The old bridge over Lands Creek is exposed only in the winter and spring, when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) draws down the water of Fontana Lake. A short walk, but full of history and great views of the surrounding mountains and river.

NC 288 was constructed in the 1920's, but did not last long with the construction of the Fontana Dam as the resulting lake covered the highway. The U.S. government entered an agreement in which they would provide a replacement road, but to this day it has not been completed and is know by locals as the Road to Nowhere. The consequence of the dam upon the highway and communities within the area has been political fodder since the 1940's and has yet to be fully resolved.

During most of the year the Lands Creek bridge is covered with water from Fontana Lake, but during the winter and spring months, one can adventure down the Old 288 highway on foot or by 4WD vehicle. A short half mile hike to the bridge offers a view of a small waterfall and the mountains in the area.

If the water is still down far enough, you can continue to adventure further down the shoreline.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Appropriate footwear (will be really muddy if it has rained recently)
  • 4WD (if you plan on driving into the lake bed)
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Waterfall

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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