Fontana Lake, bordering the south side of Smoky Mountains National Park, is the ideal venue for paddling a sea kayak beneath the Smokies' towering peaks. Boat launches across from the park, off North Carolina 28, are your jumping-off points for paddling this grandstand. Backcountry campsites, accessible from the lake, make multiple night trips easy. It's a great way to escape the crowds, and a unique way to see the park.

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Expert Review of Fontana Lake

Parks and Outdoors Review of Fontana Lake

Away Travel Expert: Johnny Molloy
expert favorite Parks Expert Favorite
ParksExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Fly-Fishing,Freshwater Fishing,Outdoor Skills,Sustainable Travel
Parks and OutdoorsExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • Fontana Marina, located near Fontana dam, offers kayak rentals and is also a good jumping-off place.
  • Paddle up the Eagle Creek embayment to reach Lost Cove. Here, you can take the Lost Cove Trail up to the Shuckstack fire tower, which offers lake and mountain views from the Appalachian Trail.
  • Late spring and summer are the best times to go, as Fontana Lake is at full pool and is the most scenic. Later in fall and during winter, the lake is excessively drawn down, exposing muddy banks.

North Carolina

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 865-436-1200
Fax: 865-436-1220
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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