nature trips

dogs on leash


wild flowers

trail running


kid friendly


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dog friendly


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With 531,270 acres in Macon, Graham, Cherokee, Jackson, Clay, and Swain counties, Nantahala National Forest is the largest of North Carolina's four national forests. The park features many western North Carolina waterfalls and the final stretch of the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway winds it's way through this forest. The word "Nantahala" is a Cherokee word that translates to "Land of the Noonday Sun. Three Wilderness areas are located within the Nantahala National Forest. Ellicott Rock Wilderness is located near Highlands, North Carolina, the Southern Nantahala Wilderness is in the Tusquitee and Nantahala Ranger District, and there is also the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness. The Nantahala Ranger District includes attractions such as Standing Indian Mountain, the Nantahala Gorge and Wayah Bald. The Nantahala National Forest offers easy access to a wide variety of recreation options. While it is well known for it's hiking and mountain biking, it also has great trout fishing in the Nantahala River. There are also great opportunities for off road driving. The most famous off road driving area is the Tellico OHV area in the Tusquitee Ranger District, and there is also an OHV area in the Nantahala Ranger District.

Nice trail. Not too strenuous. Tracked it at 6 miles total. There were plenty of children doing this trail with no problem. There are places where I would not have a dog with no leash. The views at the end are well worth the trip.

Our first hike on this trail. The waterfall is beautiful and worth the hike.

Really enjoyed this one! Not overly strenuous but gets the heart a pumpin!!! Gets windy when you get towards the top and then some awesome

A fantastic hike. We took it really slow and enjoyed the views, stopped for some hot tea at the summit and had a wonderful time on the trail. It is an easy to moderate hike if you start the loop by going left when you reach the top of the stairs. A moderate hike if you go right. Watch out for ice if you go in cold weather. I slipped on a patch and took a little spill, but was no worse for the wear. The views are great. We saw a Peregrine falcon in flight and lots of beautiful ice on rocks. If you don't hike much and are on the fence about doing this one, you can hike in by taking the loop to the left, summit, and backtrack the way you came in...giving you a gentle slope all the way up and all the way down.

Ended up doing this trail by accident... but so happy we did! We went around to Little Green summit first and then down to the falls. The trail was definitely easy going for the first 3+ miles. A nice/steep climb to the top and then some AMAZING views. Got a little turned around on the summit thanks to some careless wandering but never got too far off path. The entire 4 hours we were in the area we only saw 4 other groups of people which made the experience even more perfect. Can't wait to come back for a weekend of camping/hiking.

The trail was super easy, and beautiful. I would recommend this trail for a easy and beautiful view.

Great Trek! Siler Bald views were fantastic!

Has been a favorite hike for 35+ years.
Just before the switchback to ascend the back side of Whiterock, there are some Awesome geological formations ~ 50 yards off the southwest side of the trail that must be explored.
But word of warning.... I have only ventured there during colder months, as it is rattlesnake and copperhead heaven.

North of Robbinsville on Hwy 129. Small parking area @ roadside. Easy hike on good trail alongside a roaring creek. Really nice waterfall @ the end. Trail ends at top of waterfall with spur to the bottom. Recommend after a good rain.

First time hiking out here and enjoyed it a lot. It may have been raining, not too hard but enough to keep us wet but well worth it.

Great day hike! As mentioned by a few others it is best to not follow the directions from All Trails. I'll repost the better directions here : http://southernhighroads.org/north-carolina/attractions/highlands/hiking...bartram-trail-jones-gap-to-whiterock-mountain

Begin by referring to the above directions to get to the trailhead. Although some of it is paved, a good majority of it is not so you'll likely drive ~2 miles on dirt road up I believe Scaly Mtn to the trailhead. Trailhead will be obvious after a long uphill drive. From there we went right on the yellow blazed trail. About a half mile in there is a spur trail on the left with blue blazes to take you up Jones Knob and Whiterock Mtn (maybe a mile at most to do this trail). AMAZING VIEWS!!! these will be the best views during the hike so i highly recommend taking this spur. then you can back track and get back on Bartam trail. This trail can take you a ways so you can do a lot more/go a lot longer than what is listed on this page. This is mostly a backcountry type trail with a lot of vegetation. it is really pretty and not overly difficult. You will see an option to go up Whiterock from this trail down near the Whiterock Gap

There is an option during the hike to take a spur trail to the summit of FishHawk Mtn. Hiker be warned that the sign that says its 528ft refers to the elevation gain!!! This is a heartbreaker! Def use your trekking poles if you have them-very steep! Not really a view from the top but there is a summit marker and a plague in the rock. Def the hardest part of the hike! but not mandatory!

I recommend after the hike to go checkout the Satulah Mtn Brewery! it is a 15 min drive. No food but there is a neat little pub called Ugly Dog just down the street with plenty of food options-and more beer! This is all downtown Highlands which is a cute little town worth stopping by

It’s a paved greenway near a river for running, biking, walking, or playing. The one mile section has a small park for the kids and a dog park but be careful crossing the road during our construction time going the other direction.

21 days ago

We found it by accident but definitely loved it.

map tool us to a private sd with no trail access.

We went today but were not prepared. You should probably wear hiking boots and be prepared to cross a creek and go through mud. We had to turn around after the first waterfall. Also the trail on the app is not safe anymore. We came across a branch barricade where the trail should have gone. Just Follow the green markers placed on the trees and you should be good. We plan on going back when we have the proper gear to finish the trail.

Beautiful hike, we started at Bad Creek parking area on the Duke Engergy property. The initial hike to the Whitewater trail is 0.7 miles, then another 2.3 to the Falls over look. The The hike is easy until you cross the river at the second bridge over Whitewater RIver, then it is more challenging. Return is mostly downhill, it took us about 1.5 hour to the top and another 1 hour to return to the car. Well worth the hike to see this beautiful powerful waterfall!

Beautiful hike to an awesome, powerful waterfall, well worth the hike!

Definitely a tough challenge! Worth the experience especially at the top!

Great hike. We did this with our 8 and 13 year old. They both enjoyed it!

Was looking for a “hard” trail thinking it’d be fun and a breeze. This one was definitely tough for sure. The first half is the river part where you walk beside or across the river itself. Was pretty hard cause it was extremely slippery and the river was high and some had no places to cross so you just had to walk through. The second half is the straight up hill half straight to the top. Lots of downed trees but overall moderately to decently hard. My 3 month puppy had minimal issues keeping up. Ps. Lookout #5 is where it’s at, in my opinion the others are just a waste of a walk.

this is a cool trail. great views at the top along the rock face. some 700ft drop? people were repelling off of. very crowded though. camping isnt allowed. lots of steps. a hammock might be nice at the top though.. huge birds flying at the top

1 month ago

My review is from the prespective of an ameteur landscape phtographer.

The trail is easy to follow even though it is unmarked. It's generally as wide as a sidewalk and topped with gravel. But as of Feb '18 300 yards of the trail has been washed out by the winter rains. It's still passable, but you'll encounter mud, rocks and tree roots.

Once you reach the bald there's really not a lot to photograph. The field is lined with trees and there are only a couple openings to see the mountains beyond. This limits your options to trying to be creative with an open field. Not very satisfying.

However, I use the field to practice flying my drone. It's a legal area, big open fields and very few if any people to accidently hit. And once your drone is above the trees there are some pretty pics of the mountains beyond.

But unless you want to fly a drone, there's not much opportunity for conventional landscape photography on the bald.

There are however, wild azaleas on the mountain. I plan to go again in June to see what they look like. I will update this review at that time.

It was awesome!! When hiking you will come to a path to your left... I saved that for last. It was Stairway Falls... Beautiful. So I kept going to right ... First Fall was Rainbow... keep going you will come to Turtleback... keep going you will come to Drift Falls!! All worth the hike!!

1 month ago

This place is great with multiple campsites along the way. Take every side route because that’s where most of the waterfalls and balds are. The place is beautiful. There is a bald on salt rock that isn’t labeled on any maps I say and it’s a beautiful view must go to that.

Great place close to house. Short hike.

A great hike, especially in the morning! There were a few people on the trail but not many until I was heading back. Right now there is a lot of mud around the falls so wear the right shoes or you may get stuck or slide. There were a few areas that looked like other trail paths but I didn’t explore them. If you use the map from this app it’ll take you in the right direction.

Just a paved Greenway. Fine place for locals to get exercise, nothing for sight seeing. Don't drive to Franklin just to see this.

Great hike to bottom but be ready for a climb out...

1 month ago

This is a forest service road, not a hiking trail.

Always a fun hike or even drive! One day we drove to various spots in order to view PantherTop fire tower. I am obsessed in finding all areas in the Murphy area where we can see that tower from a distance!

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