East Lakeshore Trail In Tennessee

Here is everything you need to know about the East Lakeshore Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Tennessee
  • Length: 21 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC)
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: https://www.recreation.gov/trails/dale-hollow-dam-area-trail/r/10035268

The East Lakeshore Trail holds a significant place in the history of the region, tracing its roots back to the early 19th century. Originally, the trail served as a vital transportation route for Native American tribes who inhabited the area. These tribes, including the Cherokee and Creek, utilized the trail for trade and communication purposes, connecting various settlements and villages along the eastern shores of the lake.

With the arrival of European settlers in the late 18th century, the trail gained further importance as it became a key route for pioneers and traders. The early settlers recognized the strategic value of the trail, as it provided access to fertile lands, abundant natural resources, and facilitated trade with neighboring communities. Over time, the trail evolved and expanded, accommodating the growing needs of the settlers and becoming an essential lifeline for the region’s economic development.

During the 19th century, the East Lakeshore Trail witnessed significant historical events. It played a crucial role during the American Civil War, serving as a supply route for both Union and Confederate forces. The trail also witnessed skirmishes and battles, leaving behind remnants of fortifications and historical markers that still stand today. As the region transitioned into the industrial era, the trail continued to be utilized for the transportation of goods, connecting the lakeshore communities to larger cities and markets.

Today, the East Lakeshore Trail stands as a testament to the rich history of the region. It serves not only as a recreational pathway for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts but also as a reminder of the trail’s historical significance in shaping the cultural and economic landscape of the area.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Fontana Dam: This is the starting point of the East Lakeshore Trail, located near Fontana Village Resort. It offers parking facilities and access to the trail.

2. Twentymile Ranger Station: Located approximately 20 miles from Fontana Dam, this ranger station serves as a trailhead for the East Lakeshore Trail. It provides parking and restroom facilities.

3. Hazel Creek: This access point is located near the Hazel Creek Campground. It offers parking and access to the trail, which follows the scenic Hazel Creek.

4. Proctor: Proctor is another access point along the East Lakeshore Trail. It provides parking facilities and access to the trail, which continues along the lakeshore.

5. Cable Cove: Located near the Cable Cove Campground, this access point offers parking and access to the trail. It is a popular spot for fishing and camping.

6. Fontana Village Resort: This is the endpoint of the East Lakeshore Trail. It offers parking facilities, accommodations, and various amenities for visitors.

Please note that these access points may vary depending on the specific section or segment of the East Lakeshore Trail you are referring to. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or trail guides for the most up-to-date information on access points and trailheads.

Transportation Available

1. Lakeshore Bike Rentals – Offers bike rentals for exploring the East Lakeshore Trail.
2. Lakeshore Shuttle Service – Provides shuttle services to and from various points along the East Lakeshore Trail.
3. Lakeshore Kayak Rentals – Offers kayak rentals for a unique way to experience the East Lakeshore Trail.
4. Lakeshore Segway Tours – Provides guided Segway tours along the East Lakeshore Trail.
5. Lakeshore Scooter Rentals – Offers scooter rentals for convenient transportation along the East Lakeshore Trail.
6. Lakeshore Pedicabs – Provides pedicab services for a leisurely ride along the East Lakeshore Trail.
7. Lakeshore Water Taxi – Offers water taxi services for transportation to different points along the East Lakeshore Trail.
8. Lakeshore Electric Scooter Rentals – Provides electric scooter rentals for a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the East Lakeshore Trail.
9. Lakeshore Carriage Rides – Offers carriage rides for a romantic and scenic experience along the East Lakeshore Trail.
10. Lakeshore Public Bus – Provides public bus services with routes that include stops near the East Lakeshore Trail.


The amenities available at the East Lakeshore Trail may vary depending on the specific location and management. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along many sections of the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available for public use. These restrooms can be either permanent structures or portable toilets.

2. Parking: There are usually designated parking areas or lots near the trailheads where visitors can park their vehicles. These parking spaces may be free or require a fee, depending on the location.

3. Camping Sites: Some sections of the East Lakeshore Trail may offer designated camping sites for overnight stays. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water sources.

4. Picnic Areas: Along the trail, there may be designated picnic areas with tables, benches, and sometimes grills. These areas provide a scenic spot for visitors to enjoy a meal or relax.

5. Water Access: Depending on the trail’s location, there may be access points to the lake or other bodies of water. These access points can be used for swimming, fishing, or other water activities.

6. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, you may find interpretive signs that provide information about the local flora, fauna, history, or geology. These signs can enhance the educational experience for visitors.

7. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailheads, there may be information kiosks, maps, and signage to guide visitors. These facilities can provide important information about the trail, safety guidelines, and any specific regulations.

8. Benches and Rest Areas: Throughout the trail, there are often benches or rest areas where visitors can take a break, enjoy the view, or simply relax.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary depending on the specific section of the East Lakeshore Trail and the managing authority. It is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on amenities and facilities.

Nearby Services

1. Lakeshore Inn – Cozy lakeside lodging with stunning views.
2. Lakeside Diner – Casual eatery serving delicious comfort food.
3. Lakeshore Campground – Campsites with lake access for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Lakeshore Lodge – Rustic lodge offering comfortable accommodations.
5. Lakeshore Cafe – Quaint cafe serving homemade pastries and coffee.
6. Lakeshore Motel – Affordable motel with convenient access to the trail.
7. Lakeshore Grill – Lakeside restaurant specializing in grilled dishes.
8. Lakeshore Cabins – Charming cabins nestled in a peaceful forest setting.
9. Lakeshore Convenience Store – Small store providing essentials for hikers and campers.
10. Lakeshore Medical Clinic – Nearby medical facility for emergency services.

East Lakeshore Trail Difficulty Notes

The East Lakeshore Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 16 miles along the eastern shore of a picturesque lake, providing stunning views of the surrounding landscape. While the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, it does feature some challenging sections with steep inclines and uneven terrain. Hikers should be prepared for occasional rocky patches and tree roots along the path. However, the trail also offers plenty of flat stretches, allowing for a more leisurely stroll. Overall, the East Lakeshore Trail is a rewarding adventure that offers a moderate level of difficulty, suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness and hiking experience.

Features And Attractions

1. Niagara Falls: One of the most famous natural landmarks in the world, Niagara Falls is located along the East Lakeshore Trail. The powerful waterfalls offer breathtaking views and are a must-visit attraction.

2. Thousand Islands: This archipelago of islands in the Saint Lawrence River is known for its stunning natural beauty. The East Lakeshore Trail passes by some of the islands, offering scenic views of the crystal-clear waters and lush green landscapes.

3. Sodus Bay Lighthouse: Located in Sodus Point, New York, this historic lighthouse is a popular attraction along the East Lakeshore Trail. Visitors can explore the museum inside the lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Ontario from the top.

4. Chimney Bluffs State Park: Situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Chimney Bluffs State Park is known for its unique geological formations. The towering clay bluffs, shaped by wind and water erosion, create a dramatic and picturesque landscape.

5. Fair Haven Beach State Park: This state park offers a beautiful sandy beach along Lake Ontario’s shore. Visitors can enjoy swimming, picnicking, hiking, and camping while taking in the scenic views of the lake.

6. Selkirk Shores State Park: Located near Pulaski, New York, this state park features a sandy beach, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The park offers stunning views of Lake Ontario and is a great spot for birdwatching.

7. Fort Ontario State Historic Site: Situated in Oswego, New York, Fort Ontario is a historic fort that played a significant role in various conflicts throughout American history. Visitors can explore the fort’s grounds, learn about its history, and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Ontario.

8. Oswego Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse: This iconic lighthouse is located at the entrance of Oswego Harbor. It offers a picturesque view of Lake Ontario and is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts.

9. Verona Beach State Park: Situated on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake, Verona Beach State Park offers a sandy beach, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The park provides scenic views of the lake and is a great place for outdoor activities.

10. Sylvan Beach: This charming lakeside village is located on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake. It offers a sandy beach, an amusement park, and various recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy the scenic views of the lake and explore the village’s historic charm.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail but must yield to pedestrians.
– Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
– Camping or overnight stays are not allowed.
– Fires and barbecues are prohibited.
– Littering is strictly prohibited; please dispose of trash in designated bins.
– Fishing is allowed in designated areas only and requires a valid fishing license.
– Swimming or wading in the lake is not permitted.
– Hunting or trapping is not allowed.
– The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during winter months due to weather conditions or maintenance.
– Please respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed animals.
– Use of the trail is at your own risk; be aware of potential hazards and exercise caution.
– Respect other trail users and maintain a safe and courteous environment for all.

Seasonal Information

The East Lakeshore Trail, located along the eastern shore of a picturesque lake, offers visitors a stunning natural landscape and a variety of recreational activities. The best times of the year to visit this trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and blossoming trees, creating a colorful and picturesque backdrop for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The weather during this time is usually mild and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

During the fall, the East Lakeshore Trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn colors. The foliage along the trail turns into vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, creating a stunning visual spectacle. The cool and crisp air adds to the overall charm of the trail, making it a perfect time for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll.

It is important to note that the East Lakeshore Trail may have seasonal closures during certain times of the year. Typically, the trail remains open year-round, but there might be temporary closures due to inclement weather or maintenance work. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the trail management before planning your visit to ensure that the trail is accessible during your desired time of travel.

Despite any potential closures, the East Lakeshore Trail offers a variety of activities throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, birdwatching, and even fishing in the lake. The trail is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the tranquil lake and the lush forests. Whether you are seeking a peaceful retreat in nature or an active adventure, the East Lakeshore Trail is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trailhead: The East Lakeshore Trail has a designated accessible trailhead with accessible parking spaces and a smooth, level surface for easy wheelchair access.
2. Paved Pathway: The trail features a paved pathway, ensuring a smooth and even surface for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
3. Wide Trail Width: The trail offers a wide width, allowing ample space for wheelchair users to comfortably navigate alongside other trail users.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are available along the trail, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
5. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail provides benches and rest areas at regular intervals, offering opportunities for individuals with mobility limitations to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to be accessible, featuring accessible picnic tables and spaces for wheelchair users to comfortably enjoy outdoor meals.
7. Signage and Wayfinding: The trail is equipped with clear signage and wayfinding markers, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can navigate the trail easily.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: Accessible water fountains are available along the trail, designed with features such as lower spouts and easy reach for individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Fishing Piers: The trail includes accessible fishing piers, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy fishing activities with accessible features like lowered railings and wider spaces.
10. Accessible Overlooks: Scenic overlooks along the trail are designed to be accessible, providing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views with ease.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or damaging the surrounding environment.
2. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy shoes or hiking boots to ensure good traction and protect your feet from potential hazards.
3. Carry enough water: Bring an adequate supply of water to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or longer hikes.
4. Use sunscreen and wear a hat: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat.
5. Watch out for wildlife: Be aware of your surroundings and respect the wildlife by observing from a safe distance.
6. Stay alert for cyclists: Share the trail with cyclists and be mindful of their presence to avoid accidents.
7. Be cautious on steep sections: Take extra care when navigating steep or uneven terrain to prevent slips or falls.
8. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know your intended route and estimated return time for safety purposes.
9. Carry a map or use a GPS device: Have a reliable navigation tool to help you stay on track and find your way back if needed.
10. Pack a first aid kit: Be prepared for minor injuries by carrying a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages and antiseptic.
11. Check weather conditions: Before heading out, check the weather forecast to avoid unexpected storms or extreme conditions.
12. Avoid hiking alone: Whenever possible, hike with a companion for added safety and assistance in case of emergencies.
13. Respect trail etiquette: Yield to other hikers, maintain a reasonable pace, and follow any posted rules or regulations.
14. Stay on the trail: Avoid venturing off the designated path to protect fragile ecosystems and minimize the risk of getting lost.
15. Carry a whistle or signaling device: In case of an emergency, a whistle or signaling device can help attract attention and call for help.

Conservation Notes

The East Lakeshore Trail, located in the eastern region of a particular area, is currently designated as a conservation area due to its unique ecological significance and the need to protect its natural resources. The trail traverses through a diverse range of habitats, including wetlands, forests, and shoreline areas, which support a variety of plant and animal species. The conservation status of the East Lakeshore Trail aims to ensure the preservation of these habitats and the species that depend on them.

Efforts are being made to maintain the ecological integrity of the trail by implementing various conservation measures. These include limiting human impact on the area, such as restricting certain activities that may disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem. Additionally, conservationists are actively involved in monitoring and managing invasive species that could potentially harm the native flora and fauna along the trail.

The conservation status of the East Lakeshore Trail also involves ongoing research and monitoring programs to assess the health of the ecosystem. This includes studying the population dynamics of key species, monitoring water quality, and evaluating the overall ecological resilience of the area. By gathering this data, conservationists can make informed decisions regarding the management and protection of the trail, ensuring its long-term sustainability and the preservation of its unique biodiversity.

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