Summer presents itself with the challenging task of trying to find ways to cool off. Yes, you can find air conditioning, fans and pools, but a cold body of water sometimes provides the best prescription for relief from high temperatures. Luckily if you live in East Tennessee you will find countless places to splash around without having to soak your wallet. Here are five super spots to find heat relief.
Elrod Falls – This out of the way natural water wonder is actually a set of three waterfalls where the water eventually reaches a crystal clear pool about seven feet deep. Elrod Falls is in Hancock County about ten miles south of Sneedville. From Knoxville take U.S. 11W (Rutledge Pike) to the community of Mooresburg then follow TN 31 north until you see the signs for Elrod Falls.
The Wye - It isn’t difficult to find a cool mountain stream in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the most popular places for cooling off in the water is “The Wye” on the Little River near Townsend. “The Wye” is located just a few miles from the entrance to Cades Cove.
Paint Creek– Nestled deep in the Cherokee National Forest in Greene County, Paint Creek has long been a favorite swimming spot for locals. A large swimming hole at Dudley Falls provides a relatively safe spot for people of all ages to swim as the depth of the water is gradual thanks to the size of the swimming hole. There is a tall stone wall next to the small waterfall. Occasionally a few daredevils will climb up the wall , but it isn’t recommended.
Yahoo Falls – While you won’t find a swimming hole at Kentucky’s highest waterfall you will find its waters refreshing when temperatures soar. At 113 feet high Yahoo Falls is like a giant shower. Not much water falls from the rock ledge above, but it is cold and beats down on you to provide refreshment and a bit of a massage.
The beaches of Norris Lake - The cold waters of the Clinch and Powell rivers combine to form TVA’s first lake. It remains one of the cleanest in the region making it a great place to swim in the cool waters. You will find “beaches” both the Anderson County Park and Loyston Point.
Of course this is only a taste of what you can find within a couple of hours from Knoxville. In addition to these natural places to cool off there are splash pads at World’s Fair Park, in Powell and on Fort Loudoun Lake in West Knox County. All of these are free to visit.