The furthest of the three main regions of North Carolina, the mountains in the southwest are home to Nantahala National Forest. This temperate rainforest’s name is derived from Cherokee Indians meaning “land of the noon day sun”. Better known for its dramatic and blazing fall colors of red, orange and yellow leaves, views at sunrise reward early-risers with gorgeous morning sun rays and fingers of cloudy “smoke” that weave through its peaks and valleys.
Tip: Depending on your base camp, any one of the forest's three districts – Cheoah near Robbinsville, Tusquitee near Murphy and Nantahala near Franklin – provide spectacular scenery. Get ready for some some remarkable hiking, trail running, pedaling and/or paddling in and around this southeastern outdoor paradise!