With the government shut down implementing park and trail closings all over the United States, many of the most popular areas in Western North Carolina have been closed or are not accessible while our elected officials try to work out their differences. That said, one of Franklin’s most popular areas, the Nantahala National Forest, has many areas that are still open for “business”, the business of hiking, that is. Also, many Forestry Service roads remain open, including the road to the ever popular Wayah Bald lookout Tower, FS 69 (pictured above, photo taken 10/01/13 at 5:00 pm). Also, the road (and camping area) at Standing Indian Campground will remain open during the shut down. The Cliffiside Recreation Area on Hwy 64 between Franklin and Highlands will stay open, however, in both instances of the latter two, there will be no trash pick-up, so please follow the “Leave No Trace” doctrine of our back country areas.
With the leaves changing color rapidly, the peak of leaf-peeking season will be upon us before we know it. The Bartram Trail and the Appalachian Trail areas located in Franklin and Macon County, will become ever more important if our National Parks aren’t reopened before then. If you were planning a trip into some of the effected areas of the closed parks and are looking for some open area to roam, come on in to Franklin!
For more information about the trails, scenic drives, and other fun things to do in Franklin and Nantahala, please visit the Chamber of Commerce website at https://www.franklin-chamber.com/