Paddle Bob

Return to Melton Hill Lake

Now that I can strap my kayak to my truck, I’m striking out and paddling new places. My first trip was Fontana Lake in North Carolina. Next up was Melton Hill Lake, much closer to home.

I’ve wanted to paddle Melton Hill for a while. It’s a special place to me. For years when we lived in Hardin Valley, I took the dogs up there every weekend morning to stretch there legs and harass rabbits. That’s where I found the abandoned Ozzy, Gilligan and the late, great Kesey. That park conjures a lot of great, soul cleansing moments.

I decided to put in at Solway Park, which is near Oak Ridge, and paddle downstream to Melton Hill Park. It was a great trip, and it turned out to be one of the longest I’ve done at almost 14 miles. Melton Hill Lake is much different from Loudon or Fontana. The main channel gets very narrow in several spots, and even the bass boats where obeying the channel markers, which leads me to believe there are some nasty shallow spots in there. The water was murkier, too.

When I reached Melton Hill Park, I landed on a sandy beach where I used to toss tennis balls in the water for Xena and Gilligan. To my surprise, there was a tennis ball sitting there. But I doubt it was a relic from our days at the park.

After taking a break, I got back in the kayak and paddled over to Bull Bluff, which I’d seen numerous times from the opposite shoreline. It’s an impressive cliff. From there, I paddled back. I got caught out