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Boating for Recreation and Fishing on Two Mountain Lakes

In Swain County, two beautiful mountain lakes — the 26 mile-long Fontana and the smaller Cheoah — provide exceptional boating for recreation and fishing.

While Cheoah provides public access for private boat owners, Fontana offers the most facilities with several full-service marinas as well as public access boat ramps.

  • Carolina Bound Adventures Boating

    Contact Name: Mark Van Osdal
    Address: 35 Slope Street
    Bryson City

    Are you booking adventures like a Boat Rental plus multiple other Adventures while you’re here for vacation?  Save time making reservations and do it all at one website!  Our adventure planning and reservation concierge service consolidates your vacation research and planning in one place.  Visit our website, choose your desired adventures like a Boat Rental and we’ll make the reservations plus set up your itinerary!
  • Root Hog Fishing Guide Service

    Contact Name: Dwight Pigman
    Address: PO Box 375
    Bryson City

    We are a licensed fishing guide service with over 25 years of guide experience. We are available for 8, 6, and 4-hour fishing excursions for up to 4 people maximum per trip, 7 days a week, year-round. Call us for more information on available times and for reservations and scheduling information.
  • Fontana Marina

    Address: 300 Woods Rd.
    Fontana Dam

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    Fontana Marina offers a full line of services for the enjoyment of Fontana Lake including watercraft rentals, free boat launch, a ship store, fishing tackle and license, lake tours and more. Pontoon boat shuttle service is available for backcountry enthusiasts wishing to explore the southern rim of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Fontana Guide Service – Tours

    Contact Name: Kyle Fronrath
    Address: 3336 Balltown Rd
    Bryson City

    Other Address:

    Address: 1102 North River Rd., Sylva, NC, 28779

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    Be our guest on beautiful Fontana Lake. Relax and enjoy breathtaking views, sunsets, waterfalls, rivers and wildlife from our spacious pontoon boat. Choose a half or full day trip of any kind, or customize your own. Sightseeing, fishing, sunset, swimming, & fall leaf trips available. Great for birthday parties, corporate groups, honeymooners, & families, with something for every budget. Dogs welcome! HD photos & videos of your trip available on request. Let us guide your one-of-a-kind Fontana Lake experience.
  • Alarka Boat Dock

    Contact Name: Tony Sherrill
    Address: 7230 Grassy Branch Rd
    Bryson City

    Located on Fontana Lake in Swain County NC, Alarka Boat Dock is a one stop source for boat/pontoon put-in, Fontana Lake History Tours, fishing guides, and boat or pontoon rentals. Dock-slips available for boats and pontoon storage. Fishing supplies, ice, bait, snacks, gas and oil, t-shirt and caps, also boat supplies. Lake fishing and trout stream guides available upon request.
  • Public Boat Access Areas

    Old 288 – From Bryson City. Take US 19 S to turn at SR 1323 (Slope St.; begins at bridge by Walgreens). Travel Slope St. .2 miles and turn left at the blinking light onto SR 1321 (Bryson Walk). Bryson Walk becomes Old 288. Travel 1.6 miles and turn left to follow the river continuing on Old 288 Travel .8 miles to the area at the end of the road.

    There are picnic tables, restroom, covered pavilion, handicapped accessible ramp and fishing pier at this location.

    Lemmons Branch – From Bryson City take US 19/74 West to NC 28 N (right turn towards Robbinsville). Follow NC 28 N about 3 miles to the site for the Tsali Recreation area. Turn right and follow signs to Lemmons Branch Boat Ramp. The ramp is handicapped accessible.

    Cable Cove – From Bryson City take US/74 West to NC 28 N (right turn towards Robbinsville). Continue on approximately 20 miles (8.2 past the 143 turnoff). Turn right onto SR 1287 (Cable Cove). Go 1.5 miles to the end of the road.

    Lewellyn Branch – On Cheoah Lake, just below Fontana Dam. From Bryson City take US 19/74 West to NC 28 N (right turn towards Robbinsville). Follow NC 28N about 25 miles, crossing the Little Tennessee River just below Fontana Dam. Both the ramp and a fishing pier are handicapped accessible.

    Bryson City - Swain County
    Chamber of Commerce

    210 Main Street
    P.O. Box 509
    Bryson City, NC 28713

    Karen Proctor
    Executive Director



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