Wayah Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
(Turn at sign on U.S. 64, west of Franklin)
Hikers only. This 2.2-mile most-difficult trail climbs 1,640 feet in elevation and connects with four other area trails (Junaluska Trail, Valley Trail, London Bald Trail, Laurel Creek Trail). With two stream crossings, the trail meanders through an array of wildflowers.
From Franklin, take U.S. 64 west for about 3 miles. Turn right at LBJ/Wayah signs and take first left beside Loafer’s Glory Store onto Wayah Road (SR 1310), which goes over Wayah Gap and past Nantahala Lake. After passing Lake’s End Store, take first left onto Junaluska Road (SR 1401), toward Andrews for about 2.5 miles to Appletree Group Campground. To access, park or walk across the road from Appletree Branch and follow the blue blazes to the right of the branch.
Hikers only. A length of 9 miles one-way, this trail climbs and contours a side slope at a high elevation and travels through a fern-covered forest floor. This most-difficult trail connects with the Appletree Trail and Bartram Trail.
From Franklin, take U.S. 64 west for about 3 miles. Turn right at LBJ/Wayah signs and take first left beside Loafer’s Glory Store onto Wayah Road (SR 1310), which goes over Wayah Gap and past Nantahala Lake. After passing Lake’s End Store, take first left onto Junaluska Road (SR 1401), toward Andrews for about 2.5 miles to Appletree Group Campground. Accessed by the Appletree campground or by Junaluska Road (SR 1401).
The Standing Indian basin is a horseshoe-shaped drainage formed by the Nantahala and Blue Ridge Mountains with several peaks over 5,000 feet high. A network of trails leads to waterfalls and mountain peaks. Pickens Nose Trail (0.7 mile ) climbs through mature oak forest to a promontory on Brushy Ridge. Waslik Poplar Trail (0.6 mile) leads to the Nation's second largest yelow-poplar tree. The Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses the mountain peaks for 32 miles through this area, and the trail passes in and out of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness. You can use the AT to complete trail loops. Over 16 miles of orange-blazed trail are open to horses. The trailhead is signed to show the designated users. Primitive camping for horses is available at Hurricane Creek beyond Standing Indian Campground, a developed campground with showers, flush toilets and picnicking.
0.1 mile to 32 miles--some trails open to horses.
From Franklin, take US 64W for 9 miles. Turn left on old 64 for 2 miles. Turn right on FR 67 (gravel) toward Standing Indian Campground. There are several trailheads.
For more information:
Contact the Ranger District in each area or write:
U.S. Forest Service,
160A Zillicoa Street,
Asheville, NC 28802.
You can also call the information desk Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm at 828-257-4200.
Click on text link for more information
Cheoah Ranger District
Route 1, Box 16-A
Robbinsville, North Carolina 28771
Part of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness area. This easy figure-8 loop hiking trails are 1.25 and 2 miles long which wind through the largest old-growth hardwoods in the east. A living monument to Joyce Kilmer the soldier and poet who was killed in action in World War I at the age of 31. A memorial plaque, near the center of the grove of huge trees, remembers . Kilmer's most famous poem is "Trees". A small picnic area and restroom are available near the trailhead parking area.
This area around Snowbird Creek contains a network of over 37 miles of trails ranging from 1.1 miles to 12.7 miles in length, and from "easy" to "most difficult" in skill level. Big Snowbird watershed belonged to a lumber company in the 1920's and '30's, and a narrow guage railroad extended up Snowbird Creek. Like many places in the national forest, this land was acquired bu the Federal government only after 100 million board feet of timber was removed. Today, with time and careful management, the forest has regrown and the creek, once muddied with silt, runs clear and sparkling again. Big Falls and Middle Falls, 4 and 5 miles up the trail, make good destinations for day hikes. Big Snowbird Trail (#64) crosses the stream seven times; during heavy rainstorms these crossings may become impassable. An alternative trail, 64-A, requires only one stream crossing to reach Middle Falls.
1.1 miles to 12.7 miles--Open to hikers only.
From the district office, turn left on to NC 116 and go 2.4 miles to a stop sign. Turn right onto NC 1127, go 2 miles, and bear left at the fork-in-the-road onto SR 115. Go 2.1 miles to where NC 1115 turns sharply left (just past Robinson's Grocery). Make the turn and go 1 mile to a pair of bridges. At the end of the second bridge, turn right on NC 1120; it becomes FR 75 (gravel). Follow the gravel road about 6 miles to the end. The trailheads are at a former logging camp.
The Tsali trail system of four loops winds through mixed hardwood forest on a peninsula that stretches into Fontana Lake. The loops range from 6.5 miles to 11.9 miles. These trails rated as "most difficult", are especially popular to mountain bikers. While hikers may travel the trails on any day, the bikers and equestrians are kept seperated by alternating use of the trails. A schedule is posted at the trailheads. Nearby facilities include a bike washing station, a developed campground with showers and flush toilets, a boat ramp, and picnic tables.
Fom Bryson City, take US 19 S. 9 miles, turn right on NC 28 for 5.5 miles. Turn right at the sign for Tsali Recreation Area on FR 521 (gravel) for 1.5 Miles.
Highlands Ranger District
2010 Flat Mountain Road
Highlands, NC 28741
(Follow the signs from U.S. 64 east of Highlands)
This national recreation trail is rated "more difficult". From the trailhead, the old roadbed to the left is a more gradual climb to the summit, while the right branch goes up a steep set of stairs. Your effort is rewarded by a magnificent view into South Carolina and over the Chatooga River headwaters over 2100 feet below. the rock outcrops have an abundance of shrubs and wildflowers, including three species of both rhododendron and azaleas. the mountain summit stands at 4,930 feet. Whiteside Mountain, a landmark on the eastern continental divide, has sheer cliffs rising up to 750 feet in height. these cliffs are home to the endangered peregrine falcon that was reintroduced back to it's native range beginning in 1985.
2-mile loop--open to hikers only.
From Highlands, take U.S.64-E about 5 miles.Turn right on SR 1680 (Whiteside Mtn. Rd.) and follow the signs to the trailhead.
Tusquitee Ranger District,
201 Woodland Drive,
Murphy, NC 28906.
Phone (704) 837-5152.
As the name implies, this trail follows a high, elongated rim around Fire's creek. It features scenic views, heath and grassy balds, and a mixed hardwood forest with rhododendron and wildflowers. The trail is blazed in blue, but signs and blazes are sparse. Several side trails provide opportunities for exploration or alternate access points. Most people begin the trail at the Fire's Creek Picnic Area on the Trail to Leatherwood Falls. For a short walk, the 0.7-mile loop trail turns left and returns to the parking lot; the Rim Trail bends right and climbs to the ridge. Water is infrequent along the trail, so be sure to carry an adequate supply.
USGS quads: Andrews, Hayesville, Topton.
Complete loop; 25 miles -Open to horses and hikers
From HAYESVILLE, go 5 miles on U.S.64-W. Turn right on SR 1302 for 3.7 miles and left on Fires Creek Rd.(SR 1344