Murphy’s closest and largest nearby lake is Lake Hiwassee. The name Hiwassee is derived from the Cherokee word Ayuhwasi, meaning “savanna” or “large meadow.”
Most of us think of Lake Hiwassee as part of the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) flood control efforts in the 1940’s. While this is true, the selection of the area to become Lake Hiwassee was done as part of the war effort in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Murphy? War effort in 1933? Talk about thinking ahead. Why?
It was determined that the area, once flooded, would have depths in area of 250 feet. The Naval Bureau of Ordinance was in need of a lake to test torpedo’s that was deep and isolated. So became Lake Hiwassee.
Fast forward to current era, there is no torpedo testing. The majority of the lake is surrounded by national forest, with a few residential lakeside homes.
There are numerous access points for launching boats, but be advised that as part of the TVA, Lake Hiwassee is subject to a fall and winter draw down which can result in the lake levels dropping by as much as 43 feet. This can leave some boat launches high and dry.
Cruising the lake is spectacular. For the most part, their are no lakeside homes and the lake is surrounded by the mountains. The fishing on the lake yields a variety of fish and the state record for a small mouth bass is 10 pound 2 ounces; caught in 1951 that record still holds.
I am sure those that fish in Lake Hiwassee can’t get it out of their mind the slight possibility they could reel in a torpedo.
Are you looking for a vacation home in the mountains?