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We’re On The Road To Nowhere

The road to nowhere in Bryson City

Hey, adventurer! If you’re up for a bit of exploring, head over to Bryson City, NC, and discover the fascinating “Road to Nowhere,” officially known as Lakeview Drive East. This 6-mile stretch is more than just a line on the map—it’s a unique destination because it really is a road that was never quite finished. Today it’s enjoyed as a scenic drive along Lake Fontana in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and here’s where the real fun begins.

The Road to Nowhere

As you wind along this unfinished road, take in the breathtaking views of Fontana Lake, known for its emerald blue waters. You’ll spot folks boating, fishing, and enjoying the angler’s paradise that lies beneath the surface. Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular here, especially for those just dipping their toes into the waters of adventure.

Hiking on the Road to Nowhere in Bryson City.


Once you reach the end of the “Road to Nowhere,” trade your wheels for your hiking boots and venture through the mile-long rock tunnel to discover a world of trails on the other side. Don’t forget a flashlight or headlamp for the tunnel—safety first! For a laid-back hike, try the Goldmine Loop, perfect for families and casual strolls.

Feeling more adventurous? If you want to get a nice trail run in, check out the Lakeshore Trail which starts at the tunnel and goes a full 33 miles to the Fontana Dam.  Of course, running all 33 miles is not necessary (and it is quite a challenging route in addition to the mileage), but it’s a great out-and-back for as long as you feel like going.

If tranquility is your game, seek out the Noland Creek Trails. The South trail is a breezy two-mile stroll to Fontana Lake, while the North trail runs alongside the creek for over 4 miles, offering bridge crossings and the soothing sounds of rushing water—an enchanting experience that might make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world!

View of Fontana Dam

Fontana Dam

Don’t miss the towering Fontana Dam, the tallest dam east of the Rockies. Walk or drive across it for sweeping views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Swing by the Fontana Dam Visitor Center (open April through October) for maps, info, and those all-important restrooms. Because let’s face it, a restroom break is a must before and after any outdoor escapade. So, gear up and hit the “Road to Nowhere” for a day filled with adventure and stunning Smoky Mountain scenery!