Road to Nowhere
On the north shore of Fontana Lake lie 250,000 acres of Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are accessible only by boat. Few places in the park remain as remote, and the area is prized by fishermen, environmentalists, and others who appreciate its solitude. When the dam was completed in 1944, Swain County residents were promised a road to the homesteads made inaccessible by the dam. A seven-mile portion was built between 1948 and 1972, then construction stopped. A two-year environmental impact statement which will be finished in 2006 by the National Park Service will decide the fate of the area and the road. Igelman gives reasons for the region's popularity and the options available to the park to satisfy the 1943 agreement.