Summary: The AT enters the GSMNP here if you are headed north.The trail quickly climbs the ridge offering views of Fontana Dam and lake in the fall and winter.You will climb over 2000' in the first 3.5 mi to the side trail to the Shuckstack Tower.The 1/10 mi trail actually goes straight to the tower blazed with a "T".If you choose not to go to the tower or when you return from the tower the AT veers left.3/10 mi you will intersect with Lost Cove/Twentymile Trails, the AT continues straight.1.1mi you will see the sign for Birch Spring Campsite, former location of a AT shelter, so pack a tent for an overnight stay.Some trail guides still have this listed as a shelter.The trail dips down for about a mile before a challenging climb to Doe Knob as you intersect with the Gregory Bald Trail.The Gregory Bald Trail follows a ridge line and the TN/NC border and was the original route of the AT before rerouting due to the construction of Fontana Dam.Return same route.
Trailhead: From Fontana Village on NC 28 go E about 1mile. Turn right on Fontana Dam Rd. for 2.3 mi, crossing Fontana Dam. Park at the end of the paved road. Trailhead is at the information board, backcountry permits for campsite is located here is a well. (Lat:35.45994 Lon:-83.81108)
Trail Guides for AT Fontana/Doe Knob:
Day & Overnight hikes in GSMNP
by Johhny Malloy (Menasha Ridge Press)
Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Georgia North Carolina Tennessee (Exploring the Appalachian Trail)
by Doris Gove (Stackpole Books)
White Blaze Fever
by Bill Schutte (Virtualbookworm.com)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: 423-436-1231 Backcountry Office GSMNP
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Bobby Trotter, who has posted 74 other hikes on this site
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Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: North Carolina Hiking, North Carolina Trails, North Carolina Hikes, Graham County Hiking, Graham County Trails, Graham County Hikes