While I was exploring Bryson City last night I saw a sign for “Road to Nowhere”. When I asked the host of the hostel about it, she told me it was a twisty road up into the national park that dead ends at an abandoned tunnel, with lots of great hikes around it. Right up my alley. A little more digging turned up that it was supposed to be part of a road that provided the residents of the county access to their ancestors’ burial grounds after Fontana Dam was started in 1943. But there was an “environmental problem” that couldn’t be solved, so the road was never completed. (And the US Government didn’t hold up their end of the bargain to the residents, obviously).
As promised the ride up was fantastic (there’s not a bad road in the region) with some amazing views. At the end there’s a barrier just a few hundred feet from the tunnel. Hikers and horse riders use the tunnel to access trails, but it was dark af and I didn’t feel comfortable going in there without a flash light: I didn’t want to be eaten by a grue.