Home » Franklin & Nantahala – Your Gateway to Adventure

Franklin & Nantahala are the perfect blend of secluded vacation and small-town life. Centrally located to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway, offering visitors the perfect base camp to venture out and explore nature’s paradise.

That’s why we call our area Your Gateway to Adventure!

Tucked away in the mountains of western North Carolina, Franklin & Nantahala are two communities that work together to offer visitors a myriad of ways to get outside and explore the many bounties of the Nantahala National Forest.

The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway will take you through the Cullasaja River and the Nantahala River Gorges. Along the way, you’ll pass beautiful waterfalls as the rivers twist and turn through the Nantahala National Forest. Parking areas along the Cullasaja River allow you to explore Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls, and the popular swimming hole, Bust Your Butt Falls, with many places to stop and have a picnic.

Whitewater fans need to look no further than the Nantahala River. Year-round kayaking along with scheduled recreational dam releases, offer Class III & IV rapids. If a gentler paddling experience is up your alley, the Little Tennessee River flows north into Franklin from Georgia and continues all the way in to Fontana Lake. The Cullasaja, Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers also offer fantastic spots for fly fishing. Set out solo or contact a local fishing guide to help you find the best places to cast a line and relax.

Nantahala Lake

The Bartram Trail has over 100 miles of trail, most of it within the Nantahala National Forest. Together with the world-famous Appalachian Trail, avid hikers will have numerous trails to explore. The two trails also intersect at one of the most popular historic and scenic locations in all Western North Carolina, Wayah Bald Lookout Tower that sits at over one-mile high in elevation. From the tower, you can see the Blue Ridge, Nantahala, and Great Smoky Mountains.

Franklin has plenty for the foodies, music lovers, and craft beer aficionados. Franklin is home to the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, a world-class venue that offers entertainment from all genres of music and Broadway shows. Head downtown Franklin on Saturday evenings from Memorial Day thru late October for Picking’ on the Square, a free concert right in the heart of the historic district. Country, Blue Grass, Classic Rock, Beach Music, and more!

We invite you to walk Main Street in Franklin and see some of the handmade local item made by local crafters. We also have two full-service craft beer breweries in Franklin, bookmarking opposite ends of Main Street. They are both family friendly venues and are great places to enjoy an evening enjoying locally crafted beer. If you’re looking for a finer fare to dine on, check out Café Rel or Gracious Plates. Exquisite cuisine and a refreshing way to end the day!

After a day of retail therapy head over to Nantahala Lake, a water-sports enthusiasts happy place. From paddle boarding to pontoon boats, jet skiing to speed boating, with over 80% of the lake’s shoreline undeveloped and owned by the National Forest Service, ensuring the lake remains a serene and peaceful getaway. Have your own boat? Bring it along to one of our two public boat launches. Need a boat of just about any kind, head over to Lake’s End Marina and rent a boat of your choosing. Make sure you stop in at the Café & Grill for lunch and dinner!

We invite you to join us in 2024 in Franklin and Nantahala North Carolina – your gateway to adventure!


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