Wayah Bald Recreation Area Trail is a 10.8 mile out and back trail located near Topton, NC that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Franklin, NC: Travel State Highway 1310 west approximately 12 miles to Forest Road 69. Turn right on the forest road and follow it to the end.
Nice trail with great views at the top. The trail can be a bit tricky to find, there are several trails in the area and near the pull off. There is no designated parking lot, at least that I found, just a few sections on the road you can pull off on that fit a few cars. From the road this trail it is on the same side as the sign marking the Appalachian Trail, and to take this hike you follow the trail going north. The entire trail is marked with AT white blazes, and most of the trail is well maintained. There were a few fallen trees (Jan 2015), that required some climbing and some of the trail was slick with ice, but nothing super dangerous. The hiking is moderate, nothing is too steep, lots of flat sections, mostly lots of small ups and downs, though it is 8 miles total so takes 4-5 hours to complete. There are restrooms at the top of the bald, an added perk. Definitely a great place to bring lunch!