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Nantahala, with peaks ranging from 5,800 feet to 1,200 feet in elevation, has one of the most diverse responses of forest in North Carolina. The word Nantahala is a Cherokee word that means Read more...
Nantahala, with peaks ranging from 5,800 feet to 1,200 feet in elevation, has one of the most diverse responses of forest in North Carolina. The word Nantahala is a Cherokee word that means “land of the noonday sun.” And with over a half million acres, it’s the largest national forest in the state, so suffice to say there are many spots where that “noonday” sun can touch. A look down the cavernous Nantahala Gorge, where the sun only reaches to the valley floor at midday, will surely take your breath away. But even if you’re not a fan of descents, the park’s 600 miles of trail will surely lead you to a destination you fancy. Gushing waterfalls, cascading sunlight, and epic views all await you along the Nantahala River, depending on the trailhead you choose to travel down.
Cullasaja Gorge, Mountain Waters Scenic Byway, Standing Indian Campground, Van Hook Glade Campground are the national forest’s four publicly accessible campgrounds, operated and reservable year-round. Most campsites in Nantahala are quite primitive and, aside from picnic tables and vault toilets, are without frills. Suffice to say it’d be wise to charge your devices and get your off-the-grid ways figured-out before heading out. But, no matter what time of year you decide to visit this enchanting forest, you’ll be treated to one of the most magical wooded area’s anywhere along the East Coast.