Longer Hiking Trails for Adventure

//Longer Hiking Trails for Adventure

or Visit for a Day Trip in North Carolina’s Wilderness Area


Fires Creek Trail –  Hayesville

The 25-mile Rim Trail follows the ridge around Fires Creek Wildlife Management Area.  The trail, marked with blue blazes, has several access roads and trails. Camping offered at Huskins Branch Hunter and Bristol Horse Camps. Dispersed camping sites are along Forest Service Road 340.

Two picnic areas are near the Rim Trail. Fires Creek Picnic  Area offers 10 tables and a restroom. Other trails in the Fires Creek area are Chunky Gal and Bald Springs.  Along Rim Trail  which is a more difficult trail, are rhododendron and spring wildflowers, such as trillium, lady slipper, and Solomon’s seal.

Directions: From Hayesville:From Main Street, take Tusquitee Street (SR 1300), go about 4.4 miles. Turn right on SR 1344 and go about 0.7 miles. The road turns into FR 340 (gravel). Drive 0.1 mile to Fires Creek Hunt Camp and 0.3 miles to Rim Trail Trailhead.

Buckeye Creek to Wallace Branch –  Franklin

For Experienced Hikers or or bike riders, this means following a 14-mile country-road route from the Buckeye Creek Trailhead in the Fishhawks to the Wallace Branch Trailhead in the Nantahalas.  Section 3 of the North Carolina Bartram Trail leaves the Fishhawk Mountains crosses the Little Tennessee River Valley –  that has also designated an 11-mile portion of the Little Tennessee River from Otto to Franklin as a canoe section.  This leads in a  northwesterly direction to the Nantahala Mountains and doing so, the trail temporarily leaves the national forest, passes through privately owned land and skirts the town of Franklin.

Directions: From Franklin, from the US441/US64 junction south of Franklin, drive south on US 441 for 7 miles to Otto and turn left onto Tessentee Rd. Drive 3.8 miles to SR 1640, on left. Take SR 1640 for 0.6 miles, passing houses. Continue into the forest on gravel road for 0.1 mile to the trailhead parking area, on right (private property on left). From there, the Bartram Trail follows the logging road up past the Forest Service gate. Gravel parking lot on the right.

London Bald Trail

Hikers only. A length of 9 miles one-way, this trail climbs and contours a side slope at a high elevation and travels through a fern-covered forest floor. This most-difficult trail connects with the Appletree Trail and Bartram Trail.

Directions: From Franklin, take U.S. 64 west for about 3 miles. Turn right at LBJ/Wayah signs and take first left beside Loafer’s Glory Store onto Wayah Road (SR 1310), which goes over Wayah Gap and past Nantahala Lake. After passing Lake’s End Store, take first left onto Junaluska Road (SR 1401), toward Andrews for about 2.5 miles to Appletree Group Campground. Accessed by the Appletree campground or by Junaluska Road (SR 1401).