Whether you’re looking for a socially distant adventure on some of the most famous trails and rivers in the southeastern United States or you’re looking for a small-town getaway that helps you escape the crowds of the city, Franklin & Nantahala are where you need to be! We’re centrally located to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway, offering visitors the perfect starting spot to venture out and explore nature’s paradise.
Welcome to Franklin & Nantahala. 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 recreate responsibly and remain socially distant while doing it.
The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway takes you through the Cullasaja River Gorge, the mountain town of Franklin into the Nantahala Community. Continue on past the lake and you will wind up driving along the Nantahala River in the Nantahala River Gorge. Along the way, you will 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.
Those seeking world-class whitewater will need to look no further than the Nantahala River. Year-round kayaking along with additional dam releases, offer Class III & IV rapids. The Cullasaja, Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers also offer fantastic fly-fishing spots as well.
Nantahala Lake is a water sports enthusiasts paradise. 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.
We’re not all outside adventure here in the mountains. Franklin’s downtown Main Street has been compared to the “Norman Rockwell paintings” of classic American towns. With many specialty shops, three museums, two craft breweries, and fine dining all within walking distance, you’re sure to find something for everyone in your family to enjoy.
Looking for some A-List entertainment? We have that too! The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts is a world class venue that has legendary music performances from genres such as Country, Contemporary Christian, Oldies, and more. They also have Broadway Show performances and musicals year round, so there’s always a place to go for a night out.
Franklin, NC is also known as the “Gem Capital of the World”. Our area is rich in gem mining history and we have 10 active gem mines that families have returned to for generations seeking to sift the dirt and find raw gems and minerals from the dirt from actual local mines. Grab a bucket and start sifting, you are sure to find a variety of gems such as aquamarine, citrine, emerald, garnet, rose quartz, ruby, sapphire, smoky quartz, staurolite, topaz, and many more.
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, scenic mountain views, or a quiet small town getaway, Franklin and Nantahala have something to offer for everyone to enjoy. We invite you to Get to Know Your Mountain Side in Nature’s Paradise, Franklin and Nantahala North Carolina. We are your gateway to adventure in 2021!