hiking

views

forest

walking

nature trips

dogs on leash

birding

wild flowers

trail running

wildlife

kid friendly

waterfall

mountain biking

camping

river

backpacking

dog friendly

lake

horseback riding

fishing

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.

Just did this loop on 5/18/18. Altered the trip slightly and took the spur trail from the AT to Siler Bald Shelter for a quick stop. Took us 1 hour 50 mins to get from the start of the trail to the shelter. The trail from the shelter up to the bald is very steep, but the views at the bald are gorgeous. We initially planned to camp somewhere near the bald/summit, but bad weather was rolling through so we hiked back down. All-up about 5 hours including stops with ~20lb packs on our backs. Nice trail - Would recommend.

An incredible hike with an incredible view! Being from South Florida, the elevation was quite difficult to adjust to but the view was definitely worth it! Also totally recommend hiking up to slide down turtle back falls.

My husband and I drove to this trail today. We paid the $5 fee at the entrance, drove another 20 yards and then encountered a sign that said ALL TRAILS CLOSED. Would have be nice if the put the sign before the spot where you pay to enter.

Super fun trail, with great views if you enjoy waterfalls, and natural streams! It had a good amount of hills to walk up so be advised young children (under like 6) could get tuckered out on the hike back. Overall 4 mile round trip.

Very steep in some areas with 3 young kids and 2 dogs but not busy at all and great hike.

Went a while back really enjoyed! A lot of people!

We have been to this group of trails several times, and love the forest and lake views here. Just yesterday, May 10, 2018, we started out on the marked left-hand loop from the parking spot on the All Trails map, and ended up cutting across the interior of the loop on a trail marked with blue painted tree roots. About half way across the interior, on either side of the trail, we found lady slippers in full bloom, light of the setting sun falling across them...a rare sighting of this endangered species. See photo.

nature trips
10 days ago

Short and easy access to the falls, You can see the falls from the parking area.

beautiful trail - took 2.5 year old daughter and 4 month old son and was easy enough to carry both and enjoy the views

hiking
14 days ago

Love this trail and love this website. However... dogs are NOT welcome on this trail even on a leash. The ONLY two trails in the park that allow dogs are Oconaluftee River trail on the NC side and Gatlinburg Trail on the TN side. Don't know where that info came from. It is absolutely false.

Wow. Great run/hike. Enjoyed this one lots! What a view on a clear day

We hiked this section the last weekend of April, and while the daytime temperatures were wonderful for hiking, the temps plummeted at night down to around 30°F. We hiked the trail to the telico bald and back tracked to a camp at Burningtown Gap. If the weather is windy, I would suggest either stopping at the shelter between telico and burningtown, or pass through the burningtown gap and head down to the camp pad with the water source at lick log gap. Since the fires hit this area in 2016, there’s not a lot of foliage yet, so bring some sunscreen. The majority of the hike from Wayah to burningtown is downhill, but you have to make a considerable climb to get to telico, so I suggest stopping for lunch at burningtown if you haven’t already.

Been up this trail countless times. You can see forever from the fire tower on a clear day. Plenty of tree cover under the tower if it’s a little windy.

Short walk to the falls. Incredible spot to dip your toes in the water, feel the earth's energy, unwind, dream and be one with nature!

Mostly uphill. Trails are not clearly marked so it's easy to get confused. Trail had lots of tree stumps and rocks. Great bathing area for dogs and kids once you get to the Schoolhouse Waterfall.
Not a huge summit but a great place to hike to just for the view.

Beautiful falls, especially after several days of heavy rain. Not a rough hike, but definitely merits a moderate rating. Great places to rest by the falls and take in the view from a well-placed hammock.

Was a beautiful and amazing hike. last 15 minutes got me but well worth the veiw!!!

Wow! The falls are so impressive. The hike was super easy — all downhill until you get to the area just before falls. It’s just a short climb that’s mostly fueled by the adrenaline you get from the sounds of rushing water and the anticipation of seeing the waterfall. I was worried that the return trip would be exhausting since it’s mostly uphill to the parking lot but the incline is gradual. Next time I would plan a trail run here!

Awesome views from Whiterock! Super easy hike!

I couldn’t find it. :-( Two roads diverged in the wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. :-)

We've done a good number of trails in the area and this one is still hands down our favorite. It's a bit of a harder hike if you're not in shape/prepared, but 100% worth it. These are still the coolest falls that we've seen in a long time and I would absolutely do this hike again in a heartbeat. This app also says you cannot take dogs on it, but we took our lab and ran into no issues with that. We even saw other dogs on the trail.

21 days ago

This trail was very cool- you start off on the top of a waterfall and zig zag your way down. You run into the waterfall about 3-4 times at different spots on the way down and get to play in a pool at the bottom of the falls. This was a perfect hike to bring a water dog on!

What an amazing view! It was worth the drive up for sure! It’s a little steep but doable. We went for a family outing, my husband, our daughter, our 6 month old son, and myself. I carried our son and our five year old was able to do the whole hike. Loved every minute of it. Highly recommend, even if you just go up the paved route to the look out over the falls, worth the trip!

An easy hike. But once we arrived at the tower the clouds had rolled in and blocked the view. It was still a great hike and we will return.

hiking
27 days ago

Very well marked trail. Some trees are down after Irma.
Pretty sleep elevation gain, so it was a great work out. We did it on a foggy rainy Sunday and didn’t meet any single person.
Flowers along the way and mossy trees.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike and amazing views at the top.

Rather easy, less than 1000 feet elevation gain trail.
We were here on a weekend , so met some people but it was not crowded.
Beautiful waterfalls.
The whole trail sparkles! You need to witness it in order to understand it.
Be prepared for several water crossings specially in wet season. .

Quick and easy with great views

The Devil's Courthouse is a pinnacle rock outcropping at MP 422 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the summit you can see Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina. I recommend parking in the lot to take a view/photo up toward the outcropping to get a feel for your destination. From the parking lot you'll walk uphill along the road on an asphalt path that then turns right into the woods and ascends very steeply up the mountain. Eventually the asphalt ends at a rocky gully that you'll follow to the top. The viewing area has a rock barricade so it's safe for children. From the highest rocks within the viewing area you can get a pretty nice nearly 360* panorama. Due to the short hike leading to an excellent view that is safe for the family this is a "must do" excursion for those driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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