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Fontana Lake and the Nantahala Mountains, looking southeast from the Shuckstack firetower

Coordinates: 35°29′08″N 83°48′54″W / 35.48556°N 83.815°W / 35.48556; -83.815 Shuckstack is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Swain County, North Carolina, in the southeastern United States. It has an elevation of 4,024 feet (1,227 m) above sea level,[1] and rises approximately 2,300 feet (700 m) above Fontana Lake, to the south.

An old fire tower stands at the summit of Shuckstack, offering a panoramic view of the southwestern Smokies and the Nantahala Mountains. Although no longer in use, the fire tower is open to the public. The summit of Shuckstack is accessed via the Appalachian Trail and a short spur trail. The spur trail is marked by a t-shaped white blaze, and is approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the parking lot on the north side of Fontana Dam. It is considered a strenuous hike due to the rapid elevation gain—approximately 2,100 feet (640 m) in 2.5 miles (4.0 km).

Along with the fire tower, the summit of Shuckstack also harbors the chimney and foundation of what was once a fire marshall's cabin along with several outcroppings of precambrian Ocoee Supergroup sandstone.[2]Shuckstack Mountain, a historical novel of the early fire lookouts on Shuckstack was published in 2018.


  1. ^ "Fontana Dam Quadrangle, Great Smoky Mountains 7.5 minute 1:24,000-scale series Topographic Maps" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  2. ^ Moore, Harry (1988). A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. p. 32.

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