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Smoky Mtn - Lake Fontana - Lakeshore Trail

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Smoky Mtn NP, Lake View Tunnel (i.e. Road to Nowhere)   Backpacking: Smoky Mtn - Lake Fontana - Lakeshore Trail  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Sep 2 2017  8:00 am >> Mon, Sep 4 2017 9:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Aug 21 2017 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Sep 1 2017 12:00 pm
Event Duration:2 Days 13 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:34 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Myra Kincaid
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 4 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No



This is a point-to-point backpack on the Lakeshore trail through the Great Smoky Moutain National Park. This trail travels near the spectacular Lake Fontana for most of its distance. There should be opportunity to swim in the Lake at camp both nights and during lunch on days one and two.


Day 1: Saturday Sept 2 - 10 mile hike starting at the Lakeview trailhead. We will park in the lot just before the tunnel on Lakeshore Drive (i.e. The "road to nowhere" . About 1-2 hours will be required before starting the hike in order to shuttle at least one car to our finish point at Twenty mile ranger station. The trail will travel just to the north of Lake Fontana joining it at several points. The campsite wil be near the Lake, which should provide swimming opportunities during our stay.

Day 2: Sunday Sept 3 - 14 mile hike from camp 98 to camp 86. The trail continues on the north side of Lake Fontana, with additional swimming opportunities at lunch and after pitching camp.

Day 3: Monday Sept 4 - 10-mile hike to our finish at Lake Fontana. After retrieving the car left at "the tunnel", we will return to Atlanta. If there is interest, we will stop at a restaurant for some refueling during our return trip.


A map of the park can be viewed here:

Some good reading on the "road to nowhere:

Since this is a long-distance event, trip leadership reserves the right to remove anyone they feel may not be able to complete the distance.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Hiking Boots / Shoes
  • Backpack
  • Tent / Tarp / Hammock 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleep Pad
  • Food and Snacks (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners)
  • Water and Filtration / Purification device, Drops, or Tablets
  • Headlamp and spare batteries
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Hiking Poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Stove
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Change of Clothes and Towel for Drive Home
  • Maps/GPS

How to Get There:
Event Directions:
Take US Hwy 74 to exit 67 (Bryson City Exit, turn right onto Veteran's Blvd. At the 1st light turn right onto Main St. To Next light turn Left onto Everett St. Go straight for about 6-7 miles. you will pass the Swain county High school and keep going until you go into the Great Smokey Mtns Nat'l Park and until you cross the bridge "Nolands Creek" up to the parking area next to the barricade. Walk 1/4 mile through the tunnel and to the end of the road.
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):330Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $132.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.