Camping at Fontana Lake - Lost Cove - 7/1/06

This was our 4th trip to Fontana Lake, and our 3rd canoeing expedition in a row. We put into the water at Fontana Marina at around 9:30am. For the last 2 outings we camped at Jerry Hollow, which is campsite #87 in Smoky Mountains National Park. Each time we've gone to Jerry Hollow, however, it's always been taken and we've had to take the alternative, more primitive, campsite on the other side of the island. The main camp was taken again this time, but we didn't feel like taking the primitive campsite. For once, we really wanted to sleep on level ground! We decided to push on and check out a nice grassy flat area we had seen while exploring on our last trip to the lake. Unfortunately, the lake had risen by about 5 feet since our last visit 2 weeks ago and the grassy area was now under water! The Lost Cove campsite was the next option for us, but is was further away than we had ever canoed before. We bit the bullet, though, and made the journey over to The Lost Cove campsite, which is campsite #90. We finally found the campsite (without a map, I might add) at around 1pm, and it proved to be worth all that extra paddling. The campsite is really big and, above all, flat! There are 4 or 5 separate camping areas within the site, each equipped with a fire ring and there were several hoist lines available for use. Not only is this campsite available by boat, but it's also at the intersection of the Lakeshore Trail, the Lost Cove trail and the Eagle Creek trail. This means that it's popular site (which would account for its size) and you're usually going to have neighbors for the night. This was the case with us. The camp wasn't full (thankfully), but there were 2 other parties sharing the campsite before the sun set. The nice thing is that this site has ample space between each camping area, so you've still got a good bit of privacy. The 2 other parties, however, didn't show up until late afternoon so we had the entire area to ourselves for quite a while and were able to do lots of exploration. Anyway, soon after setting up camp we made lunch and then just played around for a while. At the mouth of Eagle Creek you can see really big small and largemouth bass swimming around, so we tried fishing for a bit but came up empty. I have found fishing on Fontana lake difficult because you often get snagged on the large number of rocks and logs on the lake floor. We ate dinner (hot dogs and s' mores) around 6, and when the other parties finally got to the campsite, we introduced ourselves and hung out for a while. Exhausted, we were all fast asleep by 9pm.The sound of Eagle Creek in the background was very soothing throughout the night. The only bad part was that it got pretty chilly during the night and we found ourselves pulling our blankets close and snuggling to keep warm. We woke up around 8am, packed our stuff and headed out to come home. This was another great camping adventure at Fontana. We canoed a total of around 8 miles, and got to experience a part of the lake we had never seen before. Couldn't ask for more. The lake water level has risen every time we've returned over the last couple months. The water is quite high now and there are lots of trees, bushes and grass that are now a couple feet underwater. I'm curious as to how high they let the lake get before they start draining some off at the dam, mostly because I'd really like to see them crank open those spillways at the dam! That's gotta be a sight to see.

Click on the small images below to view the larger versions

Fontana Marina, where we put in. The marina is nice place to put in, mostly because of the marina store that's there. If we've forgotten something, like batteries or...uh...food, we can stock up there. Also, after the trip is over we always go inside and get grape sodas for all of us. They taste so good after so much paddling and having only not-so-cold water to drink during the trip. Grape soda rules!

Packed up and ready to put in. Josiah is so darn cute, and he knows it.

Dani in the front of the Canoe, near Jerry Hollow. Eric in the back. Josiah in the lap of luxury, with 2 slaves to ferry him across the lake.
A wooden sign on the trail points the way to the Lost Cove campsite (#90)!
The house is up.
Dani cooks lunch. A tasty meal of Spaghetti and Meatballs followed by Chicken and Rice. We were starved, so there wasn't a crumb left over.
Fishing regulations, next to the shallows were we fished for bass. There was a big, ugly funnel web spider living on the other side of the regulation sign. Big spiders are so damn creepy!
Rules of the road. I guess this is the generic sign used throughout the park, because it would really be interesting seeing someone trying to get a car to this campsite. It's also a little late to remind me to lock up my car, with it being about a 6 mile hike away from this sign.
Dani and Josiah gather firewood. In these well used campgrounds, finding firewood is a real chore since the nearby area has pretty much been completely stripped of any dead wood by previous campers. I eventually found a dead tree not too far away that we chopped up into an ample firewood supply.
Part of Lost Cove Creek flowing into Fontana Lake. The main creek channel is a few feet to the left.

Pictures on the bridge that goes over Lost Cove Creek.

Josiah and Eric in Lost Cove Creek.

The "bathroom" area. Previous campers had left used toilet paper on the ground here and there. Who do these people think they are? Here's a hint for any campers who might read this page: Just because toilet paper is biodegradable doesn't mean you can just leave it sitting on the ground. Try burying it or burning it next time. In other words, show some damn courtesy to future campers and to mother nature as well.
Dani chills out.
Josiah chills out.

Dinner time! Hot dogs and S'mores. Yummmmmm.
A nice fire gets going.
Dani and Josiah passed out.

On the way home we stopped at B&D Restaurant in Franklin, NC like we always do. Great comfort food. We also stopped at the fruit stand next door to get fresh strawberry milkshakes for desert.

previous trip | home | next trip