The Nantahala National Forest encompasses more than a half-million acres of pristine woodlands, with elevations from a high of 5,800 feet to a low of 1,200 feet. The NNF is the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina. Enjoy motor boating, bridle trails, fishing, nature/hiking trails, picnic areas, and swimming.
One of the NNF's many attractions, Whitewater Falls near Cashiers, is the highest falls east of the Mississippi. It's accessed by way of a steep, 1.0 mile trail through a cove forest, beginning at the overlook for the falls, and descending to a bridge crossing the Whitewater River.
“Nantahala” is a Cherokee word meaning “land of the noon day sun,” a fitting name for the Nantahala Gorge, where the sun only reaches to the valley floor at midday.
The Nantahala River is popular for whitewater rafting with numerous outfitters available.
90 Sloan Road Wayah Ranger District
Franklin, NC 28734
- Boat access
- Parking: Free
- Dog friendly