Hazel Creek & Trail

Categories: Fishing


  •  Very popular yet hard to get to GSMNP stream 
  •  Accessible by long hike, horseback or short boat ride 
  •  A lot of history along the Hazel Creek watershed with ruins that remind us of a time gone by 
  •  Great Rainbow and Brown Wild Trout fishing 
  •  Remote location on the "North Shore" of Fontana Lake 
  •  Fontana Marina ferry shuttles fishermen & hikers to the trail head for Hazel Creek Trail

The Local Scoop

Coming Soon!

The Local Directions

From downtown Bryson City, NC take Everett Street across the railroad tracks and continue West, leaving town. Drive for 8.5 miles crossing into Great Smoky Mountains National Park via the road dubbed, "The Road to Nowhere" by the local residents of Swain County. You'll cross a bridge over Noland Creek and just past that you'll be at a small parking area on the Right. Just ahead you'll see the entrance to a tunnel. The road dead ends here. This is where you need to park. You have two choices. Hike through the tunnel or around it. If you want to go around take the "Tunnel Bypass Trail" that you can find on the left side of the tunnel entrance. Take this trail for 1.6 miles around the tunnel. At 0.4 mile into the hike you'll need to bear Right as the trail forks. This trail is shared with the "Goldmine Loop Trail." Avoid it and continue to the Right. If you're hiking through the tunnel (bring flashlight) stay straight for 2.9 miles on the "Lakeshore Trail" (avoiding the Bypass trail & Goldmine loop trails coming in on your Left and Whiteoak Branch Trail to the Right) until you intersect with "Bear Creek Trail." Take this trail to the right for 6.3 miles until you run into "Welch Ridge Trail" atop Welch Ridge. Go Right here for 4.4 miles on "Cold Spring Gap Trail" and until you run into "Hazel Creek & Hazel Creek Trail." Start fishing here.

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35.460019, -83.53965
35.503444, -83.659172
35.471837, -83.728754
Fontana Dam, NC 28733
Swain County
Distance From
FROM (Town): Bryson City, 22.1 miles Hike to Creek: 13.6 miles (one-way) Hike entire trail: 14.7 miles (one-way)
Fontana Dam