National Forest Map and facilities list
information including day-use, camping and picnicking.
The Nantahala River
The feature attraction of the region is a magnificent
river gorge. Nantahala means "land of the noonday sun"
because the steep gorge only gets direct sunlight during the middle
of the day. The Nantahala River is a mecca for whitewater sports
enthusiasts. You can bring your own kayak or raft, or rent one when
you get there.
Waters National Scenic Byway-
Some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery
in the southern Appalachians includes two river gorges and rural
countryside. There is easy access to a wide variety of adventure
on this 61.3 mile drive that winds through southern Appalachian
hardwood forest, two spectacular river gorges, and rural countryside.
From Highlands to Almond, the route follows US 64, old US 64, NC
1310, and US 19 through Nantahala National Forest. For the first
7.5 miles, the by-way travels through picturesque Cullasaja Gorge.
The winding road parallels the river's most rugged course and offers
scenic views of the river and waterfalls. If you stop at Bridal
Veil Falls along the way, your car can get a natural car wash.
Hundreds of miles of hiking trails wind through Nantahala.
It's a great place to enjoy the peace and wonder of nature, whatever
your hiking ability.
The Nantahala National Forest offers full-featured
campgrounds as well as primitive and group campgrounds. Visit the
National Forest Map and Facilities page
for locations of campgrounds. Get the official
NFS info for mountain camping (PDF format) and info about reserving
sites. We do not make reservations for camping, nor do we have
anything else to do with the campgrounds.
Bike and Horse area on Fontana Lake, also offers
camping and boat launch facilities.
Kilmer / Slickrock area
No poetry is likely to convey the magnificence of
the southern Appalachian virgin hardwood forest that you will find
in the memorial forest named for the author of the poem "Trees".
Lakes & Rivers
The Nantahala National Forest is a great place for
water lovers. Along with the namesake river and gorge, there are
impressive waterfalls, including the highest waterfall in the east
- Whitewater Falls.