Amidst the picturesque landscape of western North Carolina, Fontana Lake and its accompanying dam offer a gateway to adventure and natural beauty.

Surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, this tranquil destination attracts outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide. From thrilling water activities to serene driving tours and delightful dining experiences, Fontana Lake and its surroundings provide an ideal retreat for those seeking both adventure and relaxation.

Outdoor Activities Galore: Fontana Lake presents a plethora of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines into the pristine waters of the lake, known for its abundance of bass, trout, and catfish. The lake's clear waters and expansive shoreline make it a haven for boating, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, allowing visitors to soak in the scenic beauty while enjoying a day on the water. Rental services and guided tours are available to ensure everyone can partake in these exciting adventures.

For those seeking a refreshing swim, the Fontana Fingerlake Day Use Area provides a sandy beach and designated swimming areas, perfect for cooling off on a warm summer day. Additionally, the Tsali Recreation Area, with its numerous hiking and biking trails, beckons nature lovers to explore the breathtaking surroundings.

Driving Tours and Motorcycling: Embarking on a driving tour around Fontana Lake is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the region's natural wonders. The winding roads offer panoramic views of the lake and its verdant surroundings. Motorcyclists, in particular, will relish the exhilarating twists and turns as they navigate the scenic byways. From the gentle hum of the engine to the breathtaking vistas at every turn, Fontana Lake provides an unforgettable experience for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and the Lake: For a unique perspective of Fontana Lake, climb aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. This historic train ride offers passengers a chance to marvel at the lake's beauty from a different vantage point. As the train winds its way through the mountains, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of the shimmering lake and the lush forests that envelope it. It's a delightful excursion for visitors of all ages, showcasing the natural splendor of the region.

Places to Relax and Recharge: After an exhilarating day of outdoor activities, visitors can unwind at various establishments near Fontana Lake. Cardinal Coffee, located in the heart of the region, offers a cozy ambiance and a wide selection of artisanal coffees to invigorate weary travelers. The Mountview Bistro at Fontana Village Resort & Lodge presents a refined dining experience, featuring delectable dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. For a more laid-back atmosphere, Wildwood Grill at Fontana Village Resort boasts mouthwatering comfort food and a range of refreshing beverages.

Fontana Lake and its surroundings serve as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and tranquility. From thrilling water activities to scenic driving tours and the unique experience offered by the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, this gem in western North Carolina has something for everyone. After a day of exploring, visitors can unwind at charming establishments like Cardinal Coffee, The Mountview Bistro at Fontana Village Resort & Lodge, and Wildwood Grill. Whether you seek an adrenaline rush or a moment of serenity, Fontana Lake is a must-visit destination that will leave you with lasting memories.


WNCTimes May 2023

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