Close to numerous trails, big and small, including the Appalachian Trail and Bartram Trail and the many trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
The Appalachian National Trail (AT) is a 2,158-mile footpath along the ridge crests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in central Maine to Springer Mountain in north Georgia. The AT can be accessed in the Nantahala River Gorge. Activities include short- and long-distance hiking, backpacking, bird and wildlife watching, and other backcountry recreation. Permits are not required to walk the AT, but overnight camping permits are necessary in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Three-sided shelters are provided every 10-12 miles. The Appalachian Trail crosses the Nantahala River only a few miles from Falling Waters.
The NC Bartram Trail crosses some of the most scenic mountains of the state, with many side trails leading to views of the Blue Ridge and the Smokies. The trail enters North Carolina just south of Highlands and curves in a north-to-west direction through western North Carolina. At Franklin, the trail turns west and ascends the Nantahala Mountains to Wayah Bald, which at 5,385 feet, is the highest point on the trail. The trail joins the Appalachian Trail briefly, then descends to Nantahala Lake. The Bartram Trail starts at the Nantahala River at the put-in, so you can explore it easily while in the Nantahala Gorge.
You can also walk along Laurie’s Trail, a paved path that follows the right side of Nantahala River from Winding Stairs Road up to the Nantahala put-in, offering a flat, paved pathway great for strollers, bikes, inline skates, and easy walking. It ends where the Bartram Trail starts from the Nantahala River at the put-in area.
For more information, contact:
Wayah Ranger Station 704-524-6441 on US 64 W. of Franklin, NC
Guided Hiking Trips