The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

JULY  2009

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.

The People News
Special Report






Too Hot? - Chill Out.

by Alexandra Edwards

Like it or not, it can be guaranteed that sizzling hot temperatures are going to be forecast in this region for at least the next couple of months. Keeping cool can be a problem in the heat of the summer. Many choose to stay indoors in the air conditioning while others maybe prefer to take a dip in the pool.

Public swimming pools can become pretty crowded at this time of year, but did you know there are several swimming holes in this area where you can take the family to chill out?

Many locals have fond childhood memories of swimming in the cool blue water at Farmer's Lake in nearby Cohutta, Georgia. The spring fed swimming hole which is said to have cool water temperatures in the mid 50's during summer, has been popular with families since the 1960's. Farmer's Lake is concrete to a depth of 6 feet with gravel bottom in other areas to allow spring water flow. Visitors can paddle and splash around in the cool shallow part of the lake or dive into 11 feet of chilly water at the deepest end.

Alexandra Edwards

This family friendly beauty spot also has a kiddie pool, picnic tables and charcoal grills, volley ball court, game room and snack bar on the grounds. Certified lifeguards are on duty during operating hours which is 10am - 6pm 7 days a week until Labor Day. Admission is $5 during the week and $7 on weekends. Located at 5510 Red Clay Road, Cohutta, Ga. For more information, call 706-694-8018 or 423-838-2112.

The Cherokee National Forest has numerous swimming holes in the Ocoee River which are also family friendly. Depending on whether you want to just take a dip, paddle or go swimming, jumping or snorkeling there are a variety of holes to choose from. Some have tunnels to swim through. The deepest swimming hole known locally as the "Blue Hole" is sometimes closed to swimmers if river levels are too high to swim safely, so it would be a good idea to call the visitor center beforehand at 423-496-5197.

Directions: From Cleveland take Highway 64/74 East to the Ocoee Whitewater Visitor Center. Parking fees in the lower parking area of the visitor center is $3 for the entire day. On the way to the swimming holes you may want to stop off at Goforth Creek around mile-markers 15-16 where you can sit on the rocks under a beautiful natural waterfall.

Jacks River/Conasauga River which borders the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Chatahoochee National Forest in Georgia also has several swimming holes good for swimming and snorkeling.

From the picnic area, follow the signs to the "snorkeling hole" where you are invited to don your mask and snorkel to see the fish below. Another hole is across the footbridge about a 5 minute walk downstream.

Continue on FR 221 east and follow the Jack's River Trail about .6 miles and watch for trail # 13. Park and hike one mile to a camp site where you will find more great swimming holes. Jacks River Falls, a beautiful scenic 60 ft. waterfall is just a few miles ahead, where you can can swim in the river or the pool at the bottom of the falls. For directions and more information call 706-695-6736.

Tellico Plains in the Cherokee National Forest is another great place to cool off. Along the Tellico river are water falls, streams, and numerous swimming areas. The invigorating Bald River Falls have some swimming holes for those brave enough to climb the steep slippery rocks. Further along is Baby Falls which is about 15 feet high with a deep large pool at the bottom. Caution is advised when river currents are high. A grassy area at the center top area of Baby Falls allows for swimmers to jump in, but again caution is advised.  Another alternative is to climb down the rocks to a pool area to swim, or just sit and relax by the cool shallow waters just 40 yards up from the falls. From Baby Falls continue on RT. 210 for about 9 miles to Davis Branch campground where you will find another good place to swim on the Tellico River.

Another cool place to go on a sizzling hot day is Chickamauga Creek in Soddy Daisy. In the North Chickamauga Pocket Wilderness, in an area previously owned by Bowater Company, are a series of good swimming holes including two known to locals as "Blue Holes," deep enough for serious swimming. The first blue hole is about 12-14 feet deep, has cliffs for jumping, a rope swing and climbing boards. The second is a little further down the trail, on the right between a large 100 foot cliff and large boulder which stands about 15 feet above the water.

The hole is said to be crystal clear about 15-20 feet deep. Take Route 27 from Chattanooga, left on Montlake Road (before you get to Soddy Daisy), follow signs for North Chicamauga Pocket Wilderness, turn left into parking area. Follow the trails upstream for swimming holes along the creek. The Blue Holes are  about a one mile easy hike along the trails. For more information call (423) 336-7205.

Rather than going into air conditioned hibernation during the long warm days of summer, cooling off and chilling out is healthier and much more fun in the great outdoors.

Before taking a long, hot trip on the Interstate with the family this summer a good website to visit is
. The site offers a special feature called "road trip dips" which lists all swimming holes across the country within easy access from the interstates.

Keep Cool!