Shuckstack Tower via Appalachian Trail

HARD 31 reviews

Shuckstack Tower via Appalachian Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back 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 May until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2244 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

washed out

no dogs

Enjoy a side trip to Shuckstack Tower for great views of Fontana Lake 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.

3 days ago

Fun hike. did it today with snow on the ground. very challenging on the way to the tower all uphill for the most part. awesome view. the dam was closed so we had to hike from the other side of the dam since the road is currently closed.

hiking
12 days ago

17 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Tough but amazing view at the peak of fall made it totally worth it!!!

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout. Well marked trail. incredible 360 views from the top of the tower.

1 month ago

The view from the top is amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
5 months ago

The road across the dam is closed so add 2 miles round trip to the hike if you plan an out and back. Sections of this hike are relatively flat and offer a chance to recover from the steeper sections of the trail. That said, instead of being a gradual up all the way, you go in and out of steep sections where the elevation gains are made. The payoff is the fire tower at the summit and ruins from the old cabin. I summited as a leading edge of a rain storm hit and decided not to go up into the tower. If you want a casual easy fun hike this is not a good pick. if you want a challenging uphill hike with a stunning view from the top, this is it. There are also occasional view of the lake and dam. I descended as night fell and the view of the illuminated dam was a great touch.

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago

Beautiful hike!

backpacking
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

backpacking
10 months ago

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hiked this trail on 10/23/16 fabulous day for this hike. Leaves at nearly peak. This is a constant climb but very doable if you are in decent condition. Don't be deceived by the milage estimate, you cannot drive across the dam at this time so from the parking lot it is exactly 10 miles round trip. Not crowded at all, saw very few people on the trail. Highly recommend this trail for a clear day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Awesome place! Go during fall and bring s backpacking water filter if you want to get some nice stream water for the hike :) best view of all the years I've been going to the Fontana area!

hiking
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It was the most amazing hike I've ever been on. Don't go during the winter if you don't like to be cold. It was almost 18 degrees when I went. The view is impeccable. Definitely worth the effort. And it's extremely strenuous. Do not wear shoes with little tread. You will slip and slide all over the leaves and it will add more time and difficulty to your hike. Make sure you have proper hiking shoes. Watch for bears because there have been a few deaths. There's a chart at the beginning of the trail that tells you if there is a lot of activity. The most strenuous and difficult trail of the entire Appalachian trail. So this is not for the novice hiker. The tower at the top is sketchy but awesome. My favorite place to hike.