Top Adventures in Fontana Dam

  • Hike to Shuckstack Fire Tower

    Your Shuckstack adventure starts at the Fontana Dam outside of Bryson City, NC. As the highest dam East of the Rocky Mountains, it's a sight on its own. This will be your last chance to fill up water bottles and use the restroom so take advantage....

    7 miles 2100 ft gain

  • Paddle The Cheoah River

    The Cheoah River is a dam controlled section of whitewater that has become one of the "bucket runs" for Western, North Carolina. Located near Robbinsville, NC, the Cheoah is a non-stop class IV+ classic of constant gradient that delivers a Southe...

  • Summit Gregory Bald

    The Gregory Bald summit is indisputably picturesque – the 10-acre meadow at the top hosts magnificent azalea blooms in June, wild blueberries in August, and views of Cades Cove, Rich Mountain, Fontana Lake, Thunderhead Mountain, and Clingmans Dome...

    11.3 miles 3020 ft gain

  • Hike Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest Loop

    The beauty of this trail starts at the parking lot. Before you start the trail, you will find a picnic table near the parking lot and go down to the edge of the rolling stream. Its a great spot to hear the stream and take some pictures. If you are...

    2 miles

  • Hike the Big Fat Gap Trail

    There are many trailheads leading into the wilderness on either the Tennessee or North Carolina side. My favorite is the Big Fat Gap trail on the North Carolina side at an elevation of 3,060'. To see the best of what this area has to offer take th...

    12 miles 3000 ft gain

  • Hike to Rocky Top

    Rocky Top is known to be the spot that inspired the famousfight song of the University of Tennessee, which is also an official song forthe state of Tennessee.  The trailhead for this hike begins in the Cade’s Cove picnicarea parking lot towards th...

    12.8 miles 3500 ft gain

  • Bike Cade's Cove Loop

    Cade's Cove is a valley located smack in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Feel free to drive the 11 mile loop in the day, but if you're really cool, you'll schedule your trip around a full moon so you can bike under the light...

  • Hike to Abrams Falls

    Abrams Falls is arguably the most scenic waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.One of the biggest perks of hiking Abrams Falls is the drive to get there. The trailhead is located approximately 5 miles into the scenic Cades Cove Loop. Ca...

  • Backpack Slickrock Creek Trail #42

    8:30 a.m. and we’re winding our way down Highway 129 near Robbinsville, NC. The fog is still thick over the Little Tennessee River as we slow down crossing the bridge into Graham County. “I think we missed it,” I say as we continue onward. Within ...

    30 miles 3700 ft gain

  • Backpack to Spence Field

    Start your hike at Anthony Creek Trailhead (elevation 1,800 ft), in the Cade’s Cove area. The trailhead is located at the far end of the day-use picnic area near Cade’s Cove campground. There are a few parking spots right at the trailhead, but not...

    13.8 miles 3100 ft gain

  • Hike Rich Mountain Loop

    Park at the Cades Cover Information Kiosk. The trailhead is just down the road from here. At 4.2 miles you'll arrive at the Rich Mountain Trail junction. Stay to the right here and continue along the Indian Grave Gap Trail. In less than two miles ...

    8.5 miles 1736 ft gain

  • Hike to Huckleberry Knob

    Huckleberry Knob is the highest point in the Cheoah Ranger District at 5,560 feet, and it offers expansive views of the surrounding Cherokee and Natahala National Forest.The hike is 2.4 miles roundtrip and begins at the parking lot between mile 8 ...

    2.4 miles 397 ft gain

  • Tours

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    Nearby camping, hotels, and more

    • Robbinsville, North Carolina

      Cheoah Point Campground

      Overview Cheoah Point Campground lies on a peninsula of the vast Lake Santeetlah in the hills of western North Carolina. The lake and surrounding landscape provide countless recreational opportunit...

    • Robbinsville, North Carolina

      Rattler Ford Group Campground

      Overview Rattler Ford Group Campground sits near the swift-moving Santeetlah Creek in the Nantahala National Forest. Groups of up to 25 guests can enjoy the creek, which is popular for fly fishing...

    • Townsend, Tennessee

      Anthony Creek Horse Camp

      Overview Anthony Creek Horse Camp is located near the gently rolling waters of Anthony Creek. Whether blanketed in bright wildflowers in the spring or vivid colors in the fall, the scenery at Antho...

    • Townsend, Tennessee

      Cades Cove Campground

      Overview Over 2 million visitors annually come to enjoy the scenic beauty of Cades Cove and its many historic structures. Popular activities here include hiking, biking, touring the 11-mile Cades C...

    • Cheoah, North Carolina

      Swan Cabin

      Overview Nestled in a remote area of Nantahala National Forest, this primitive log cabin was built in 1931 by Frank Swan in a different location, then later it was moved to its current location nea...

    • Blount County, Tennessee

      Cades Cove Group

      Overview Over 2 million visitors annually come to enjoy the scenic beauty of Cades Cove and its many historic structures, popular biking and hiking trails and scenic waterfalls and streams. Tucked ...

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