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Wesser Bald Fire Tower via Appalachian Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(205)
Nantahala National Forest

Wesser Bald Fire Tower via Appalachian Trail is a 2.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Topton, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 2.2 mi Elevation gain 718 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (205)
Photos (154)
Recordings (142)
Completed (405)
Sarah Shank
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

The views at the top are hands down some of the best I’ve seen. It’s a steady climb up if you follow the AT and an easy trek down via the fire road. One of the best view payoffs for a relatively quick hike. Watch out - we did see skunk on the trail.

Whitney Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

Nicely maintained trail. Go LEFT at fork - the larger trail w gate is the fire road. My 5 y/o daughter and 10 y/o son practically ran it w no problems. View from fire tower on top was VERY neat! Climbing up there scared my daughter and I a bit! We took the fire road down for speed and to avoid other hikers (covid).

Lara Brant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 26 2020
Hiking

Good trail a lot of switchbacks and 2.0 miles on the way up using the trail. Can be very narrow lots of roots (like another comment). At the fire lookout there’s a fire road path. Faster way down and that’s 1 mile. The fire road is very steep but wide would be harder to go up than the marked trail. Marked trail would have been hard to come down, glad we chose fire road. Views at the top are beautiful.

Bill L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
HikingBugs

Great trail, but at the start there is a split - one way is the fire road and the other the actual trail - and no signage to say which is which. We gambled and chose the path that was the fire road, and while a shorter/more direct route to the top it was STEEP and a challenge. You want to take the left fork at the trail head which is the actual trail. But overall great hike - be sure to climb the fire tower stairs - totally worth it!!

CJ Gosline
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 17 2020
Hiking

Great hike to a beautiful 360 view. Mileage was 3 miles round trip on the verse 2.2 noted.

Lexi Osher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 17 2020
Hiking

Nice trail absolutely gorgeous views and pretty quick and easy to hike

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Natalie Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 05 2020

Absolutely stunning views. We took the service road so we would get to the top in time for sunset. The service road is extremely steep in places. Nearly 1,000 ft increase in a mile. Worth it to catch the sunset, but for a more leisurely hike I would take the real trail.

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Ashley Bell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 15 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Awesome 360 views. Took about 1.5 miles to tower and we took the old service road back down to save time.

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Stacy Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 05 2020
Hiking

awesome Day for a hike.

Coty Woodside
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Feb 23 2020

Amazing view at the top! Moderate trail. Fairly steep and it can be narrow, but definitely a fun hike. Be careful if it has rained recently. Very well trafficked on clear days. I went up on a snowy Thursday (2/20) and saw only one other traveler.

Ryan Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 16 2020

Good, moderate trail. Stairs are a bit sketchy but 100% worth the 360° panorama views.

Barney Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 16 2020
Hiking

Tough uphill but totally worth it, if you take a dog the stairs are a little sketchy getting your pup to the top of the tower.

JoLynne Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jan 21 2020
Hiking

Nice hike, and yes, longer than “advertised “. We had lunch atop the tower and that was beautiful!!

Bethany Hicks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 12 2020
HikingBlowdown
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Chris Presley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 01 2020
HikingMuddy

Gorgeous view

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Leigh Johnson McIntyre
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Dec 30 2019
Hiking

Great hike! Agree with others that it’s more than 1.1 each way (closer to 1.4 each way). Moderate intensity, views are unbelievable!

Joe Carver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Dec 30 2019
Hiking

One of my favorite hikes! Spectacular view!

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Rich Stackon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 28 2019
Hiking

Great trail and beautiful views. The hike up is a good workout, but nothing so extreme and long it should deter anyone in reasonable shape. The fire tower could use a little work, as the steps and railings seem a bit rickety, but the view at the top makes up for it. Total recorded trail mileage is more around 2.69 miles from the parking area to the fire tower per my Garmin.

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James Catalfamo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Nov 26 2019
Hiking

i love reading the 1 star reviews for a good laugh. i don't understand why they rate a place because of hornets. insects are part of nature. maybe stick to indoor mall hike. sry, i had to get that off my chest. anyway well over 100 review and there all 4 & 5 stars. there nothing i can say to make you want to do it but i'm sure glad i did. keep on enjoying the home god gave us.

Natasha S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 16 2019
Walking

views are awesome from the top! well worth it. I wouldn't say it was tough, but it does have a couple moments. a lot of areas to catch your breath.

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Chris Flee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 10 2019
Hiking

Pictures do not do the view form the fire tower any justice. It is beautiful!

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Darlene Bennett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 09 2019
Hiking

My eight year old didn't want to brave the AT portion of this hike, so we chose to hike to the Wesser Bald Fire Tower via Tellico Gap. It was challenging to find the trailhead. GPS will take you all the way there, if you're brave enough to stay on the extremely narrow and curvy mountain dirt road that takes you there. After our second try we stuck to it and found the trail head. Thankfully there are people who mentioned the correct trail was the one with the gate. We began our hike at a pretty good pace, but quickly realized the ascent is gains elevation very quickly. I had to take several breaks due to breathlessness. We finally made it to the top and relished the majestic mountain views. The steps up to the tower are metal and quite steep, so I had to remind my child to hold on tight. There was a group of young people taking photos so we had to wait a little bit to be able to see the 360 degree views, but it was worth the wait. Perhaps we'll do this one again only via the AT when my child gets a little older.

Daniel Benoit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 04 2019
Hiking

Awesome trail. Watch out for All the roots. Other than that, Fairly easy to get to tower. The views are worth it !

Benjamin Boyes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Oct 25 2019
Hiking

we hiked the service road; 1.8 mile round trip from the parking area on Otter Creek Road to the top of the fire tower and back to the car. the trail was rocky and we'll maintained. one tree down across the path. Unfortunately we hiked on an overcast day and only had a view of clouds from the top of the tower. Hope to do again on a clear day!

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Mladen Zdero
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 23 2019
Hiking

This trail is high payout for low effort. My wife isn’t a hiker so she was a little winded, but made it up with no need to rest. We took the service road option and it ended up being .88 miles one way. Not bad at all. The view from the tower is absolutely phenomenal. God’s peace could really be felt in the still evening fall air, while the setting sun laid its rays on the rolling mountains. The drive up wasn’t too bad either. We were in my wife’s front wheel drive Corolla and made it up the gravel road just fine.

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J T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Oct 15 2019
Hiking

Highly recommended. There are 2 routes up. The AT path and a service road option. At outset, fellow hikers gave the WARNO there was peeved off yellow jackets on AT trail to tower. Took service path option. Kids spotted a black bear crossing path quickly and skittishly roughly 50 yards up the path. sadly as we were past the bear spot, we heard a group below getting bombarded by the yellow jackets. Group of roughly 6 adults all got 5 thwaps a piece. If you spot the yellow mofos, turn and take service route. Nothing further to report other than quite possibly the most glorious view i have ever seen on the AT thus far. Recommend it. Kids and all. Doable. Worth the extra effort up and down

Carmen Molini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 12 2019
Hiking

What an awesome trail with a real prize at the top! 360 degree views! Lovely day and hike. Highly recommend!

Nissa Sampson
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 12 2019
Hiking

YELLOW JACKET NEST ON TRAIL. my husband and I and our two dogs only made it .5 mi in before we had to turn around because we were all covered in yellow jacket stings and our dog was having a reaction. Sad we missed the views but our dog's safety comes first.

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Ashleigh Campbell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 02 2019
HikingRocky
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Hayley Wassung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 13 2019
Hiking

Not well-marked but entrance was pretty apparent due to the parking area right next to the trail. It was almost entirely uphill with lots of roots, so we had to watch our step a bit, but the flowers around the trail made it a pretty climb to the firetower. We went on a Thursday afternoon in September and were the only ones on the trail. View from the top was fantastic!

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