Fontana Village

Murphy, North Carolina

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Traveling northwest from Tsali Recreation Area and just across Fontana Lake from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a mostly singletrack loop (a 3.2-miler) and a doubletrack loop (a 2-miler) begin near Fontana Dam, which at 480 feet, is the tallest dam east of the Rockies. It is nearly a half mile across and serves as the Appalachian Trail's southern entry into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which begins immediately on the other side. There is fresh-turned dirt on the newly constructed trail, and loose, flat rocks covered the surface, all of which made the going tough. One loop is located on the south side of NC 28 (Lewellyn Cove Loop); the other is located on the north side of NC 28.

Fontana Village Professional Review and Guide

"Traveling northwest from Tsali Recreation Area and just across Fontana Lake from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a mostly singletrack loop (a 3.2-miler) and a doubletrack loop (a 2-miler) begin near Fontana Dam, which at 480 feet, is the tallest dam east of the Rockies.

It is nearly a half mile across and serves as the Appalachian Trail's southern entry into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which begins immediately on the other side. There is fresh-turned dirt on the newly constructed trail, and loose, flat rocks covered the surface, all of which made the going tough. One loop is located on the south side of NC 28 (Lewellyn Cove Loop); the other is located on the north side of NC 28."

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Murphy
Distance: 5.2
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Late fall, winter, and early spring.
Local Contacts: Cheoah Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, 828-479-6431.
Local Maps: Nantahala National Forest map.
Driving Directions: Directions to Fontana Village

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May 2018