nature trips


dogs on leash

wild flowers

trail running


kid friendly


mountain biking




dog friendly


horseback riding


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.

1 day ago

Really great hike, beautiful view of falls

on Satulah Mountain

1 day ago

Great views

Loved it! Go early in the day on a weekday.

This hike is very rewarding without being too difficult. We accessed the AT by turning onto Otter Creek Rd from Wayah Rd. The trailhead is about two miles down Otter Creek Rd with several parking spots. About a mile of Otter Creek will be gravel but it's well maintained and we had no trouble in a sedan. If accessing from the Wayah Rd side, take the section of the AT on the left hand side of the parking lot as there weren't any clear markings for the Wesser Tower. The hike itself is all uphill as you climb to the peak. It winds through the forest on the mountainside and is very well maintained. No water crossings and very suitable for all skill levels (and dogs!). As you approach the peak, the trail narrows significantly and the plants/grass on either side will brush against your legs so wear pants or high socks if that bothers you. Right before reaching the tower, there's a beautiful natural lookout to the left. Once at the tower, the views are as good as it gets. It's 360 degrees of unobstructed and beautiful mountain views. It's a relatively short hike to amazing views without the crowds. I would highly recommend it.

Located just south of Cashiers, it’s just a quick walk from highway 107, with a very well maintained trail. Beautiful falls that flow into a nice little swimming hole that looks like a nice place to jump in and cool off.

Glen Falls is absolutely amazing, there are several spots to stop and look at the different tiers of the falls. The trail is well maintained, except for quite a bit of mud around the viewing areas. It’s a extreme decline down some nicely placed steps, but every step you take down...you have to take back up. The walk back is not for the faint at heart.

took a logging road to reach the falls, hard to find. rock fall made the falls small and hard to see.

We enjoyed this hike! I will say that it wasn't 2.2 miles in and out but rather 2.9. The All Trails App said the elevation change would be about 750 but the App recorded it as 1167. Just an FYI

What a wonderful hike for our anniversary!

Gorgeous river and waterfalls. Great swimming holes at the base of the initial decent. However this trail does not allow camping due to whitewater corridor protection (the reason for the 3 star rating). However we hiked to Thompson river, 2.7 miles past the turnaround. This was a spectacular 4 star hike. Next time we will start at Bad creek parking to get to Thompson river. (A lot of ticks in June!)

Did this trail six days ago and we decided to turn around close to mile 3 because the trail was so over grown with slippery run offs due to the recent rains. It is a nice forest hike and the dogs enjoyed the portion we did with plenty of of water along the way. A few days later we hiked to the Wesser fire tower via the App trail to take in the view.

Nice view at the pulpit but very hot there so we did not stay long. Brought our two dogs. Plenty of water along the way for them to sip & cool down. Our 15 year old who is not an avid hiker enjoyed this hike.

Did this as a day hike out and back with our dog. Great view at the bald. Saw no hikers on our way up and one small group when we got to the bald. A few more on our way back. Can get hot bring plenty of water. Challenging hike but worth it.

One of my favorites when all of the wildflowers are in bloom.

Beautiful view with some interesting history!

very nice trail and the views are amazing!

10 days ago

Beautiful short hike ending at the waterfall! So many ferns and got to see a bunch of salamanders at the base of the falls. We wish we would have brought our lunch out there to eat and spend more time by the waterfall.

Easy uphill hike starting from Wayah Rd following the AT with beautiful views at the top! A few cute creek crossings and lots of ferns and wildflowers along the trail.

Great trail. Mostly on the AT with a spur up to Silar Bald and 360 degree views at the peak. Enjoyed it with the kids and it was very appropriate for the 8-18 Year olds.

The hike itself is easy and the views are stunning especially in fall. However the forest service trail up took a long time and was a bit harrowing at sections. I would have rather hiked longer and avoided that. Won’t be back.

Stunning views from fields of wild flowers!

Easy trail but beautiful scenery with a gorgeous waterfall

Great trail even after it rained for 4 straight days. Listed as moderate but isn’t any worse then the easy trails. Right side of the lower loop is currently closed due to all the rain wiping out a section of steps leading back to the parking lot from the upper section of the lower loop. We ignored signs but came upon workers resigning the steps so decided to turn back and go around. Lot of nice trail we would’ve missed tho had we not gone down. Highly recommend this trail

Great hike with the dogs and 15 year old. Great 360 view from water tower.

Really awesome hike! Falls are incredible! Highly recommended!

Quick and easy hike with some good views.

13 days ago

An easy walk to a very scenic waterfall. I want to take my grandkids.

13 days ago

I have hiked this trail a few times and almost any trail that has a waterfall at the end gets a great rating from me. I went past the base of the falls as another reviewer posted but once upon the downed trees and such turned around. It is uphill all the way back and there are a lot of tree roots underfoot so watch your step. Have seen people doing it in flip flops. Crazy!

If the trail is marked and a parking area exists, we could not find them. We parked in a nearby camping site right by the hairpin curve that was empty. We then walked down the gravel road a few hundred yards and luckily found a rarely traveled foot path leading straight down to the falls. We found it based on the roar of the falls as we started the decent pretty much right above the falls. At the end it was pretty hairy to navigate the brush, but my family of 4 made it. I would not recommend the trail we used for kids younger than 8 or 10, and even then only if they are fit and adventurous. We all have plenty of scrapes. That said, the falls are really great and I’ll definitely go back (although my wife won’t). There may be an actual trail to find, but even the small goat path we used works. Be sure to watch where you exit at the falls and so you can find the path when you want to ascend back up. Tons of brush and we got off in the wrong direction and had to backtrack just a bit to get on the right path. Stunning scenery though.

Loved this hike! Park just off the side of the road where the sign says Bartram Trail. The trail to Scaly that is via Hickory Nut has you drive up a gravel road. This was much easier! My kids and I really enjoyed this hike. We loved being in a canopy of trees and felt like we were in an enchanted forest. Gorgeous views at the end to boot!!

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