For more information, visit the Benton MacKaye Trail
Boat Access to the Lakeshore Trail is provided by the Fontana Village Resort Marina (18a) to several sites along the Lakeshore Trail. Make arrangements by contacting the marina at 828-498-2211 ext. 277. Common dropoff sites are Eagle Creek, Hazel Creek, Pilkey, Chambers, and Forney Creeks.
Points of Interest along this section:
This section covers the BMT along the Lakeshore Trail from Campsite #86 (Proctor at Hazel Creek) to Campsite #77 (Pilkey Creek).
In 1910 the W.M. Ritter Lumber Company began logging big trees in the Hazel Creek drainage area. They built the mill town of Proctor. The company pulled out of the area in 1928, the same year the Calhoun House was built. After the park purchased the land in 1934 the Calhoun House was used as a Ranger Station.
Nearly 600 families were removed due to the construction of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dam in 1944. The dam was built to supply electricity to the Alcoa plant near Knoxville in support of the Nation's wartime demand for this metal for building airplanes. When the dam was constructed Fontana Lake was flooded. More than half of the 600 families that were forced to leave came from the area between Hazel Creek and Bryson City.
Numerous cemeteries are along the Lakeshore Trail, many just off the trail corridor by a few feet and are worth visiting. The cemeteries are not marked, but generally, if you see a trail going off the side with a "No Horses" sign, that probably leads to a cemetery. For the people whose relatives are buried in these cemeteries, their only access to the cemeteries is by boat, then foot. At times during the year, the park staff arranges rides to the cemeteries for these relatives.
From Hazel Creek and the Proctor Campsite #86, travel east on the Lakeshore Trail. Pass the Ollie Cove Trail
at mile 205.8, then cross over Welch Ridge at mile 206.6. Down the valley past the ridge, reach North Shore Campsite #81 at mile 208.4 on the banks of Mill Creek. In this area, there are many Table Mountain Pines which are rare, having a very specialized habitat found only in a few locations. Cross Chesquaw Branch at mile 211.0, where there is a nice cascade, then reach Pilkey Campsite #77 at mile 212.6 on the edge of Clark Branch. There is evidence of numerous old homesteads and farms along this section of the trail.
This section has three backcountry campsites, Proctor Campsite #86 at Hazel Creek, North Shore Campsite #81 at mile 208.4, and Pilkey Campsite #77 at mile 212.6.
Water is available at the campsites and at several stream crossings, but should be treated.