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Fontana Dam, 9/23/17

We camped at Cheoah Point CG, but don’t recommend it, because there’s no hiking from the campground. We drove Happy to hike at the gorgeous Joyce Kilmer Forest. If you just plan on doing day hikes in the area and/or on the AT, I recommend camping in the National Forest sites just outside Joyce Kilmer on the beautiful river or in the Horse Cove Campground right there too. We left JKF and stopped at lovely historic, Tapoco Lodge on the Cheoah River, which a friend had recommended was worth a visit. We did another hike on their Bear Creek Falls Loop, followed by drinks at the tavern on the river. Tapoco is a nice place to stay at the lodge or cabins, to take a hike (lots of trails and connectors to NF trails), or to just have food and drinks, after a long hike or multiple hikes, in our case. We drove Happy on the Moonshiner 28 route along the Little Tennessee River, just below the Tail of the Dragon. We passed the Cheoah Dam, which was where they filmed the scene from The Fugitive when Harrison Ford jumped off the dam. That was some jump! From there, we went to visit Fontana Dam. The AT crosses over the top of the dam, into the Great Smokey Mountain National Park on the other side. Fonatana is the largest dam East of the Rockies. It was impressive! We had already done two hikes that day, plus, dogs aren’t allowed on trails in the GSMNP, so we did not hike much, except around the dam. Great area for a weekend of hiking!

 

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