Explore Old 288 and the Lands Creek Bridge



1 miles

Route Type


Added by Johnathan Duncan

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.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Picnic Area



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This trail was terrible. We questioned whether it really should be called a trail. Losers of trash and syringes all over the place. Too bad.

Close to Bryson City

This is a great place to check out and it is just outside of Bryson City so that makes it even better. The area is very picturesque.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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