A picnic area is located nearby. Mammals include deer, black bear, cougar, wild boar, coyote, and groundhog. It was a mile back up hill to Wayah Bald then a four mile walk down a forest service road. 5,385 feet) an attraction that shouldn’t be missed. The section ends at Wayah Bald which has a firetower with excellent views. Wayah Bald is between Nantahala Lake and Franklin. Find a small picnic area at the very end of the turnaround. Then, in 1937, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a 60' three-story-high fire lookout tower at the summit. Such birds include wild turkey, ruffed grouse, rufous-sided towhee, bald eagle, yellow-bellied sapsucker, ovenbird, solitary vireo, scarlet tanager, white-breasted nuthatch, veery, golden-crowned kinglet, and multiple species of warbler. Late October is a good time to visit and see the colorful… The trail starts from Wayah Gap, an unassuming spot that is easy to miss. Why? This section of the AT begins at Winding Stair Gap where the trail leaves US 64. October 15, 2019, 5:30pm #1. With its summit conveniently located at the intersection of the heavily used Appalachian Trail and Bartram Trail, Wayah Bald is popular to hikers as a starting point, mid-point, and end-goal. and offers amazing views from an elevation of 5,342 feet. Follow signs. I did not so I decided to camp at the closest shelter. By the mid-1940s, cracks began to develop in the stone tower, allowing water in and damage to begin. With the passage of the Weeks Act in 1912, the Wayah Bald area became part of the Nantahala National Forest. Spend a fabulous day or two in Bryson City and the Great Smokies with waterfalls, hiking, rafting, food, and shopping. Since there were other nearby lookouts, the fire detection service at Wayah Bald was stopped in 1945. All the walking we did there felt light and easy without carrying the weight of our backpacks. Wayah Bald Lookout Tower, North Carolina. Read about the history of forestry and see the historic structures. Wayah's bald area is small, surrounded small trees stunted and pruned by the strong winds and icy winter weather. Today is different. I was able to see the gorgeous views from the top of the bald. On the drive to Wayah Bald, you can stop at the Wilson Lick Ranger Station (about three miles before you reach the summit). DirectionsTo reach Wayah Bald Lookout Tower Trail from Franklin, North Carolina, travel west along US 64 (Mountain Waters Byway) for 3.7 miles and turn right at the Wayah Bald directional sign (right on Old Murphy Road/State Road 1442, then a quick left onto State Road 1310/Wayah Road). Wilson Lick Ranger Station. Advice. It takes only around 2 hours and a half to get there. This past weekend, we camped at Lake Powhatan which is located in the Bent Creek area in the Pisgah National Forest. This is a good place to call it a day and settle in for the night. I look forward waking in the morning and watching the sun rise. Take a short hike from the summit parking area to climb an old stone fire tower, built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, to witness panoramic views of the southern Appalachian mountain chain. Wayah is a Cherokee word for "wolf," and the bald was named for the red wolves that roamed in abundance here. It was first built in the 1920s then it was rebuilt throughout the years until it was finally made out of stone and concrete. Also it was a Summer time, we didn’t have to bring a lot of winter gear. The mountain is named for "Wa ya", the Cherokee word for wolf, in tribute to the red wolves that lived on the peak prior to being locally eradicated in the mid-19th century. Nov 12, 2017 - See the mountain views from Wayah Bald Lookout Tower in the Nantahala National Forest near Franklin, North Carolina, located along the Appalachian Trail. Thanks. This is an area with whitewater opportunities but I’m more interested in hiking etc in the area and just wondered if anyone had any info/suggestions. Lake Powhatan Campground. The 50-foot stone tower, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, provides nice views of the Smoky and Unicoi mountains of the Nantahala and Little Tennessee valleys, but it is a small bald. The Camp Branch Fire around Wayah Bald in Macon County burned over 3,000 acres but only destroyed only one structure. A large clearing starting from Snowbird Gap and going all the way up to Siler Bald provides some of the best views on the North Carolina section of the AT. On the drive to Wayah Bald, you can stop at the Wilson Lick Ranger Station (about three miles before you reach the summit). Sitting on top of Wayah Bald lookout tower, I reminisced about the previous times I'd been there.The first time was when I hiked my first 20 mile day.The second was on a winter AT backpacking trip with friends. Wayah Bald This peak is just over a mile high and can be accessed via two routes: the Appalachian Trail or via paved Wayah Road and then about 3+ miles of graveled forest service road. Find more historic fire lookout towers to climb in the NC mountains. The road is closed during the winter months. You'll see the burned trees at the summit, but the entire drive up the mountain is very green! Bartram Trail is a 115-mile National Recreation Trail that stretches from northern Georgia to Cheoah Bald in North Carolina, named for William Bartram, a major American naturalist. Wayah Bald is a popular destination for travelers in North Carolina. (8). From Wayah Crest Picnic Area to Siler Bald is a very popular day hike along the AT. We packed pretty light this time since it was only for a night. This bald is easily accessible to cars, so be prepared to share the views. Evidence of Indian use of the bald as hunting grounds dates back to 300 BC. Wayah Bald has a vantage point of 5,342 ft. in elevation, located in the Nantahala National Forest. We really enjoyed this hike, but expected it to be an 8 mile hike one way. See more Nantahala Forest updates. If you come from Winding Stair Gap, the hike poses more of a challenge, as you’ll log almost 2,000 feet in elevation. A few hikers that were starting the Appalachian Trail were camping for the night. and offers amazing views from an elevation of 5,342 feet. Parking. The trail passes by a campsite at 0.9 miles and reaches 4100 foot Swinging Lick Gap at 1.2 miles. October 15, 2019, 5:30pm #1. Generations have come to this spot before a cabin was built by the Jones family in 1939. Later, in 1947, the top two floors of the tower were removed out of safety concerns. Closed January-March. We are delighted that the roof was rebuilt in early 2018 after a wildfire burned it in late 2016. Debated staying, but pushed on to a nice little camping spot right off trail after stopping to admire the panoramic views the Wesser fire tower offers. Turn right on FR 69 for 4.5 miles. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Jan 16, 2019 - Wayah Bald Lookout Tower near Franklin, North Carolina. Wayah Bald Lookout Tower, North Carolina. At 2.1 miles the trail passes 4383 foot Panther Gap. (Wayah means wolf in the Cherokee language). There are also information signs both along a rock wall near the base of the tower and on the second floor of the tower, each telling further historical and interpretive facts. Siler Bald will be one of your best options! Wayah Bald has a vantage point of 5,342 ft. in elevation in the Nantahala National Forest, near Franklin, North Carolina. View Wayah Bald Image Gallery - 21 Images. Sitting on top of Wayah Bald lookout tower, I reminisced about the previous times I'd been there.The first time was when I hiked my first 20 mile day.The second was on a winter AT backpacking trip with friends. Wilson Lick Ranger Station. There are toilets at the parking area, a welcome sight in the forest! Wayah Bald Lookout Tower: Tickets & Tours‎ Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine: Tickets & Tours‎ Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts: Tickets & Tours‎ Rose Creek Mine: Tickets & Tours‎ Old Cardinal Gem Mine: Tickets & Tours‎ Mason's Ruby & Sapphire Mine: … Shuttle drivers were a big … Fri, Apr 22, 2011, 7:00 PM: Details still depend on how many sign up for this and if we can do the shuttle.Plan A:We'll start at Wayah Bald and hike to Wayah Shelter about 1 1/2 mile in Friday night a Forest Service Road 69 is usually a packed gravel surface. More fine Southern Appalachian views from the summit of Siler Bald. The Forest is divided into three Districts, Cheoah in Robbinsville, NC, Tusquitee in Murphy, NC, and the Nantahala in Franklin, NC. Filmed with a GoPro HERO4 (February 2016). The signs on the second floor of the tower also depict which mountains can be seen from that vantage point on a clear day. Continue another 3 miles to Wayah Bald which provides a beautiful view of Franklin. If you have never done backpacking, this trip is a perfect trip for you. Franklin/Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter. Wayah Bald has a vantage point of 5,342 ft. in elevation in the Nantahala National Forest, near Franklin, North Carolina. BT. Wayah Bald Lookout Tower is located in the Nantahala National Forest just outside of Franklin, NC. No special permits are required for visiting Wayah Bald.No entrance/ admission fees. Wayah Bald has a parking area and is accessible via USFS 69 from Wayah Gap. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) is a 2,174-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. Getting There & Route Information. I was disappointed in my injury but I wasn’t upset. There is a large kiosk located halfway up the paved path between the parking area and summit, with several information signs explaining the history of Wayah Bald. Siler Bald via Wayah Gap: the hike The hike departs from the picnic area at Wayah Gap, located just off NC SR1310, Wayah Road (view maps and driving directions). Since this jewel of small town America offers so much to do, it's one of our top... Find and explore the historic fire lookout towers that still remain in the North Carolina mountains. Saved by RomanticAsheville.com Guide. Wayah Bald camping??? This past weekend, we camped at Lake Powhatan which is located in the Bent Creek area in the Pisgah National Forest. It’s one of the nicest shelters, with a wonderful view. Looking for a place to go backpacking for the first time? Short edit of our overnight hike on the Appalachian Trail to the Wesser Bald Fire Tower. These amenities allowed uninterrupted lookout service for up to two months at a time. Guidebook For This Area: Trail Map For This Area: MORE DETAILS. Camping at the Wayah Bald Lookout Towel (Beach Towel (32" x 64")) by Tim Stanley. Wayah Bald to Rocky Bald 8 Miles Rocky Bald to Jump Up 14.2 Jump Up to Brown Fork Gap 11 Brown Fork Gap to Cable Gap 6.1 Cable Gap to Fontana Dam 6.9 Total Miles: 46.2 Well we finally got another five day section of the AT in. (21), Climber's Log Entries Bird are abundant throughout the mountain slopes. I sat at Wayah Bald for almost three hours to see if I got a second wind to hike more. To the southeast you can make out Albert Mountain, complete with observatory tower on top, and to the south is Standing Indian Mountain. Wayah Bald is named for the red wolves once lived on its slopes. The largest of North Carolina's four National Forests, the Nantahala encompasses 531,148 acres with elevations ranging from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along Hiwassee River. See more stories about Pacific Northwest, U.S. National Parks, Parks Canada. Looking up the slopes from the base of Siler Bald. Short edit of our overnight hike on the Appalachian Trail to the Wesser Bald Fire Tower. Wayah Bald Lookout Tower is located in the Nantahala National Forest just outside of Franklin, NC. Apr 27, 2017 - Trail Journals : Backpacking and Hiking Journals Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. In the 1930s, the historic Wayah Bald Fire Tower was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Franklin was a sleepy little town, gave us fresh legs to hit the trail with. Then, in 1983, a hemlock-beam and cedar-shake roof was added to the second level, which is how the tower appears to this day. This is the highest point on the entire Bartram Trail and there are a few campsites in this area for overnight camping. Mar 5, 2017 - Hike the Appalachian Trail to Siler Bald near Franklin, NC, and score some exceptional, 360-degree views from a sun-drenched, grassy summit. Its historic fire tower affords great views of the southern Appalachian mountains in three states. Recommended "POIs" or Points of Interest located along Wayah Road: Note: We list POIs in order of their location, Franklin to Nantahala. Siler Bald from Wayah Gap – A Great Place for Your First Backpacking Trip. We parked at Wayah Gap parking area (35.1530401, -83.5811141). A visit to Wayah Bald and Tower is well worth the journey. 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