Little Tennessee Lakeshore Trail is a 32.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Fontana Dam, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

Length32.6 miElevation gain5,459 ftRoute typePoint to point
BackpackingCampingFishingHikingNature tripsForestLakeViewswild-flowersWildlifeHistoric siteNo dogs
Description
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Contact
Getting There

Visitors must have a permit. Camping outside of established campsites is not permitted. You can fish in the lake for trout and smallmouth bass.

US forest service- (202) 205-8333

cross fontana dam and follow asphalt trail along AT. Lakeshore trail will branch off to the right.

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Reviews (18)
Photos (36)
Recordings (12)
Completed (48)
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Stephen Cook
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Hiking

Bear Creek in and out from Forney Creek at Lake Fontana.

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Marty Helms
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Hiking

Overall a very good 3 night/4 day trip. That being said, the trail,in places, is in terrible shape. Multiple old blowdowns blocking the trail, some parts so overgrown you can barely distinguish the trail. In need of much better marking, no blazes just signs at intersections that on the Bryson City end do not even mention Lakeshore trail. Pay attention to your map or you can end up on another trail altogether. Campsites are fantastic. Scenery is beautiful.

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Kendall McBeth
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Hiking

Beautiful trail. went down to the lake on a side trail. Grades were not bad, and quite doable. Some scenic bites along three way.

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Aaron Hendrickson
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Backpacking

Hiked from Twenty-mile ranger station to Road to Nowhere, using the lost cove shortcut. Great hike. Very little traffic, lots of water and good campsites. There were more cultural sites (mostly cemeteries) than any other long hike I have done in the park. We were on a rushed schedule (three days, two nights), so I didn't get to fish. If you have longer, be sure to bring a rod. Oh, about that rushed schedule, we made far worse time than usual. There is a fair about of elevation change as you go up and over the various fingers of land that go into the lake. My hiking partner and I generally hike a 20 minute mile. Tired legs and sore feet had us struggling to get 30 minute miles. I'm glad I did it, but it's not a trail for someone expecting grand vistas or a trail along a lake. The lake is there somewhere and you get glimpses of it, but this trail is for someone that wants to get away from the masses while backpacking and exploring GSNP. (Oh, and if hitting Lost Cove, beware of lots of little water crossings)

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Brian Bowden
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Backpacking

hiked the entirety of this trail, plus some, in three nights and four days (really 3.5 days) in late january. i say ‘plus some’ because the ‘road to nowhere’ park entrance was closed due to snow, so we left our vehicle at the gate and hiked the six miles of road to start our trek. we totaled at about 45 miles after it was all said and done. campsites were great (90 is best IMO), plenty of water at all. used a filter straw and 32 oz. bottle w/ no problem. had feral hogs circle our site one night, one of the middle ones - can’t remember which. maybe 76? that was cool, and heard plenty of coyotes. didn’t see a single person the entire time.

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Rebecca M
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Backpacking

We spent 8 days on this trail, hiking rather slowly as our youngest is 3 years old. From the Road to Nowhere, we hiked 2.9 miles to campsite #74, then 6.6 miles to campsite #98, then 2.3 miles to campsite #76 then back out the way we came in, staying in a couple of the campsites for 2 days in a row to spend more time swimming and exploring. The trail from 74 to 76 had a fair amount of storm damage and downed trees requiring taking off packs, and climbing over or under, which made for slower progress than we had expected. The campsites are great - all with good water sources and bear cables. You can also reach the lake from all of the sites. Saw salamanders, a peregrine falcon, tons of frogs, and heard a bobcat after a storm one night. Bring bug spray and do not count on anything being able to dry out in this temperate rainforest!

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Suzanne Puckett
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Hiking

Beautiful trail! Need better signage.

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Elena Tate
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Hiking

It was a long time ago, but I loved it. Except for the red tape. This is a strenuous hike so do not even think about it if you are not up to it.

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Alan Bourne
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Backpacking

It has been five years but I remember the beauty and I think my legs still ache. This was one rough trail for the heavy pack I carried back then. The cabin and restaurant at Fontana dam was a joy.

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Angie Howard
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Camping

We did an overnight backpacking trip here, starting with a boat ride from Fontana dam($25) to Hazel creek. From Hazel creek we hiked about 6 miles via lakeshore trail to campsite #90(backcountry permit required and can be acquired through GSMNP). The campsite was awesome, a creek on one side and the river on the other! From campsite #90 we hiked to Fontana dam via lakeshore trail which was about 7 miles. Overall a good trip but the trail is hilly so be prepared, especially day #2.

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Mandie Mikkonen
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Hiking

Distance: 4.7, 6.8, 6.2 miles each day Trails: Lakeshore Trail, Eagle Creek, Lost Cove Trail, Appalachian Trail Fantastic easy hike with swimming & history & graveyards!

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Ryan Doughty
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Hiking

An awesome trail. We completed this trail unexpectedly when we couldn't get cell service to contact the marina for a ride back from a back country fly-fishing trip. We were actually loaded down with WAY too much gear for a 15 mile trail but managed it. Be ready for serious switch backs at the beginning of the trail. Beautiful scenery, a bit of history and great views of Fontana!

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Bill Guiffre
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Hiking
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Bill Guiffre
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Hiking
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Dom Simonetti
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Hiking
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Dom Simonetti
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Backpacking
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Walt Enders
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Hiking
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Tim Irvin
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