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Lake Front Family Retreat on Lake Nantahala in the Smokies

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

House, 3 Bedrooms + Bunk Area, 3.5 Baths, (Sleeps 8-12)-perfect to bring family

Come enjoy a truly one-of-a-kind mountain escape. Located on Lake Nantahala, the highest lake east of the Mississippi, this house offers the perfect opportunity to retreat with family and friends. It is spacious enough to accommodate an extended family or a reunion with its two levels of outdoor decks, plenty of beds, large kitchen and dining room table, and a dock large enough to accommodate an 18-foot boat. The back porch is perfect for relaxing or dinner at the picnic table. A hammock is always ready to accommodate a nap while cooled by the lake's breeze.

Plenty for all ages to do and leave room for more.

Late spring and summertime bring ample opportunities and fun for everyone! The clear-water lake provides great fishing, kayaking (there are four for the house), boating and water skiing. Cycling is just a moment away when you can hit the breathtaking climbs of the Smoky mountains. The Appalachian trail passes within a few miles and great hiking is just out the front door. World class rafting and kayaking at the Nantahala Outdoor center are other great attractions. Up high in the mountains and completely shaded by trees, with high vaulted ceilings and fans, we hardly have a need for the window units on the top floor! A cool breeze off the lake (or a quick jump in) is usually all you need to stay cool.

Autumn is a visual treat! The house is nested among deciduous broad-leaf trees that produce vibrant and beautiful colors as the weather starts to cool. Daytime temperatures of 60-70 degrees make perfect hiking weather, while nighttime temperatures of 30-40 degrees produces a great campfire and s'more ambiance!

Winter at the lake is a time of relaxation and recuperation. Snowfall can range from a light dusting to 8 inches, which makes drinking a warm cup of joe or cocoa all the more toasty! The wood fireplace keeps the place cozy while you read a good book, work on a project, or just lounge around and watch a good movie. While the temperatures are a bit more nippy in the winter (20-40 degrees during the day, 10-30 degrees at night), it certainly doesn't keep you from bundling up and hiking or star-gazing!

A disclaimer for all

Our home is nestled in one of the largest temperate rain forests in the world. It is surrounded by a lush green forest and immediately on the edge of a lake. It is truly "in the mountains".

----Please don't be surprised by bugs. We do our best to keep the house free of uninvited guests but rain forests have an amazing number of diverse and clever residents. These "natives" will disregard doors and window screens and occasionally will be found on the inside rather than outside of the house.

--We enjoy the chance to "unplug" from the world while up on the lake. In fact-- there is no cell phone service (you do have a land line in the house). We provide satellite internet which allows for routine e-mail and contact but does not support streaming applications, music downloads or Netflx and the like.

Keywords: House

More Details

Jay Johannigman
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 12, 2018

About Jay Johannigman

Property Manager:

Nantahala Real Estate Co., Inc.

17838 Wayah Road

Topton, NC 28781

About the owners:

Professional couple and family from Cincinnati who love their time in the mountains of North Carolina and wish to share with others.

Jay Johannigman purchased this house in 2008

Why Jay Johannigman chose Topton

We have traveled to Lake Nantahala for the last ten years. Our family found it to be such a special place that we decided to invest in a property for a lifetime. We continue to use the house as a retreat and special family gathering place. From the moment we get 'up on the hill and on the lake things are entirely different. Can't wait to be there.

What makes this house unique

High in the mountains and secluded by the lake. Awaken every morning to sunrise on the hills and over the lake. Eagles and egrets are the closest neighbors. Fishing off the private dock or a swim across the quiet lake are just two of the many choices one can make for the day. Kayaking around the lake provides ample opportunity to explore the beauty of the Nantahala forest range. Cycling, hiking and trout fishing are all premier class. The private dock is perfect to tie up a ski boat for personal use.


Topton House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 21
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 3 -
    Master Bath - toilet , shower
    Upstairs - toilet , tub , shower , shared upstairs full bathroom
    Downstairs/Bunk Room - toilet , shower
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Master - 1 king , Master bedroom on second floor with one king bed
    Upstairs 1 - 1 queen , 1 double
    Upstairs 2 - 2 twin/ single , shared full bathroom with upstairs bedroom 1
    Bunk Area - 6 bunk bed
  • King size beds (1), Queen size Beds (2), Twin or Single Beds (2), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1), Bunk Beds (8)
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 1 bicycles
  • 4 garden chairs
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • skiing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
Fire Pit for Marshmallow Roasting, life jackets for your dogs (dock jumping is a great spectator sport). Four kayaks launch right off your own dock. Our family has found this to be our retreat. One guest was concerned that the furniture was not "up scale" and "luxury grade"-- perhaps. But, I will vouch that it is comfortable, well kept and perfectly in keeping with the entire setting.


Excellent! 4.4/5 -
(8 traveler reviews)

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Lake Front Family Retreat on Lake Nantahala in the Smokies
average rating of 4.375 based on 8 reviews

This was like staying in a three-star hotel. It was fine but not luxurious.

  • 3 of 5

All I can say is My Kingdom for an Adirondack Chair. The huge porch has awesome morning sun but the only seating is a picnic table in the shade at the other end of the porch. What a miss. I want to sit back and enjoy a morning coffee, not sit ram-rod straight up at a picnic table. Another spot that would have been made much more comfortable with the addition of a $20 plastic Adirondack Chair was the dock. I ended up blowing up a pool lounger to sit and read on the dock. Again, not a tragedy but not luxurious or even comfortable. There were two child-sized camp chairs but that got old real quick.

This is a great place if you are an outdoorsy camping type personality. The "bunkroom" is the almost finished basement. The ceiling is unfinished and there are mousetraps all over. My younger child (age 11) freaked out and refused to sleep down there so my 16 year old daughter stayed there. It was fine but it was like staying in your relative's basement during the holidays - not fun but better than sleeping in an airport. The furniture in the main fireplace room looks like it came straight from a local Goodwill - stained and falling apart. If this were my rental I would do the same thing, but it looked way more luxurious in the photos and in the descriptions/5-star ratings. If you are expecting "campy" and you get "campy" then cool. I was expecting more of the Hilton (surrounding homes sell for millions) and this was a Super8. Setting gorgeous, lake amazing, owners were responsive and very helpful. Only one restaurant in community - next closest food is 45 minutes away so plan to cook a lot. Overall, nice place. Just understand that a 5-star experience is different than 5-star quality.

  • Submitted: Aug 11, 2016
  • Stayed: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Sometimes it is hard to anticipate everyone's expectations. Would tell anyone interested in our home that we have always been comfortable and we try to make sure that our guests feel the same way. Please take the time to read all of the reviews which in sum, give a balanced review of what we share with you and your family and yes-- there are mouse traps-- still working with the peppermint oil and other tricks to ensure that our littlest guests don't call our house their home.
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1 1

Wonderful secluded house

  • 4 of 5

The house was perfect for myself, my husband, the two 14 year old boys, our 17 year old and our boxer dog. It had everything you could need at a lake- except cell service. The house has a great lay-out and was just what we needed. We spent tons of time in the kayaks fishing and enjoyed the hammock. The gated community is a great place for long walks and peace and quiet. We felt safe and relaxed while there. It is close to a nice little cafe that has cell service and yummy food. It was easy to go whitewater rafting on the Nantahala river as the launch site was only 20 minutes away. It was absolutely wonderful.

The reason that I rated this property as good and not excellent is that it doesn't have cell service which makes it difficult to reach family members if they go somewhere without you. Be sure to purchase a long distance card before you get there. I also would not recommend stopping in Andrews for anything. Go on to Murphy. While we were in Andrews, we saw a woman get hit by her boyfriend and the locals ignored it like it was normal, several drug deals, and cars doing donuts in the local grocery store parking lot- all before 9 pm.

  • Submitted: May 29, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0
New Orleans, LA

All American Vacation with Kids and Dogs

  • 5 of 5

This cabin was so beautiful both inside and out. It was rustic, homey, quiet, romantic, relaxing, comfortable beds, nicely appointed master bathroom and guest bathroom at the top floor. There was something wrong with the half bath by the living room. Possible septic smell. The kitchen was large and well equipped. The previous renters have ALL left some dry goods behind for the next family to include pasta and sauce, canned goods, rice, non-stick spray, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc. Also, there were more spices there than I have in my own kitchen back home. We left behind mosquito candles on the porch and scented candles inside. We did not run the A/C AT ALL and it was JULY. We opened the windows and ran the attic fan. Cool breeze at night. Slept like babies! The kayaks were nice fun for the kids (age 9 & 10). The dogs had a blast jumping off the dock. The lake was so clear and clean you could see over 100 feet down. The water falls, rope swings into the lake, and nature excursions right there were fantastic! I would NOT recommend bringing your boat. We have a large utility vehicle and we still managed to get stuck twice towing the boat up the mountain. Very hazardous! Rent a boat there. Also, this isn't a good place for elderly or small children. The walk down to the dock is steep and there is a leap to the dock from the steps. The grocery store is a 30-45 minute drive (one way). We recommend trying to buy everything you need the first trip to the store. We recommend you arrive, take inventory of what you need, then shop. We didn't need half the stuff we thought we would. Also, pay it forward by leaving something behind for the next people. Be it some pasta shells, candles, dish soap, etc. It made me feel happy that the people before us were so considerate. We did the same. There is NO cell service. NONE! It was nice actually. We were able to text and email though. Bring a phone card in case of emergencies.. Forward your phone to the house BEFORE you head up the mountain. The kids did not ask to use their iPads once. This was an old fashioned "off the grid" vacation, and we LOVED IT! Use your iPod or iPad to hook up to the stereo to listen to your favorite music. Surround sound speakers inside and out. I laid in the hammock and listened to mellow soothing music and just relaxed. Ping pong downstairs and HUGE bunk room (sleeps 8) was AWESOME! Care gently for the house because we will be back again and again for years to come. Enjoy!

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2014
  • Stayed: July 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 2
Atlanta, GA

Great Lake House

  • 5 of 5

House was just what we needed - to get away from it all. My wife and I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and couldn't have picked a better place.

The house was very nice - all the accommodations of home, well equipped kitchen and bathrooms, ample sleeping space and very clean. Sitting at the dining room table or on the back porch overlooking the lake is a priceless view! The lake was crystal clear and an emerald color. Very peaceful; no airplanes or car noise. No houses opposite on the lake - just wilderness. Not much lake traffic either - just the occassional jet ski or pontoon boat. Swimming / fishing off the dock and having our boat parked right there to jump on any time we wanted made our week.

The house stayed relatively cool downstairs the whole time even though it was in the heat of summer. We only needed to run the ceiling fans and never turned on the attic fan. We did run the two upstairs air units at night to cool the rooms for sleeping.

We also took our two little dogs and had no issue with leaving them while we went out and explored the area. House was very secure. It is a little bit of a drive to other attractions such as white water rafting or the casino in Cherokee but not too far. We made it to most places in 30 minutes to an hours.

You can find all the essentials within a short drive of the house. The food at the diner on the lake was very good and the small convenience store had all the essentials. We brought most of our food for the week but did eat out a few of the days. Could have taken the boat to the diner but just as easy to drive.

If you want to get away from it all and relax, this is the place. A little challenging to get to but once there, you will never want to leave. We will definitely be back to spend more time here!!! Thanks for letting us share your place on our special occassion!!

  • Submitted: Aug 6, 2013
  • Stayed: July 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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7 0

Wonderful home on nantahala lake

  • 5 of 5

Great home on the lake with private dock- Home is comfortable, spacious and nicely decorated with new kitchen appliances and well stocked with utensils and appliances. If weather had been cold we would have enjoyed a fire in the fireplace! Nice dining room table along with picnic table on the large deck for outdoor dining. We are yearly visitors to the Nantahala Lake and thoroughly enjoyed our week at this mountain home.

  • Submitted: Jul 16, 2013
  • Stayed: June 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
Hickory, NC

Great house, poor owner communication

  • 3 of 5

We had a great time at the lake house. It is right on the lake with a short walk down to the dock. The four kayaks were fun for exploring. It is very dog friendly; we really appreciated the kennel which was also provided. We travelled with our 20 year old kids and 2 dogs. We did have some things we feel other travelers need to be aware of. The house is very remote; this is a plus and a minus. There is NO cell signal. There is a local "store" 15-20 min down the road who has a booster for Verizon. The house is in a gated community. We were given a non working code for the gate. (My biggest frustration. There is no excuse for this.) Combine that with no cell signal and owners who do not always answer = frustration. The house is advertised as having internet. Not realizing we were so remote, I didn't realize the internet would be for email and general internet surfing only. We typically bring our roku and stream movies. We would have brought games, had I known about limited internet.

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2013
  • Stayed: June 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We understand the issue presented and have worked to fix what we can. We were hampered by the temporary loss of our home computer which housed all of our information. My wife and I are both professionals and do are very best to be responsive. We can't really fix the internet in the mountains. Streaming videos and movies are not really possible on a satellite dish system without prohibitive cost. We usually prefer to bring our own movies and have updated the site to reflect this. We have already provided numerous games and puzzles in the house but bringing your own or more is certainly welcome. There is no cell coverage in this region and we consider this a plus but also have secured a land line to the house. It is possible to forward your cell phone to the house if you do so before going up the hill. We have changed the information on our web site to reflect this as well. We appreciate the comments and will continue to work with all of our guests
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6 2


Nearest Airport
110 Miles
Knoxville Tennessee or Atlanta Georgia
Car: necessary

Wireless internet is available at the house but bandwidth is limited to checking e-mail and basic services. Streaming video, music and other media is not possible.

The gate code to our community is changed often and we will keep you updated of changes




Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $500
Cleaning Fee $200 + Tax
Tax Rate 9.75%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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