Total Miles Hiked: 5.3
31 March 2019
On the final day of our anniversary getaway weekend we opted to head out to the end of the Road to Nowhere and hike the trails around it. I've heard of this place forever: the promise to build a road to follow the northern shore of Fontana Lake after Fontana Dam was built, the delays, the lack of funds, the lawsuits... Ultimately the road was never completed. Fontana Road runs west from Bryson City in to the GSMNP where it becomes Lakeview Drive, it reaches a tunnel, and then stops.
|View of Fontana Lake from Lakeview Drive|
|Parking lot / Trailhead for Lakeshore Trail at the end of Lakeview Drive|
|Super creepy / super cool tunnel that you have to walk through. Sadly, LOTS of graffiti on the walls.|
|Lakeshore Trail / Tunnel Bypass trail junction|
|Tunnel Bypass Trail|
|Views of surrounding ridges from the Tunnel Bypass Trail|
At mile 1.2 of the Tunnel Bypass trail you arrive at its junction with the Goldmine Loop trail. To complete all of the trail sections we hiked the 0.4 miles from here down to the parking lot, then turned around and hiked the 0.4 miles back up to this junction to begin the Goldmine Loop trail.
|Tunnel Bypass trail / Goldmine Loop trail junction|
|End of the Tunnel Bypass trail at the parking lot.|
|Goldmine Loop trail|
|Fontana Lake inlet on Goldmine Loop trail|
|Walking boards to avoid the muck|
|Pile of chimney stones along the south side of Goldmine Branch|
|The last push up Goldmine Loop trail back to the Lakeshore Trail|
|Back side of the tunnel.|
|Stopped to get our picture at the park entrance sign!|
Til next time, happy hiking.