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At the Blue Water Resort, Dayton campers can camp by the lake and cast a line out on Chickamauga Lake, one of the most abundant fishing sites in Rhea County. Full hookup sites up to 40 feet in length are available, with access to 30/50 amp service, a bathhouse, and a laundry room. Stay updated with expanded cable TV service and wireless internet, and cool off at the swimming pool at the end of the day. Kids will love the playground, while pets will surely have a fun time at the dog park. There’s also a putting green and a stocked pond for those inclined to engage in milder activities on-site.
At the general store, you’ll find everything you might need for fishing at the lake: line, bait, and other fishing supplies. If you have your own boat, take advantage of the campground’s private boat ramp to access the lake. Gather at the pavilion or at the lake house for a special occasion, or around a community fire pit and swap stories from the road. Before checking out, see if your rental RV needs gas. Refuel on-site, and be on your way.
If fishing is high on your wish list, book a campsite at Blue Water Resort, and make the most of the abundant fishing opportunities at Chickamauga Lake. At 36,000 acres, and with more than 800 miles of shoreline, you'll have plenty of surface area to sink a crankbait for largemouth bass. Fed by the Tennessee River, the lake has a current, making it all the more challenging to land a trophy catch, which are some of the biggest in the state.
Avid birders, on the other hand, might want to scope out the 6,000-acre Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. On Chickamauga Lake, where the Hiwassee River meets the Tennessee River, the refuge draws one of the largest winter populations of sandhill cranes in the southeastern United States. Pick a spot on the observation platform and admire the flock, or keep a sharper eye out for the occasional endangered whooping crane. Book an RV rental in Rhea County in January to coincide with the peak population of the birds. Raptors also come visit, with bald eagles making regular appearances here in the winter.
For floating, canoeing, and whitewater action, the Hiwassee and Ocoee rivers won't disappoint, especially for white-knuckle rafters looking for Class V rapids. Canoeing, rafting, and fishing are popular on the Class III stretch of the river that runs from the North Carolina state line to just north of Benton. Those who wish to stay dry may want to explore a scenic section of the John Muir Trail that winds through the river gorge at the Hiwassee Ocoee Scenic River State Park.
To cover more ground and see grander vistas from a mile up in the mountains, take your Dayton camper rental for a drive on the Cherohala Skyway less than two hours' drive away when camping at Blue Water Resort. Breathe in fresh air through forests of hardwoods and evergreens on your way to Tellico Plains, a gateway to the Cherokee National Forest. Recreation opportunities here are plentiful and range from fishing, hiking, and bicycling. Go on a nature walk, or take your campervan rental from Dayton for more scenic drives on the Ocoee Scenic Byway and shorter driving routes through the Roan Highlands, the Unaka Mountains, and the Watauga Lake Area.
If you've ever heard of the "Scopes Monkey Trial," that controversial legal case took place at the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton in July 1925. Mark your calendar in July and bring your rental motorhome to be close to the action when critical moments of the trial are reenacted at the courthouse during the annual Scopes Trial Festival. Outside of this date, the courthouse, built in 1891, is worth a visit for its Romanesque Revival-Italian villa architectural style and the Scopes Trial Museum in the courthouse basement. The courtroom – which still contains the original judge's bench, jury chairs, and spectator seats – is on the second floor.
To see other places in Dayton related to the Scopes Trial, embark on a historic walking tour of downtown that will take you to the Robinson Home whose owner helped initiate the trial; to the W.C. Bailey’s Boarding House where John Scopes lived during the year he taught at the Rhea Central High School; and the site of that high school where Scopes taught Physics and Chemistry, among other subjects.
Camping with an RV in Dayton also puts you close to Native American history. The Cherokee Indians were one of the indigenous peoples of the southeast United States, and you can learn more about them and their relocation to designated Indian Territories at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park in nearby Birchwood. Read the Memorial Wall that lists the names of those who perished on the Trail of Tears, and the History Wall that illustrates their early culture and history.
Waterfront camping near Dayton puts you close to all the fishing action at Chickamauga Lake, and to the rich natural areas and historical places of Rhea County. Make the most of Dayton's location, rent a camper near Blue Water Resort, and use the campground as your base for exploring Chattanooga and the rest of southeast Tennessee.