I am new to the Appalachian Trail and am planning a hike from Franklin to Fontana, and wondered if anyone had suggestions. I am planning on parking at the Fontana Dam and then getting a shuttle down to Franklin(probably rock gap), so I could hike back to my vehicle. I know this is hiking south to north but as far as I could tell the elevations are up and down no matter which way you go. Just wondered if there was a big difference in hiking time/difficulty from franklin to fontana vs fontana to franklin? Also If Fontana Dam is a safe place to park?