Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fontana Campsite #90 Eagle Creek with Ron Wilson

Eagle Creek is one of the Smoky's greatest lores. Rich in history, great trout fishing and a superb campsite right on the lake makes this spot a hot destination for paddlers. The only backpackers you will see there either came over from Cades Cove, are hiking the Lakeshore Trail or have just hikes about 5 miles from Fontana Dam. I have camped here multiple times and rarely see anyone. Although more popular with trout anglers this campsite may see its occasional boater. As you paddle up Eagle Creek from the main channel, you will be enticed to think you have arrived at the campsite once you see a small trail sign and a path leading to the north off the lake. However, continue paddling a bit farther and you will unmistakably run into campsite 90. The above photos are of a trip Ron Wilson and I did when I was trying to complete all the Smoky's trails. Once we arrived at Fontana Marina, a group of touring boats were coming off the water. They complained that once they left the protected cove the wind blew them all over the lake so they returned. Ron and I both thought "You sissies". We put our canoe on the water, paddled to the edge of the cove and BAM! Just as the nose of our boat rounded the corner the wind about blew us to the Atlantic Ocean. In fact we ferried all the way over to the mouth of Eagle Creek it was that bad. We left our boat at the campsite, hiked over to Hazel Creek and back allowing me to mark that part of Lakshore Trail off my map. We had a great cheeseburger at the Grill in Fontana Village.

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