Everyone who hikes around Western North Carolina has heard of the Lake Shore Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park but few know where it is or how to get here. Most also refer to the Road to Nowhere. No wonder that 28 hikers showed up to hike the Lake Shore Trail outside of Bryson City today.
This area is very historic, history that is still going on today. See my article on a recap of the situation.
I told the story of Fontana Dam and people having to move out in several pieces. If I told it all at once, no one would have been interested in hiking.
We reached the first historic artifact outside the park. If you look at a picture of this billboard in 2010, you’ll see that they spruced up the sign and in the meantime, put a random dash in No-Where. From the entrance to the park, it is six miles to the famous tunnel to “nowhere”. The pavement stops after going through the the tunnel and you’re on trail.
Lakeshore Trail was just lined with mountain laurel. No picture does justice to the large bushes hanging heavy with pink blossoms. This is not an area lush with wild flowers but the mountain laurel made up for it.
We had lunch on Forney Creek Trail at Campsite #74. Holly Demuth of Friends of the Smokies talked about a Leave No Trace program for horse riders that is funded by FOTS.
But where is the lake on the Lakeshore Trail? Not very visible, unfortunately. But we made up for it by climbing to the Woody Cemetery. See the pictures on my scouting blog.
This is a hike that we’ll do over again eventually. No one gets tired of it and there’s always something new.