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Snorkeling in October - Double Dip?

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#1 RangerJames

  • NANFA Guest
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Oakland, CA

Posted 06 August 2021 - 07:19 AM

Hey y'all.  Been a while (like four or five years) since I've been on here.  I'm back in the Central Maryland area after 12 years in SF Bay where Josh and I worked together.  Really enjoying being in a wetter climate again where you can get into streams with a dip net without the threat of a citation.  Running my own nature camps and programs at the nearby state park this summer has been a blast.  The local aquatic biodiversity here kinda stinks (comes with the territory of being in a highly populated area), but the kids have taken a love of snorkeling the river to look for eels and the other regulars. 


To the purpose here: Wifey and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary and her 40th birthday in mid-October.  She wants the whole family to go to a place with good fall foliage Oct 14-21ish. 


Appalachia in general is the plan, somewhere within reasonable driving distance of Baltimore.  First thought I had was New River Gorge in West Virginia, but I'm not sold on it, and totally open to other suggestions.  Anyone know any good spots we could hit for fall color AND snorkeling with the boys so they can see some more diversity?? 


Hope you're all well!

-Ranger James

(Oklahoma 2016 convention)

#2 Robert Lamb

Robert Lamb
  • NANFA Member
  • Chattanooga, TN

Posted 06 August 2021 - 08:22 AM

It's a bit far from you but the Cherohala skyway in east TN/ west NC is a great place to see fall colors and it conveniently begins/ends (depending which way you go) right along the Tellico River. Along the skyway is also the detour to Citico creek, although I imagine by October it will be pretty frosty. 

The Tellico River area just upstream of Tellico Beach is by far my favorite snorkel destination in the upper TN drainage so far. Full of redline, gilt, wounded, tangerine, citico, banded, snubnose, common and blotchside logperch, and greenside darters (plus a few others I believe). Hellbenders and mudpuppies are both present although I have yet to personally see one of either. Mountain, yellowfin, and smoky madtoms are present and some night snorkeling could turn some up. There's an abundance of shiners as well: whitetail, striped, warpaint, TN, saffron amongst others. You might even be able to see endangered spotfin chubs there.


#3 El Todd

El Todd
  • NANFA Member
  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 06 August 2021 - 11:10 AM

Good to see another Marylander here! This is a little off topic, but you might be interested in the Glen Echo Park Aquarium if you're ever in the Georgetown area - it's all native fish. The last few times I've been collecting it's all been at Washington and Jefferson national forest, so unfortunately I don't have any good suggestions.

#4 Casper

  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 06 August 2021 - 04:57 PM

Ranger James!

I enjoyed you in OK.

Fish Chant Fishy Oath!

Robert Lamb made a reasonable suggestion but October WILL BE COLD especially without wetsuits.

But colors should be beautiful be them in the mountains or valleys.

Conasauga and Hiwassee, which can oddly be warm in October, are near the bottom of TN.

Long way from Maryland.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#5 RangerJames

  • NANFA Guest
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Oakland, CA

Posted 06 August 2021 - 05:13 PM

Thanks y'all for the suggestions.  I expect it'll be cold no matter where.  No worries on that front as far as I'm concerned (coaxing the boys into the water even with their suits might be a hard bargain though).  We did get into the frigid waters of the Pacific Coast now and again though!  Casper!!  My Dude!  Miss ya.  Now that we're back East we need to make a plan for a meet-up!  


Keep the ideas a comin'!  

Edited by RangerJames, 06 August 2021 - 05:14 PM.

#6 UncleWillie

  • NANFA Member
  • Georgia

Posted 09 August 2021 - 06:56 AM

Sadly, I cant recommend anything closer to Maryland, but only confirm what Robert said about that area.  There is the GSMNP and Nantahala National Forest in that little stretch.  Lots of good camping, hiking, and snorkeling that way, plus a ton of nice drives along Foothills Parkway, Tail of the Dragon, etc.  BUT... I'm sure you can find areas that hold the same beauty somewhere closer like WV.

Willie P

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