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What to see and do


High adventure, beautiful scenery, and wonderful activities!


Recreation & Attractions in Franklin, NC

Whether you’re looking for high adventure, beautiful scenery or a week on the greens, the richness and diversity of our beautiful mountains provides for a multitude of wonderful activities. Here are some ideas of ways to spend your time during your stay in Franklin, NC – home of mountain treasures and simple pleasures.

This area is rich in a variety of hiking trails. This listing can only cover a few -highlights. The Appalachian Trail (Georgia to Maine) passes just a few miles West of Franklin, and can be accessed at many places. The Bartram Trail also passes through Franklin, going East-West, and offers many highlights. Learn more about hiking.

In addition to some wonderful trout streams, we have trout farms where all you have to bring is a desire for fresh trout for dinner. They’ll furnish the bait and tackle, you cast and catch, they clean, and you provide the skillet for cooking. Both Out-of-State and Residential Hunting & Fishing Licences are available in locations throughout the area. Click for Fishing Businesses.

Canoeing, Rafting & Tubing
White water rafting or kayaking are available on the famous Nantahala and Ocoee Rivers. Other area streams including the Little Tennessee River are perfect for Canoeing & Tubing. Area Outfitters can accommodate large and small groups, beginners and aces. Click for Rafting Businesses or Kayaking, Canoeing & Tubing Businesses.

Horseback Riding
Take in the spectacular views of the Nantahala National Forest on horseback. Four trails are located adjacent to the Hurricane Primitive Campground, just west of Franklin, ranging from 3.5 to 8 miles in length. The Hurricane Creek Horse Camp has stalls available which are required for overnight lodging of horses.

For those who do not own their own horses, local stables provide rides for a nominal fee. Reservations are strongly recommended but not required. Click for Horseback Riding Businesses.

We wouldn’t be a destination point without golf, so pack your clubs and your golf shoes and plan on hitting the greens early. With our wonderfully mild weather, there are few times when you will have the course to yourself. Click for Golf Courses.

A true cycling paradise, Franklin, NC has great scenic views and winding roads for motorcyclists and a fair share of bicycle events and has become a natural hub for the sport. Biking enthusiasts have found nearby terrain ideal and the trail possibilities endless. Click for more cycling info.

Rafting isn’t the only water sport people enjoy during their visit to the North Carolina mountains. Kayaking information can be found here.

Nantahala National Forest
The Nantahala is the largest of North Carolina’s four National Forests. Over 152,000 acres of the forest lie within Macon County. The forest offers a wide variety of recreation activities from mountain climbing and hiking to white water rafting. You’ll also find abundant wildlife, unique plant communities and wildflowers including endangered species of plants, waterfalls and breathtaking mountain vistas. Be sure to keep your camera handy as your explore some of the oldest mountains on earth. Learn more about Nantahala National Forest.

Visit one of the area’s zipline tours for an adventuresome day. Flying down ziplines and walking through nature trails are just a couple of the activities available. Check out these tour companies for more information.

  • Highlands Aerial Park

    Address: 9625 Dillard Rd
    Scaly Mountain
    Toll Free: (855) 947-6344
    Highlands Aerial Park is the closest zip line facility to the Franklin area and offers adventure for the entire family. Located at the top of High Holly Mountain between Dillard, Ga. and Highlands, N C,  Fly through and over the old growth forest with long range views of mile high mountains. The Brave Indian family course is designed for 5 years old and up. 5 star Trip Advisor rating.  Visit for details or phone 828-526-8773
  • Nantahala Outdoor Center

    Address: 13077 Hwy. 19 West
    Bryson City
    Toll Free: (800) 232-7238
    Nantahala Outdoor Center is located at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and the Nantahala River. A mecca for outdoor enthusiasts since 1972, NOC’s 500-acre campus boasts exciting adventures – choose to whitewater raft, zipline, mountain bike, hike, or explore Lake Fontana in a kayak or SUP. Check out NOC’s riverfront restaurants, shopping, and stay the night in a trailside cabin!  You can reach us by email at .

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