(N 35.4462, W -82.4551): When Fontana Lake was built in the 1940s, the federal government pledged to build a road along its northern shore for displaced local people to access family cemeteries. The government stopped construction when environmental concerns came up, then abandoned building the road. Only in early 2010 was the bitter dispute settled with a $52 million payment to Swain County. Now the dead-end road (17 miles roundtrip) is a great bike ride that includes a scenic lake overlook. A 1,000-foot tunnel where the road ends is a unique point of interest.
Want to make your ride easier? Consider an electric bike. Locally-owned M2S Bikes offers a wide range of electric bikes that can help you climb hills faster and easier while still getting a great workout.
Directions: Park in Bryson City near US 19 and take Everett St. north which becomes Fontana Rd.