Here in North Carolina, there’s no shortage of parks and forests to explore. The Nantahala National Forest is always considered a local favorite, and here’s why. It boasts over 600 miles of trails, with incredible overlooks, and plenty of wildlife to spot along the way! Hiking these many trails is one of the best ways to experience everything the area has to offer. Regardless of skill, this natural oasis is sure to deliver. Here is your guide to Nantahala National Forest hiking.
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Trails for the Best Nantahala National Forest Hiking
Appalachian Trail: Nantahala River to Cheoah Bald
Calling all hiking enthusiasts! This 16.2-mile trek is quite the challenge but is well worth it for the view! At the peak of this trail, you’ll find a stunning, panoramic vista that is sure to make a lasting impression. The trail is almost entirely downhill on the way into the forest and mostly uphill on the hike back. Local Tip: Make sure you’re wearing quality hiking shoes and take plenty of water.
Devil’s Courthouse Trail
The Devil’s Courthouse Trail is a well-known spot in the area. This moderate, 1-mile hike is paved, allowing access to people of most skill levels. It features a jagged cave within the mountain that, according to folktales, is where the devil “holds court.” You’ll find beautiful scenery at the overlook and enjoy every moment of this hike!
Bartram Trail: Wallace Branch to William’s Pulpit
This portion of the Bartram Trail welcomes you with a waterfall at the start of the hike, then lures you to a steady incline towards William’s Pulpit. This is a favorite destination for many hikers in the area. You’ll want to stay and appreciate this view for a while! We recommend packing a picnic to enjoy as you take in the scenery of the Nantahala National Forest. The 4.1 out-and-back trail presents some moderately challenging uphill stretches, but it’s well worth it. This is a great trail if you’re interested in spending just a few hours in nature.
Dry Falls is a wonderful hidden gem in the area! Though it’s not exactly a hike in the strictest of terms, it’s a must-see. The half-mile path leads you to a stunning waterfall that allows you to venture behind the natural wonder! This beauty isn’t far off the road, but the roar of the waterfall will make you feel like you’re miles into the forest.
Stay at Oak Hill on Love Lane
Book your stay at our intimate haven nestled into the Smoky Mountains. You’ll have easy access to each of these hikes, as well as Waynesville and Downtown Asheville. Explore the quaint shops and breweries when the sun sets, and wake up in the morning to a freshly made breakfast. There truly is nothing like enjoying a cup of coffee on our wrap-around veranda while enjoying the mountain air. We invite you to check our availability and begin planning your mountain getaway with us today.