This is a guide of local information,
attractions and activities that are located within easy traveling distance of
the scenic Nantahala River Gorge. Some of the things that you may want to enjoy
during your stay in addition to the whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River
include the Appalachian Trail, Biltmore Estate, Blue Ridge Parkway, Bryson City
and Swain County, Cherohala Skyway, Cherokee Indian Reservation, Cherokee
Indian Village, Fishing, Fontana Lake and Fontana Dam, Gatlinburg, Great Smoky
Mountains National Park, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Hiking, Horseback
Riding, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Mountain Farm and Museum, Nantahala River
Gorge, Pigeon Forge, Tsali Bike Trails, Western North Carolina Waterfalls and
Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama.
THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL
The Appalachian Trail is a
2,174 mile footpath which travels along the ridge crests and across the major
valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Springer Mountain in northern Georgia
to Katahdin in Maine. The trail traverses Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee,
Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York,
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
George Vanderbilt created Biltmore
Estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in 1895 as a retreat for
family and friends. The Biltmore House is a magnificent 250-room French style
chateau filled with priceless art and antiques. Renowned American landscape
architect, Frederick Law Olmstead designed the spectacular Biltmore Estate
Gardens. The estate is home to the award-winning Biltmore Estate Vineyards and
Winery. The fabulous Biltmore Estate offers over 8,000 acres of forests,
farmlands, and rivers.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
The Blue Ridge Parkway provides
both stunning scenery and close-up views of the natural and the cultural
history of the southern Appalachian Mountains. The Parkway meanders 469 miles
and connects the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. There are many
overlooks, picnic and camping facilities, hiking trails, and natural and
cultural areas for visitors to enjoy. There are many historic structures,
museums, folk art centers, visitor centers, and points of interest along the
BRYSON CITY AND SWAIN COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA
City, rich in natural beauty, is a quiet country town located in Swain County
in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. It has a beautiful
natural setting with long range mountain vistas, trout streams, mountain lakes,
rushing rivers, waterfalls, lush forests, and a profusion of beautiful native
plants and flowers. Swain County is home to the largest portion of The Great
Smoky Mountains National Park, and has long been a popular vacation
The Cherohala Skyway is a 36 mile
long scenic highway traversing nearly 6,000 foot tall deeply forested mountains
in North Carolina and Tennessee. The road travels through bith the Cherokee
National Forest and the Nantahala National Forest from which its name
hala" was taken. There is little evidence of civilization from the
spectacular views enjoyed on the Cherohala Skyway.
CHEROKEE INDIAN RESERVATION
Cherokee Indian Reservation is home to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. It is
located in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina and has been a
part of the Cherokee's homeland for thousands of years. Today, Cherokee is the
center of the tirbe's history and culture and they welcome worldwide visitors
to their homeland with activities and experiences for all ages.
FONTANA DAM AND FONTANA LAKE
Fontana Dam is located
in Western North Carolina and is the highest Dam in the Eastern United States.
It rises 480 foot high and stretches 2,365 feet across the Little Tennessee
River forming the 10,230 acres of Fontana Lake. The Lake stretches 29 miles in
length and has 238 miles of unspoiled shoreline. Fontana offers some of the
best lake fishing in the Southeast and it provides recreational opportunities
for water sports including swimming, water skiing, jet boating and motor
Gatlinburg is a popular resort town known
as the "Gateway to the Smokies" because it joins the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park in East Tennessee. Gatlinburg is known for its resort atmosphere,
scenic natural setting, & its great variety of unique shops &
restaurants. Visitors stroll the inviting streets of this quaint resort town
all hours of the day & night all year long!
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
The Great Smoky Mountains
National Park was established by Congress in 1934 and is the largest national
park in the Eastern United States, consisting of over 500,000 acres of
wilderness in the Appalachian Highlands of North Carolina and Tennessee. It
encompasses over 800 square miles, and it is the most popular of our national
parks with over 9 million visitors per year. The Park offers panoramic views,
many miles of unspoiled mountains, lush forests and tumbling mountain streams
like those found by the early American Settlers. The Great Smoky Mountains
National Park is renowned for the multitude and the diversity of its plant and
animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its
remnants of Southern Appalachian Mountain culture.
NANTAHALA RIVER GORGE
The Nantahala River flows
through the scenic Nantahala River Gorge in Swain and Macon Counties in the
Nantahala National Forest of Western North Carolina. The 8 ½ mile
stretch of the river from the Beechertown Power Plant to Fontana Lake is home
to the most popular whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking in the Southeast.
In addition to the whitewater sports, the Nantahala River Gorge provides for a
variety of additional recreational activities including fishing, hiking,
gemstone mining, picnicing, photography, plant and wildlife viewing, bird
watching and viewing the popular whitewater sports.
Pigeon Forge is a popular action
packed tourist town located within easy driving distance to the Nantahala River
Gorge. Pigeon Forge grew steadily after the formation of the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. Pigeon Forge has a large variety of dinner shows and
music theaters. It is home to the famous Dollywood theme park and the Dixie
Stampede Diner Show. It has excellent shopping with its over 200 factory outlet
stores in shopping malls.
THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON
The Tail of The Dragon, a
popular motorcycle and sports car road, is famous for its 318 curves in eleven
miles. It begins at Deals Gap in North Carolina, winds through the remote and
scenic mountain area bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and
ends at the Tabcat Bridge in Tennessee. Tour groups from all over the United
States, and worldwide come to experience the thrill of "Riding the Dragon".
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