The scenic East Lakeshore National Recreation Trail system skirts the eastern shoreline of Tellico Lake and was built as a joint venture between the Watershed Association of the Tellico Reservoir (WATeR) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). At present the trail system features over 30 miles of trail with future plans to extend. The hiking trails provide many scenic viewing areas with benches for observing the plentiful wildlife and wildflowers. Three signed boat landing areas allow easy access to the trails for paddlers. Segments of the trail are self-guided interpretive trails for environmental education and guides are available at the Tellico Village Library in Loudon or online. There is adequate parking at the three trailheads along with a kiosk and trail map.
Canal Branch Trail: The 1.5 mile Canal Branch trail is under construction. It will extend southward from Canal Trailhead (soon to be built near the US321 canal bridge) which is the north terminus of the East Lakeshore Trail. Offering some fine lake views, the Canal Branch junctions with the Baker Hollow Branch at Mizell Trailhead (soon to be built on Jackson Bend Rd.)
Baker Hollow Branch Trail: This 3 mile trail connects with the Davis Ferry Branch near Antioch Church Rd. (Future Trailhead location). It features large trees, the Mizell Bluff overlook, steep side hills, and many fine views of the lake, especially in the winter.
Davis Ferry Branch Trail: Trail extends north from the Glendale Trailhead, 2 miles to the Wind River Golf Course, or from its junction with the Baker Hollow Branch, south about 1.2 miles to the number 4 tee box on Wind River Golf Course. This stretch of trail parallels Antioch Church Rd and is on private land. Please be aware of and courteous to players on the golf course. As of this writing the trail has not been routed and marked for public use across the golf course.
Glendale Branch Trail: The Glendale Branch extends south from the Glendale Trailhead to an intersection with the Coytee Loop interpretive trail. This trail is 3 miles via Power Point and 2.2 miles via the Shortcut. From the Glendale Trailhead to Power Point is 1.2 miles. The Powerline Point Loop interpretive trail is 2.2 miles and goes from the trailhead to Powerline Point and returns via the Glendale Shortcut Trail.
Glendale Shortcut Trail: This 2.2 mile loop allows hikers to walk a loop around Powerline Point and return to the Glendale Trailhead.
Coytee Loop Branch Trail: The Coytee Loop Branch extends north from the Coytee Trailhead 2.4 miles and includes a 1.2–mile self-guided interpretive loop trail that incorporates eight learning sites marked by lettered posts along the trail. There is a bench about half-way around the loop looking out over scenic Tellico Lake. A trail guide for the interpretive trail is available for checkout from the Tellico Village Library or online.
Sinking Creek Branch Trail: This 4.5 mile trail extends south from Coytee Trailhead to Sinking Creek Trailhead and features several bridges. The 85 foot steel and concrete bridge erected by TVA in 2011 is elevated 15 feet above Coytee Cove adjacent to the trailhead.
Lotterdale Branch Trail: Extending south from the Sinking Creek Trailhead, the trail is 3.8 miles to the entrance road into Lotterdale Campground. Trail features a variety of hiking experiences through beautiful forest areas, open pasture along the lakeshore, and in some places is adjacent to roadways.
Jackson Bend Branch Trail: From the Lotterdale Campground entrance road, the Jackson Bend Branch Trail extends 5.1 miles to the Peterson Road Trailhead. This branch showcases a variety of landscapes and scenic views and includes an elevation gain of more than 200 feet. A 1/4 mile connecting trail to the map kiosk at the campground entrance provides ready access to the East Lakeshore Trail for campers.
Morganton Branch Trail: From the Peterson Rd Trailhead the 3-mile stretch of the Morganton Branch trail extends to the southern terminus of the East Lakeshore Trail at Wildcat Pointe Trailhead. A variety of interesting and scenic lake views reward the hiker especially along the Baker Creek arm of Tellico Lake featuring a 140' boardwalk. Before reaching Wildcat Pointe Trailhead the trail ascends to a ridge with an elevation of approximately 200 feet above the summer lake level providing excellent views of the lake in the wintertime.
HUNTING: The trails are on public land that is open to hunting. The most active seasons along the trail are deer and turkey. For hunting season dates and additional information, visit the Tellico WATer website or the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) website - deer hunting regulations for Unit B pertain to the trail area. Even though visibility is quite good in the woods, it is suggested that as a safety precaution, hikers should hike in groups and wear fluorescent orange or bright colors, visible from front and back, while using the trail during hunting seasons.