Appalachian Trail from Fontana Dam
Visitor Center to Shuckstack Tower


Picture of view from Shuckstack Tower

Warning:   This data is out-of-date. Trails, roads, and landmarks change.
You should obtain current information before attempting any hike.

Date Hiked: 5/23/91

Length: 9.8 miles

Type: backtrack

Difficulty: 4

Scenery: 3

Blaze: white

Main Features: views, Fontana Dam, Shuckstack Tower

Animals: pileated woodpeckers (I saw two at once), ruffed grouse, crows, chickadees, turkeys, black bears (the hiker ahead of me ran into a mother bear with two cubs on the trail), towhees, garter snake

Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

Park at Fontana Dam Visitor Center. From the parking lot you will hike across the dam. You can barely see the tower on top of Shuckstack Mountain from the dam. If you look north, you will see three peaks. Shuckstack Mountain is the peak in the center.

Approximate Altitude Change
Ascend 2,375 feet to top of tower

Miles
0.0 parking lot at Fontana Dam Visitor Center
0.4 after crossing the dam, turn right on the paved road
and enter Great Smoky Mountains National Park
1.0 turn left off of road onto Appalachian Trail
1.2 begin switchbacks and partial views of Fontana Lake
1.7 left switchback between boulders on little knob
2.0 begin following top of ridge
2.1 ignore faint trail that goes up to right
2.3 bear left onto another ridge
2.6 after steep climb, reach clearing with good sitting log
2.9 begin following ridge with partial views left and right
3.0 dip
3.1 noticed first view of tower since dam (north by northwest)
3.3 better view of tower (northwest)
3.5 small stream flows under trail
4.1 breaks in foliage on left with partial views to the south
4.3 clear rocky area with great panoramic view south
4.4 wet area
4.6 follow very narrow ridge
4.8 continue straight on unmarked Shuckstack Tower Trail at junction
(Appalachian Trail goes down and left)
4.9 Shuckstack Tower
backtrack



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