There is something about old, abandoned places that make adventurers want to go explore and check them out. If you search hard enough, there are probably a ton of these spots hiding in your own backyard. This one trail in Tennessee will lead you to an abandoned fire tower that you can actually climb to the top of.
The trail to the Shuckstack Fire Tower is located near Fontana Dam, North Carolina, which is located right outside of Bryson City. It's right in the middle of the Smoky Mountains National Park which means you're in for some views that will rock your world.
It's reported that this hike is not for the weak - it's actually rated as "strenuous." The trail to and from the fire tower rounds out to be about 6.6 miles round trip, but once you reach the tower, you'll realize that it was worth every mile.
You'll hike up the Shuckstack Mountain and around Fontana Lake. Elevation happens almost immediately when you begin your journey, so make sure those calves and thighs are ready for this adventure.
You have the option to start hiking here, or you can drive across the dam and save your feet half of a mile before you begin.
You'll actually be hiking along the Appalachian Trail when you begin. If you've been looking for a shorter hike along this famous trail, this is the one you may want to choose.
Also, it's worth mentioning that in your first three miles you'll ascend about 2,000 feet.
Once you hit about 3.5 miles, you'll start seeing the Shuckstack Fire Tower. This gigantic 60-foot tower might intimidate you if you aren't a fan of heights, but it's worth going to the top.
There is a small room once you get to the top and you'll have 360-degree views of the Smokies. The height of the tower and the elevation might causes it to sway back and forth a little bit, but that's completely normal.
You'll get amazing pictures from the fire tower and be able to relax for a little bit before you endure the hike down. No worries though, the hike down is far easier than the hike up.
Shuckstack Fire Tower Hike
Address: 71 Fontana Dam Rd., Robbinsville, NC
Why You Need To Go: You'll get a little taste of what the AT is like, and be lead up to a huge tower you can climb to have views for miles.
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