural wilderness areas with forests, deep gorges, unique rock formations and tumbling waterfalls. Near Dayton is Laurel Pocket Snow Wilderness, where the hike involves two climbs of about 900 feet and takes you to two scenic waterfalls: allow six to eight hours. Piney River Trail, near Spring City on Shut-In Gap Road, is 10 miles linking a picnic area with the Newby Branch Forest Camp, including a camp site for backpackers. The 2.5 mile Twin Rocks Nature Trail originates from the same site and leads to an overlook of the Soak Creek and Piney River Gorges. The Stinging Fork Trail also starts on Shut-In Gap Road and leads to Stinging Fork Falls.
You may also find your self in the city of Dayton, which was once the strawberry capital of the world. To celebrate each year the city hosts the Annual Tennessee Strawberry Festival. Come experience the town's beauty, history and commitment to family values.
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NATIVE AMERICAN TRAIL
This trail will highlight sites and stories relating to Native American history of this region.
CIVIL WAR TRAIL
Follow this trail to some of the most compelling places in Tennessee's history.
ARTISTS AND FINE CRAFTER'S TRAIL
A shopping guide to local arts and fine crafts.
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Explore the backroads and byways of Tennessee.