We recently joined some friends to kayak on Lake Junaluska. Located just outside of Waynesville, NC, this mountain lake community has a population of 3,219.

Lake Junaluska is a 200-acre manmade lake that is fed primarily by Richland Creek, which then becomes a tributary of the Pigeon River.

Private residences and the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center surround this beautiful mountain lake.

There is a 2.3 mile paved walking trail and an extended 3.8 mile walking trail around the lake.

After paddling across the lake, under the walking bridge, and around the lakeside pool, we docked our kayaks at the public access and took a break to enjoy frozen custard at the water’s edge.

After this brief break, we continued around the lake, checking out the ducks and giant swan floating near the conference center.

Lake water sports include canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and swimming in the lakeside swimming pool.

To maintain a quiet environment, only electric trolling motors are permitted to operate on the lake.

Lake Junaluska also has an 18-hole golf course, pickleball and tennis courts, and dedicated bocce ball, corn hole, and shuffleboard courts.

Get out and enjoy the quieter side of the Smokies. See you on the trails!

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