Nantahala National Forest
Located in the western part of North Carolina is the Nantahala National
Forest. Covering more than 516,000 acres and reaching
peaks of 5,800 feet at the Lone Bald as well as lows of
1,200 feet on the Tusquitee River, the Nantahala offers
numerous trails, waterfalls, mountains and other outdoor
activities for you to enjoy. Mountains included, but are
not limited to, are the Stand Mountains, the Snowbird Mountains,
and Whiteside Mountains.
Whiteside Mountain is 7 miles from Highlands, NC. It has a 2 mile hiking trail where you will see massive crags that have attracted rock climbers since the days of De Soto. Along the trails is flora and fauna like the American goldfinch, the rose breasted grosbeak, mountain laurel, and Lilly of the valley. The Snowbird area has 7 trails that cover 37 miles and range from easy to difficult. You can also bring along your poles and tackle box for fishing as Snowbird Creek is plentiful in brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout. It is important to note that some fishing sites are only accessible by wading upstream or hiking. The Snowbird area has magnificent waterfalls that can be seen by hiking the somewhat rigorous Big Snowbird Creek Trail. Other activities include camping and picnicking.
If you are in the Snowbird area, and would like a break from the outdoor adventures
and activity, you can find lodging at Snowbird Mountain
Lodge. The Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places and is known for its incredible mountain views from
its many decks. It provides gourmet meals that equal the
food found in eateries in Asheville, NC or the Highlands.
The Nantahala River Provides World-Class Rafting