Campsite #74 - Member Hike

Hike Name: Campsite #74
Country: United States
State: North Carolina
Nearby Town: Bryson City
Rating: 4 stars
Directions: Take the Bryson City Exit 67 off US 74, come down the hill, at the first red light make a right, at the second red light make a left, go straight through the third red light, over the railroad tracks and straight up the hill to the Swain County High School (high school will be 1-2 miles on your left from the red light) . About 1-2 miles past Swain County High School you will see the sign on the left side on a bank that says this is the Road to Nowhere and immediately after you will enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Total Hike Distance: 6.60 miles
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Permit Required: Yes
Hike Type: In and Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Starts/Ends: Fontana Rd/Lake View Drive
Trails Used: Lakeshore Trail
Backcountry Campsites: Yes
Backcountry Water Sources: Streams, Lakes
Management: National Park Service
Contact Information: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738, (865) 436-1200
Best Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Users: Hikers, Dogs, Horses
Road Conditions: Primary Paved Roads, Secondary Paved Roads
Hike Summary: This hike in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a short distance from Bryson City, NC and at the end of the notorious "Road To Nowhere". In the 1930s and 1940s, Swain County gave up the majority of its private land to the Federal Government for the creation of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Federal government promised to replace Highway 288 with a new road and the new Lake View Drive was to have stretched along the north shore of Fontana Lake, from Bryson City to Fontana, NC. But Lakeview Drive fell victim to an environmental issue and construction was stopped, with the road ending at a tunnel about six miles into the park. Swain County's citizens gave the unfinished Lakeview Drive its popular, albeit unofficial name "The Road To Nowhere."

From the parking area at the end of the road, you immediately walk through a 375 yard long tunnel along a paved road wide enough for two cars. A short distance past the tunnel, it turns in to Lake View Drive (also known as Fontana Rd). Two miles in to the hike you reach the Whiteoak Branch Trail and desend just over a mile to Forney Creek and Campsite #74. Fontana Lake is a short distance from this campsite with excellent views to the south. Don't expect a lot of privacy here. The area is popular with fisherman, boaters, and horseback riders. The boaters come across the lake and have easy access to this area which is well known for excellent trout along Forney Creek.



The Camel

6,150 points


Trip Reports

  Date Rating Duration Hiker
Campsite #74 - May 22, 2010 May 22, 2010 4 stars 2 days The Camel


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