Attractions, Hiking, Parks

Nantahala National Forest

Nantahala National Forest is about 2 1/2 hours from Sevierville.  Unlike the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which only allows pets on two of its trails, Nantahala National Forest welcomes pets just about anywhere put on the beaches.

Nantahala whitewater falls

Over 530,000 acres of wilderness and 600 miles of trails to explore.   The forest has many of the same features as the Smokies, like hiking trails, waterfalls, rivers, incredible lookouts, wildlife and more.   Hike 3 miles to the Wayah Bald Tower and you’ll be able to gaze out over the Appalachian Mountains of four states; Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.

Whiteside Mountain National Recreation Trail also has spectacular views. 1.9-mile, moderately difficult loop near Highlands, NC. The climb will take you to an elevation of 4,930 feet, passing 700-foot cliff walls and beautiful mountain laurel.

Nantahala National Forest

the 61.3-mile Mountain Waters Scenic Byway twists and turns through forests and along rivers, passing many jaw-dropping mountaintop vistas.

For a quick afternoon workout, hike the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Trail, a 2-mile figure eight route through old-growth forests of eastern hemlock and tulip poplars.  To find a waterfall, explore the 1-mile Rufus Morgan Falls Trail, or take a 1-mile round-trip hike to Big Laurel Falls.

Nantahala River activities include rafting, canoeing and kayaking. Schedule a tour with Rolling Thunder River Company. If boating is more your style, book a pontoon rental on Fontana Lake with Almond Boat and RV Park Boat Rental.

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