In spring, birds fly free over the deep, fertile waters and along with autumn comes the crunch of leaves during a lakeside forest hike.
One glance at the beauty of an East Tennessee river shore and it’s easy to understand the desire to protect that overwhelms those who call the area home.
That desire to preserve the natural setting is what drives the Watershed Association of the Tellico Reservoir (WATeR) in its mission of ensuring future generations have a chance to enjoy nature at its finest.
WATeR services the 357 miles of Tennessee shoreline that make up the Tellico Reservoir Watershed. Among projects the organization has had a part in include ensuring adherence to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines in regards to the use of the watershed and its surroundings, investigating the environmental impact of development of the area and educating the public on the importance of preserving natural environments.
In addition to the work done behind the scenes to ensure the area stays pure and protected, WATeR also acts to open areas up to those who escape to nature to recharge from the pressures of a busy day.
Through the development of the East Lakeshore Trail system, WATeR has opened more than 30 miles of trails to the public. These trails wind through varying environments including open fields, rocky shorelines and shaded forests that protect visitors just as WATeR has protected them.
Achieving the honor of being designated a National Recreation Trail system, these miles of meandering paths welcome visitors to enjoy the quiet surroundings that residents of Tellico Village call home.
So next time you get that pull to enjoy a walk through the pines, enjoy the landscape made accessible by the volunteers at WATeR with a day of enjoying East Tennessee’s beauty.
For more information on WATeR and its mission visit http://www.tellicowater.org/.