Community Spotlight: Andrews & Nanatahala Gorge

//Community Spotlight: Andrews & Nanatahala Gorge

Andrews is located in a serene valley in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Valley Town Township is a long open valley floor that appears against the towering mountains surrounding this peaceful community. Valley River Mountains to the south, Snowbird Mountains to the north which are both a part of the Nantahala National Forest.

Beyond the eastern side of town, you enter the deep Nantahala River Gorge country, where visitors can enjoy whitewater rafting. Located southeasterly of Andrews is Lake Nantahala, a 3000 feet elevation crystal clear lake with boating, and world-class trout fishing.

Andrews is home to host The Annual Western North Carolina Wagon Train held in late June to July that travels wagons and horseback.

The Andrews Valley Music Festival, is held annualy and is the largest FREE festival. Celebrating the heritage with unique arts, crafts, variety of foods and top musical acts (both national and regional) on multiple stages.

The historic downtown district is lined with brick buildings and storefronts that date back to the turn of the 20th century. Large historic homes dot the downtown district reminding us of a time when the railroad brought prosperity.

Today Andrews, Franklin, Murphy, and Hayesville have quaint antiques, galleries, plus other unique shopping. Local produce provides great restaurants in the area for visitors to try home cooking or fine dining and all are welcome to visit the local Wineries & Brewing venues that offer live entertainment on weekends.

Enjoy other outdoor recreational activities like Ziplining at RidgeRunner’s, Horseback Riding at Nantahala Village, Gem Mining, or riding the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Bryson City.

Nantahala Gorge is one of the country’s prime whitewater rafting rivers, and consists of eight miles of waves and swift currents. The trip down the river takes a little over three hours and is almost continuous Class I and Class II rapids, with an optional Class III falls at the end.

The Nantahala is divided into three sections, with different fishing regulations for each, so please inquire for restrictions. The two Upper Nantahala from the dam to White Oak Creek is classified as Trout Waters. The Upper Nantahala has a consistent flow which offers people scenic views of cascades and waterfalls. The Lower Nantahala, along the floor of the Nantahala Gorge downstream of the power plant is also classified as Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters.

This wonderful destination in North Carolina is a must for you to come “Escape” to the cool waters of the Nantahala or enjoy Andrews to relax in this legendary area, known for it’s beauty.