|Anchorages on Guntersville Lake|
MAP below for anchorage description.
Chart: TRNC51, TVA501;
Mile: TN-349.8 Pool: 595.0 feet
This is a convenient anchorage from which to make an early start for Guntersville Lock. It is also an easy on-off stop if you are upbound and have been overtaken by darkness after a lock delay. About the same distance from the locks as the more scenic Mill Hollow anchorage on the southern shore, Hambrick is extremely easy to locate after dark.
Hambrick Hollow is immediately east of Hambrick Light #349.5 on the northern shore of Guntersville Lake. The cove is designated as a First Class Safety Harbor and has white arrow markers on both points of the cove's wide entrance.
There are also two large mooring cells at the western entrance that serve as excellent landmarks. Depths are good between the cells and well into the cove. Though it is unlikely that a towboat will come inside the harbor when the mooring cells are more available outside, we proceed to about the harbor's limit crosses, visible on both banks, just in case. We swing to one anchor here.
The harbor is open to over a half mile of the deepest part of the open lake, and if a strong, pre-frontal southwesterly wind is blowing, the anchorage can be very choppy. Much better protection can be obtained across the river at Mill Hollow.
There is a nice view at anchor. To the north at the head of the hollow is Bishop Mountain, while across the lake are the precipitous Georgia Mountains.
Chart: TRNC51; TVA501
Mile: TN-349.5 + 0.8 Pool: 595.0 feet
Once above Guntersville Lock, head for the lake's southern shore; Mill Hollow is the first large cove east of the dam. Least depths range in the mid- to upper 20s from the lock to the cove's wide mouth. Inside, shoaling is gradual as you approach an inner westerly point.
Since the cove is open to the north, it is essential to round this small point for full protection in its lee. The end of the anchorage is shallow, but there is good depth just to the south and around the far inner headland. Sound carefully for swinging room, however. We prefer to put out an anchor on the southeastern shore and then run a stern line to a tree on the western bank, just south of a large, distinctive rock at the water's edge.
On weekends small boats occasionally bring in families to camp in the small clearing on the western bank near the rock. And no wonder: This is a pretty stop. The cove is surrounded by the Georgia Mountains, and cliffs and escarpments tower over it.
Chart: TRNC52; TVA501
Mile: TN-351.8 + 0.6 Pool: 595.0 feet
This anchorage is on the Tennessee's northern shore, not far inside Honeycomb Creek. Since this large creek is another designated First Class Safety Harbor, there is a white arrow mark on Honeycomb's western point and another on Goat Island's westerly end.
Once north of the marker arrows Honeycomb Creek bears off to the northeast, then bends to the north around prominent John Thompson Reservation knob. As this is a large expanse of open water, the best way to locate Pumpkin Hollow's entrance is to start between the arrow markers and head toward the white limit cross on John Thompson Reservation point. This keeps you well clear of the shoals that extend from the creek's western shore. As you approach this cross, come around slowly to the west there is a definite point on Pumpkin Hollow's southwesterly entrance; there are campsites and possibly tents there. There may also be tents on the northern shore close to Pumpkin Hollow's approach.
Continue well into the cove for best protection, but don't venture too far to the head of the hollow, as it is shallow and weedy. Best anchorage is close along the cove's southern shore yet well inside the extending point. There is excellent protection from the northerly quadrant as well as from strong southwesterlies.
This is a pretty anchorage with a view of the Lewis Mountains to the east. It is also a nice place to land a dinghy and have a cookout ashore. The southern point is relatively low and open land, so you can take a walk ashore.
Chart: TRNC52; TVA501
Mile: TN-352 + 0.9 or 0.5 Pool: 595.0 feet
This anchorage is on the Tennessee's northern shore, not far inside Honeycomb Creek. Since this large creek is another designated First Class Safety Harbor, there is a white arrow mark on Honeycomb's western point and another on Goat Island's westerly end. Enter Honeycomb Creek between the arrow marks. Once inside, go east along the north side of Goat Island until reaching the eastern end of the island (0.4 mi.). Head northeast along shoreline for 0.5 mi. to cove for anchoring.
Another route is to find the opening at the east end of Goat Island (0.4 mi. east of Honeycomb Creek entrance) and follow shoreline northeast 0.5 mi. to cove for anchoring.
This anchorage is well away from the lights and noise of the campground and is good water for swimming from your boat.
Chart: TRNC52; TVA501
Mile: TN-354.4 Pool: 595.0 feet
This cove is about 0.5 mile south of Walker Light #353.6 on the river's western bank. It is a First Class Safety Harbor, and its white arrow marks are positioned on the entry points. We proceed well inside the cove and swing to one anchor. There are a few stumps along the northern bank, and the head of the cove is quite shoal, so if the anchorage is filled, sound carefully for swinging room depth.
This cove is wide open from the northeast through the southeast with over a mile of fetch; it is unsafe from these directions in severe winds.
We have had some success fishing for bluegill and crappie along the cove's shoreline by the stumps and near the weed line. There are usually bank fishermen also trying their luck since there is an access road in the hollow. Outside the entrance and just to the north, we caught a few bass along the foot of the cliff. This is the general area of Cherokee Bluff and the old Indian fort and encampment.
The cove has a charming view of the lake's many islands along the eastern shoreline. It is a popular destination for local pleasure boats, so it is likely that you will have company if you stay overnight.
CREEK / BALD KNOB COVE or MCGYVER COVE
Chart: TRNC53; TVA502;
Mile: TN-361.0 +1.5
Pool: 595.0 feet
Short Creek, on the river's southern shore, is another cruising destination for local boat owners.
APPROACH: Leave the main-river channel about 0.9 mile downstream of Short Creek Light #361.7. The main channel here is wide, and navigational aids are widely spaced, but there is a can on the northern shore at about Mile TN-360.8. Depart from the channel just upstream of this, and bear southeast into wide Short Creek, leaving the channel nun well to port. A good location mark is a low-level fixed bridge across the creek, about a mile inside its entry. This is the head of navigation for vessels needing more than 23 feet of clearance. After . leaving the main channel, depths hold fairly steady to Short Creek’s entrance, except across the bar. Depending on where a vessel happens to be, this ranges from 12 to 16 feet.
Both creek entrance points are bold; we slightly favor the western side. Once inside the headlands, proceed on down the creek; Bald Knob is the point from which the low bridge makes its western approach. The cove is a long finger to the southwest, and there is a stand of pines beside a small beach on the anchorage's northwestern point. Enter in mid-cove. We swing to one anchor, making certain we are well inside the northwest point. Don't go in too far, however; the head of the cove is weedy and shoal.
FOR THE CREW: This is another chance to take an interesting dinghy trip if you have a dependable outboard. Short Creek extends for miles upstream of the bridge, and about 2 miles upcreek it narrows dramatically and runs between beautiful, steep hills. Just beyond Blue Bend, Scarham Creek flows in from the southeast. Past this junction Short Creek is walled by a canyon. About 4 miles from the bridge is Short Creek Falls. After the Civil War, the government considered starting the Atlantic and Great Western Canal here.
The anchorage at Bald Knob/McGyver is quiet—bridge traffic is not noticeable. The view across Short Creek is lovely; there is high Ellenburg Mountain, Graveyard Hill, and Taylor Mountain, and on Cedar Ridge is Lake Guntersville State Park lodge with a spectacular view.