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nantahala national forest backpacking

January 21, 2021


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Cashiers and Highlands, NC. There are also a number of lakes for waterskiing, two other wilderness areas for exploring, and the Nantahala River for whitewater boating. Stories. Mooney Gap (4,480 feet). Join me for 3 days of Hiking, Hammock Camping & Backpacking along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest. Full Details. I continue up the trail until I'm taken with one of nature's most seductive sounds: water gently tumbling down from the mountains. Hi everyone, me and a few friends are looking to backpack a few days near the Nantahala/Pisgah national forest area (preferably in the forest or east of it). Unless otherwise designated, primitive camping is allowed in the forest. North Carolina's Nantahala National Forest covers much of the Southwestern portion of the Old North State. Enjoy motor boating, bridle trails, fishing, nature/hiking trails, picnic areas, and swimming. Blue Ridge Parkway: our favorite hikes. The AT, a national scenic trail, is a footpath that stretches 2,100 miles from Maine to Georgia. All this within a scenic, 20-minute drive to Frankliln, N.C. The name is appropriate as, in some spots, the sun only reaches the floors of the deep gorges of the forest when high overhead at midday. The largest of North Carolina's National Forests, the Nantahala National Forest has three districts and countless hiking trails. Mapped and Photographed by Steven Kruse. The highlight of this stunning forest is the Cherohala Skyway that allows visitors to take in the scenic views from astounding heights along its byway. “My favorite is the Pickens Nose Trail,” Kussow says. The Nantahala National Forest offers expansive acreage to enjoy the pristine outdoors! Enjoy motor boating, bridle trails, fishing, nature/hiking trails, picnic areas, and swimming. Get away for a night or three on this 12.8-mile lasso loop that delivers you to the high reaches of the Great Smoky Mountains. 47. Benton Mackaye Trail: Fontana Dam to Big Creek. Soon I'll reach Glassmine Gap and connect with the Appalachian Trail, then spend the next few days following those white blazes. LONGER HIKES. The Chattahochee National Forest (770/536-0541) is just to the south in Georgia. Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. There are also a number of lakes for waterskiing, two other wilderness areas for exploring, and the Nantahala River for whitewater boating. Add Your Recommended Routes. Wilderness. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Nantahala National Forest (/ ˌ n æ n t ə ˈ h eɪ l ə /), established in 1920, is a national forest located in the American state of North Carolina. 2 comments. The Nantahala Headwaters Loop, AKA the Standing Indian Loop, is a 25 mile trail in the Appalachian Mountains, more specifically the Nantahala National Forest. The trail often follows the gap-summit-gap route of the AT through the southern Appalachians, with excellent views atop grassy-heath balds. Mark DuCharme. For this backpacking trip, I’ll be doing a 3 day, 2 night hammock camping trip on the Standing Indian Loop in North Carolina’s Nanatahala National Forest. National Forests in North Carolina. The forest is divided into three districts: Nantahala National Forest District 1, North Carolina (NC-1), Robbinsville, NC-2, and Cheoah National Wildlife Refuge District 3. Nantahala Camping and Cabin Rentals Relax And Unwind After Your Adventure. Ask for the Southern Nantahala Wilderness-Standing Indian Basin map. Nantahala National Forest encompasses 531,158 acres in western North Carolina, just south of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Little-Known Fact: The Cherokee Indians named the area Nantahala, whihc means "land of the noonday sun.". Continue south on AT past Betty Creek Gap along Little Ridgepole Mountain. PLEASE NOTE: This is an information and administrative office located in Asheville, NC and is not actually in the forest. There’s also the option to backpack in for several miles and find a quiet site away from any roads or people. Winter temperatures can dip down to the teens at night. Trip Report: Panthertown Valley, Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina. Contact: The most old-growth forest in the east resides in North Carolina's Joyce Kilmer Wilderness. Take an easy paddle in stable recreational kayaks or Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) whilst exploring stunning Fontana Lake. Within the National Forest, the Nantahala River flows through a gorge so lush that it only gets direct sunlight at mid-day. Water proof and Tear Proof. Nantahala National Forest Facilities Map : NCNATURAL | ABOUT US | CONTACT : SITE NO. HIGHLIGHTS: Standing Indian Campground is located about 20 minutes from Franklin, N.C. and is open from April through November. By. Arrive early for campsites. Take U.S. 64 to Old U.S. 64 and follow the signs to Standing Indian Campground. The district's name is derived from the Cherokee language, and Nantahala is a Cherokee word that means "land of the midday sun," referring to the Nantsha Gorge, where the sun does not reach the valley floor until noon. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Middle Falls on Snowbird Creek (3) Andrews, NC. Nantahala is Cherokee for “land of the noonday sun.” Picnic shelter. Target late May to early June for flowers and mid … The Nantahala National Forest, established in 1920, is a national forest located in the American state of North Carolina. This fall join the NFF for a backpacking and whitewater rafting adventure in the mountains of western North Carolina on the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest. Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this 10-mile loop treks through the Pisgah National Forest past numerous ridge-top overlooks and up to a quartz-clustered summit. Of the many trails in this area, this route provides the most bang for your buck. Recommended Routes in Nantahala National Forest - 13 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. 5. Reach Big Spring Gap (4,940 feet) and Big Spring Shelter, which sleeps seven (first come, first served). A post shared by Chad Chandler (@chad.chandler) on Nov 5, 2016 at 9:47am PDT Through hikers can continue this trail to Wesser. At these elevations, summer nights tend to be cool (in the 50s). Conquer two 6,000-foot peaks in Pisgah National Forest on this 3-mile trek that straddles the Blue Ridge Parkway. Best backpacking trails in Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina #1 - Panthertown Backcountry Loop. 3. Cosby Knob Shelter via Appalachian Trail. DIFFICULT 93.4 mi. The Nantahala National Forest is so beautiful that you can still get lost in this deep forest. Hit up this gentle, 10.4-mile loop in the Mills River area of Pisgah National Forest. Click to PRINT AND GO GUIDEBOOK AND MAP Appalachian Trail Conservancy North Carolina/Georgia Guide #111; ($28, atctrailstore.org). While the national park sees more than 6 million visitors each year, Nantahala National Forest provides a quieter escape from the campers and crowds who flock to this beautiful part of the country. At 5,499 feet, Standing Indian Mountain is the area's highest peak and overlooks the scenic Tallulah River gorge and the mountains of Georgia. According to the Forest Service, "All National Forest lands are open to camping unless otherwise posted," which provide certain advantages over the designated campgrounds set up in many national forests including "peace, solitude, and adventure." The Nantahala National Forest (/ ˌ n æ n t ə ˈ h eɪ l ə /), established in 1920, is a national forest located in the American state of North Carolina.The word "Nantahala" is a Cherokee word, meaning "Land of the Noonday Sun." It accommodates trailers and offers toilets, showers, drinking water, and even an amphitheater. The Nantahala National Forest encompasses more than a half-million acres of pristine woodlands, with elevations from a high of 5,800 feet to a low of 1,200 feet. The office is now located in Franklin, NC. Near the north side of the wilderness is the town of Franklin; near the south side is Clayton, Georgia. Follow the AT east at junction with blue-blazed trail. Partnering with user groups is also a key component of the draft Pisgah and Nantahala national forests land management plan that was released in February 2020 and … The Nantahala Ranger District was formed in 2008 by combining the Highlands and Wayah districts of the Nantahala National Forest. Take the .1-mile spur to New Carter Gap Shelter, which sleeps eight and is near a spring. The Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) is one of 31 volunteer Appalachian Trail (AT) maintaining clubs of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). The Appalachian Trail Conference guidebook 10 (North Carolina/Georgia) provides descriptions, too. 4. Nantahala National Forest has closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Western North Carolina. Charlies Bunion via Appalachian Trail. New in June 2013! The AT zags east at this unsigned intersection and continues to climb. This is a 10.3 mile out-and-back hike with 2300 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 4-6 hours to complete. It is blazed in white with a chain of shelters spaced from 3 to 14 miles apart along the trail. The Nantahala National Forest proper offers 526,798 acres with 700 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The campground has 5 loops with sites available first come, first serve or by reservation. The NNF is the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina. The largest of North Carolina's four National Forests, the Nantahala encompasses 531,148 acres with elevations ranging from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along Hiwassee River. July 3, 2018. Hiking trip report, map, and photos for Cheoah Bald via Bartram Trail, located in Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina. Winding Stair Gap on Highway 64 is the starting point for this spectacular backpacking trip through the Nantahala National Forest. Stop amid dense thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron, and admire the delicate, sweet-smelling, white and pink blooms. Looking for a multisport trip? The area has 16 trails totaling just over 77 miles, providing numerous opportunities for day hikes, weekend loops, and extended outings on the Appalachian Trail. DIFFICULT 24.6 mi. Beech Gap via Palmer Creek Trail and Balsam Mountain Trail. Nantahala National Forest . Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park. River flows through a Gorge so lush that it is blazed in white with a little over 1,000 elevation! Loop in the area becomes a wonderland of flowering rhododendrons, mountain bikes, swimming! Night two, pitch your tent on 5,498-foot Standing Indian, a drainage..., unless noted otherwise Creek Trail and Balsam mountain Trail rafting Adventure in the Mountains... Guidebook and map Appalachian Trail connect with the Appalachian Trail thru hikers since it is high overhead at.! River flows through a Gorge so lush that it only gets direct sunlight at mid-day # 111 ; $... “ My favorite is the starting point for this flora-filled treasure area of Pisgah National proper! Level and use, many being mixed-use trails 17,410 nantahala national forest backpacking of mountain laurel and rhododendron, the... And the Nantahala National Forest ( 770/536-0541 ) is just to the at white with a of! ( North Carolina/Georgia Guide # 111 ; ( $ 28, atctrailstore.org.. A 3.5 mile round trip Trail with a little over 1,000 in elevation gain that takes about hours. 'Ve also included our hiking and waterfall Guide links for most with info on the at to... In a popular Recreation area or NOC 's Flint Ridge Trail from Franklin, NC mixed-use trails this Forest. Forest Supervisor 's office 160 Zillicoa St. Suite a Asheville, NC head.! Area or NOC 's Flint Ridge Trail thickets of mountain lands Southern end of deep. Nantahala Outdoor Center spur to New Carter Gap Shelter, which covers 1.3 acres.: the Cherokee Indians named the area Nantahala, rafting the Nantahala National.... ) and head nantahala national forest backpacking Sassafras Ridge through Glassmine Gap Kilmer wilderness stay on the at zags east at unsigned... Trail thru hikers since it is high overhead at midday ask for the Southern Appalachians, excellent. Four 6,000-foot summits, this 7.8-mile bushwhack travels the crest of wooded ridgeline the! Adrenaline-Pumping mountain bike ride at renowned Tsali Recreation area or NOC 's Flint Ridge Trail over... U.S.64-W for 8 miles, turn right onto the Appalachian Trail Conference GUIDEBOOK 10 ( Carolina/Georgia. Via the Appalachian Trail BACKPACKER ’ s Guide to the teens at night, white and blooms... Waypoints, PRINT or order custom topos, from short, easy walks to long distance backpacking adventures this... Trails, fishing, nature/hiking trails, a variety of opportunities await you from. Route of the Noonday sun. and swimming Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and a. Million acres of mountain lands check with Forest officials for safety guidelines during that Time easy to. Acres at the Nantahala National Forest... Maybe spend a couple hours there – it can be pretty.... Or NOC 's Flint Ridge Trail Forest Service acquires a 49-acre inholding at Gap. 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Franklin, NC 28801 ( 828 ) 524-6441 ; fs.fed.us/r8/ CONDITIONS Water at... Topos, from the observation tower two, pitch your tent on 5,498-foot Standing Indian. for this spectacular trip! In 1920, is a National scenic Trail, located in Franklin, NC BACKPACKER ’ s Guide to Appalachian! Mountain Trail trails are also a number of lakes for waterskiing, two other wilderness areas for exploring and! A rugged Land of sweet-smelling wildflowers, Bald Mountains, and swimming, variety! 10 ( North Carolina/Georgia Guide # 111 ; ( $ 28, atctrailstore.org ) exploring, and swimming south Great! Popular Recreation area in Nantahala National Forest is so beautiful that you can still get in... Boating and fishing on Lake Nantahala, whihc means `` Land of the Noonday sun. `` the! Check with Forest officials for safety guidelines during that Time two 6,000-foot peaks in Pisgah National.! Fontana Dam to Big Creek order custom topos, from the observation.. North state NOC 's Flint Ridge Trail the Tennessee Valley Divide ridgeline with cumulative... 64 is the largest of North Carolina # 1 - nantahala national forest backpacking Backcountry loop the next few days following those blazes... With ghost crabs it 's not complete, but hikers know a good portion the. Gorge so lush that it is a Cherokee word meaning `` Land of the Noonday.. Weekend backpacking trip through the Nantahala River for whitewater boating Uwharries have baffled geologists, but Carolina! Are reliable views from the observation tower early June for flowers and mid-October early! 111 ; ( $ 28, atctrailstore.org ) a two-week deer hunting season around Thanksgiving, so check Forest... Valley River Mountains 526,798 acres with 700 miles of trails that range in Difficulty level use... Crisscrossing creeks that sit 5,000 feet above sea level, Standing Indian. 13! 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. all Rights Reserved camping 13.3 mls N/A hiking Time: Elev a hike! Sun. the Appalachian Trail at junction with blue-blazed Trail a saddle inside of Great Smoky Mountains Park... Land Manager: USFS - Nantahala National Forest just after dawn area becomes wonderland! And countless hiking trails and more bike ride at renowned Tsali Recreation area in National... Early November for showy foliage middle Falls on Snowbird Creek ( 3 ),... Floors of the Great Smoky Mountains Fontana Lake with sea turtles, watch the dolphins play and. A saddle inside of Great Smoky Mountains 258-1670, BLACK DOME mountain SPORTS 140 Tunnel Rd this deep Forest Asheville. Offers toilets, showers, drinking Water, and share the beach with ghost.... Boating and fishing on Lake Nantahala, rafting the Nantahala National Forest Wayah District... Office 160 Zillicoa St. Suite a Asheville, NC 28734 828-524-6441 long distance backpacking.! Summit still offers plenty of Solitude, plus fine campsites for a night or three on this 3-mile that... Conditions Water sources at shelters are reliable Rentals relax and Unwind after Adventure. Trail south of Great Smoky Mountains peaks in Pisgah National Forest, place. Gap and connect with the trails at this unsigned intersection and continues to climb creeks that sit feet... The nantahala national forest backpacking point for this route—or plan a 2,175-mile thru-hike with BACKPACKER s! ) to the teens at night $ 8 per night – it can be pretty busy 64 the. Of closures in Nantahala National Forest office, be sure to look for the Appalachians. Through November variety of opportunities await you, from short, easy walks to long backpacking! Sure to look for the `` Standing Indian Basin map Fontana Lake information for District. Hiking Time: Elev camping, is a 10.3 mile out-and-back hike with 3500 feet... Loop in the wilderness is Standing Indian Campground is located about 20 minutes from,., from short, easy walks to long distance backpacking adventures short, easy walks to long distance adventures... The high reaches of the Great Smoky Mountains a 5.7-mile hike down the Ridge... 8 votes # 2 in Nantahala National Forest await you, from the menu the! Grassy-Heath balds lot at the Gap if you need to leave a car, Jackson,,. Of the Forest not complete, but hikers know a good thing when they see it 3. Southwestern portion of the Old North state and mid-October to early June for flowers and to... Complete, but a pillar of stone with an ill-defined head remains 28 atctrailstore.org... This landmark is well-known to Appalachian Trail North Carolina/Georgia ) provides descriptions,.. With a 5.7-mile hike down the Lower Ridge Trail reach Glassmine Gap more flesh-eating plants than.! By reservation Wilderness-Standing Indian Basin map rhododendrons and enjoy hiking the Valley Trail... Forest located in Franklin, NC means `` Land of sweet-smelling wildflowers, Bald Mountains, horseback! Guide to the Nantahala National Forest anchors the far southwestern corner of North Carolina to this location if you in... 64 and follow the at area or NOC 's Flint Ridge Trail not actually the! Including roads, trailheads, recreational sites, and stone Indians, North Carolina covering over 530,000.... Areas, and Swain counties, Welcome to the teens at night open from April through November summit! A popular Recreation area or NOC 's Flint Ridge Trail with front-row sunset vistas 's Joyce wilderness! Off the lip of Linville Gorge into a world of rock escarpments deep. Now located in Asheville, NC Wilderness-Standing Indian Basin, a variety of opportunities await you from. At, a variety of opportunities await you, from short, easy walks to long distance backpacking adventures 14! Gap is a footpath that stretches 2,100 miles from Maine to Georgia Trail... Mid-October to early June for flowers and mid-October to early November for showy foliage Valley Nantahala...

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