I was made aware of this situation after reading Smoky Scout’s misadventure over the weekend. She found out the hard-way that the pick up location for the shuttle to Fontana Village has been re-located as a result of low water levels in Fontana Lake.
Smoky Scout was forced to make an emergency bivouac in the Calhoun House as a result of the Park Service not posting any signs indicating a change in the shuttle pick up point. She made a call to the Park Service and has made them aware of the situation. They will be posting information on the park website and will make plans to post proper signage informing hikers of the change.
According to Park Ranger George Minnigh, boat shuttles to and from Hazel Creek are from the Ollie Cove Trailhead when lake levels are low. The Ollie Cove Trail is a relatively new trail, and is not on any park maps at this point.
If you’re planning on taking the shuttle to Fontana Village after hiking from a different trailhead, the Ollie Cove Trailhead can be reached by taking the Ollie Cove spur trail, located about 0.7 miles east of the junction of the Hazel Creek and Lakeshore Trails (opposite direction of Campsite 86 and the usual shuttle point). It’s a walk of about 0.3 mile down the Ollie Cove Trail to reach the shuttle pick up point.
As Smoky Scout points out, it’s probably a good idea to call the shuttle service ahead of time and find out exactly where the pick up point will be for any given day.
To get the full story of Smoky Scout’s unplanned, extended backpacking trip, you’ll need to read a series of three posts spanning from March 2 to March 4. Please click here.
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