Road to Nowhere
Venture Into History on Lakeview Drive East
One of the most unique areas in Bryson City is found on Lakeview Drive in an area locally known as “The Road to Nowhere,” part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park After the construction of Fontana Dam flooded other access roads, a replacement highway was promised in the 1960s, However, construction was halted due to environmental issues, and the Road to Nowhere was born.
Steeped in history, the Road to Nowhere is a scenic drive, hiking destination and monument to the past, nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A six-mile winding road weaves through the National Forest, with multiple scenic stops along the way to pull off and take in the view of Fontana Lake. At the road’s end, a mile-long tunnel stretches under rock, which must be traversed on foot to reach hiking trails on the other side, including Noland Creek Trail, the Goldmine Loop, and Lakeshore Trails. Be sure to bring a flashlight on this adventure!
Along the curvy road, you’ll see the scenic mountainside with occasional views of Lake Fontana. From the Lakeview Drive entrance, the first pull-off on the left is a scenic view known as "Fontana Lake Overlook." The next pull-off on your left is the parking area for the Noland Creek Trails North and South. These two trails offer epic creekside views and plenty of solitude. The Noland Creek South Trail travels one mile to Fontana Lake, with one mile back to the parking area, whereas the North Trail meanders along the creek with forest and rushing creek views.
Directions: From downtown Bryson City head north on Everett Street and continue on Fontana Road for about 2.5 miles until you reach the national park entrance called "Lakeview Drive." This scenic drive travels another six miles to the "Road to Nowhere Tunnel.” Consider these half-day and full-day hiking options: