Saturday, September 24, 2016

Road to No Where, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Bryson City North Carolina

Just outside of Bryson City North Carolina is a road locally known as the Road to Nowhere. It is officially named Lake Shore Drive and is located on the southern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Originally the road was supposed to give access to portions of the National Park that were cut off by the creation of Lake Fontana. When the National Park was created, the Federal Government required local residents to pack up and leave. The problem was that people had been living in the area for hundreds of years and their loved ones were buried in cemeteries throughout the Park. As part of the compensation offered to the residents to move was access to their family cemeteries. The road was never completed as promised and terminates at a long tunnel. Now it is referred to as the Road to Nowhere.

Lake Shore Drive hugs the side of the mountain, pulling in and out as the river valley falls away into Lake Fontana.  After 10 to 15 minutes you come the end of the road. On the other side of the tunnel is a trail head. The Road's right of way continues along a flat trail. There are other paths branching off this main trail. The area popular with locals and visitors alike and is used by both horses and bike riders. The trail is perfect for an easy short excursion into the National Park.