Appalachian Trail Community:
F​ontana Dam, North Carolina

Connecting Town and Trail

Situated on the shores of Lake Fontana and cradled by the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the town of Fontana Dam is replete with scenic vistas and opportunities to get outside. The A.T. crosses over the top of TVA’s 2,365 foot long Fontana Dam just one mile from the Town of Fontana Dam. With this close crossing, the Town of Fontana Dam has always been a place where hikers can find rest, relaxation, and many hiker friendly services. In peak season in the spring, shuttle services are offered from the A.T. trailhead and Fontana Shelter to Fontana Village, where a general store, outfitter, post office, and laundromat all cater to hikers’ needs. Fontana Dam is also home to the beloved “Fontana Hilton” shelter with its stunning view of Fontana Lake.
fontana-dam

In the spring of 2014, Fontana Dam was designated as North Carolina’s third A.T. Community. The town is incredibly proud of this partnership and celebrates several hiker themed events each year. Hiker Haze takes place in March and is a celebration for A.T. thru-hikers featuring activities, food and fun. A Spring and Fall Hike Week take place annually in April and October with guided hikes and informative guest speakers and presenters. Fontana Dam also supports the stewardship activities of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, which maintains the A.T. on either side of the town. 

Plan Your Visit

The town of Fontana Dam was built in the 1940s to house the workers constructing TVA’s Fontana Dam, an attraction in its own right as the tallest dam in the eastern United States. After completion, the town became a popular tourist destination as a bustling resort. Fontana is still home to Fontana Village Resort, which boasts cabins, a main lodge, swimming pools, a full service marina, disc golf, several restaurants and many other family and hiker friendly activities and events. With easy access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the beautiful Fontana Lake and Lake Santeetlah, and the Nantahala National Forest, the town of Fontana Dam has outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone. Additionally, Graham County has a rich cultural history showcased at the Stecoah Valley Arts Center, among other places, and visitors to TVA’s Fontana Dam can learn about the role it played in supporting the U.S. in World War II.

For A.T. updates and current events for Fontana Dam, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FontanaDamAT and www.facebook.com/FontanaDam and our partners at www.grahamcountytravel.com