Summer is a wonderful time to explore the great outdoors and soak up the sunshine. If you’re looking for an unforgettable summer adventure, look no further than Franklin and Nantahala in North Carolina. These two destinations offer endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration, from hiking and kayaking to swimming and fishing.

Franklin, North Carolina is known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant downtown area. The town is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. Which is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country. One of the top attractions in Franklin is the Little Tennessee River Greenway. Which is a 5-mile paved trail that follows the Little Tennessee River. This trail is perfect for walking, jogging, and biking, and it offers breathtaking views of the river and surrounding mountains.

Another must-see location in Franklin is the historic Wayah Bald Lookout Tower. This tower sits at an elevation of 5,385 feet. And offers panoramic views of the Nantahala National Forest Blue Ridge, and Smoky Mountains. To reach the tower, take a scenic drive up Wayah Road, and along the way, you’ll find Rufus Morgan Falls. A one-mile loop hike to a 60 foot waterfall and Wilson Lick Ranger Station. Built in 1916, it was the first ranger station for the Nantahala National Forest.

Nantahala River Gorge

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, head to the Nantahala River Gorge to one of the local whitewater rafting outfitters. There you’ll find a wide range of outdoor activities, including whitewater rafting, ziplining, and mountain biking. You can spend the day exploring the trails and rivers,. Or take a guided tour to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

The Nantahala Community is another top destination for summer adventures. The area is located in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest. Which is home to some of the most pristine wilderness areas in the country. One of the top attractions in Nantahala is the Nantahala River, which is known for its crystal-clear water and world-class whitewater rapids. You can spend the day rafting or kayaking down the river, or take a leisurely swim in one of the many swimming holes.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back adventure, head to Nantahala Lake. The lake covers an area of approximately 1,600 acres and is surrounded by stunning mountain views and lush forests, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Of the 42 miles of shoreline surrounding Nantahala Lake, over 80 percent is owned by the National Forest Service, ensuring it will remain a haven for peace and quiet in the mountains.

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For those who love to fish, the Nantahala River is home to some of the best trout fishing in the country. You can spend the day casting your line and trying to catch a trophy trout. Or simply enjoy the peaceful serenity of the river. Fishing on Nantahala Lake is also a popular activity for locals and visitors alike. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish, making it a great spot for both fly fishing and spin casting.

No matter what type of adventure you’re looking for, Franklin and Nantahala have something to offer everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or just looking to explore the natural beauty of the area, these destinations are sure to provide an unforgettable summer adventure. So, pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and get ready to explore the stunning landscapes of Franklin and Nantahala North Carolina. 

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