Archived News

How do you stand on the North Shore Road issue?

Charles Taylor: The federal government should live up to its 60-year-old commitment to Swain County residents and complete the North Shore Road.

I believe the families who once called the North Shore area home should have access to their ancestral cemeteries and home sites now located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Combined with a few historically re-created homes or structures that interpret the tale of the history of the park and Swain County, and with enhanced campground and boat access facilities, this project could give families in WNC a long-needed recreational option on the North Carolina side of the park.

I have been working for many years to see that the federal government’s promise is, at long last, kept. In 2001, I was able to secure $16 million for the initial planning, design and environmental surveys for the road. Additionally, I have been able to secure — and remain committed to securing — federal funds to enhance all services offered to park visitors. I strongly believe that construction of the road can be harmonized with the park’s environment and natural beauty.

Heath Shuler: As a Swain County native, I have a deep understanding of the issues and emotions surrounding the Road to Nowhere. Given the current economic and environmental challenges facing the completion of the road, I feel a cash settlement with Swain County is the most realistic and best solution. The settlement would allow Swain County to make tremendous investments in education, emergency services, and other needed community programs.

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.