It's all about the creek…and the mountains

Franklin – It’s Worth a Trip Over the Mountain

Franklin, NC – it’s worth a trip over the mountain!  Head on over to Franklin for a day filled with museums, gem-mining, shopping, waterfalls and more!  Located just 28 miles east of Casa on the Creek, Franklin offers something for just about everyone in the family, of all ages. 
                                                                             So let’s make a day of it!

franklin nc

If you’re an early riser, start with a morning visit to Rufus Morgan Falls and the approach to Franklin.  A short, easy-to-moderate trail one-mile (roundtrip) leads you up to this beautiful 60-foot waterfall in the Nantahala forest.  The trail is well-marked. From the gravel parking area, it’s easiest to hike up to the falls by going counter-clockwise on the trail. It’s a moderate, but short climb and doable for even the youngest kids.  And the views of the falls are the big pay-off, as the water tumbles down the rockface surrounded by huge rock outcroppings and nearby rivulets coming down off the mountains.

After your visit to the falls, continue on for several miles and visit Wayah Bald and the Wayah Fire Tower.  On the way, you can visit the Wilson Lick Ranger Station and learn more about the national forest, trails, wildlife and more. Continue another 3 miles to Wayah Bald which provides a beautiful view of Franklin. From the parking area, a short paved trail leads up to the historic Wayah Bald Fire Tower.  The roof structure of the tower was destroyed during the autumn wildfires of 2016 but has since been rebuilt. The tower offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

wayah fire tower

By now you’re probably ready for some lunch, so head over to the town of Franklin for your choice of cafes, bakeries, craft breweries and more.  Some of our favorites are:
Caffe Rel
Gazebo Creekside Cafe
Frogtown Market
Lazy Hiker Brewing Company
Note: If you plan to visit any of these restaurants, or any others in town,
it’s always a good idea to call ahead and verify hours of operation.

After lunch it’s time to check out the several small museums in Franklin.  Want to learn about all things Scottish?  Visit the Scottish Tartans Museum right downtown.  Interested in the local geology of our mountains? Visit Ruby City Gems or the Franklin Gem & Mineral Museum.  Learn more about the general history of Franklin and what it was like to live in the Appalachians years ago at the Macon County Historical Museum. Learn more about these local museums at

scottish tartans museum
ruby city gems

Finally, end your day with a quiet late afternoon stroll along The Little Tennessee River Greenway, a walking/biking trail that meanders along the Little Tennessee River in Franklin, offering great views of the river and quiet spots to stop and rest after a busy day before heading back home to Casa on the Creek and our little corner of the mountains.

Thanks for visiting Franklin, NC!

Cherokee Indian Museum

Cherokee Heritage Day
Cherokee Indians
Cherokee Indians
Cherokee Indians

If You’re lucky enough to be in our little corner of the mountains this week, be sure not to miss Cherokee Heritage Day in the city of Cherokee, NC.  Just a ninety-minute drive from Blackwell Branch Cabin and Gili’s Cove Cottage, a visit to Cherokee makes a perfect day trip.  The city is home to the Cherokee Indian Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of the Cherokee bands of Native Americans here in western North Carolina and the Trail of Tears—the forced resettlement of the Cherokee to the West.   

Experience the 11,000-year-old Cherokee story vividly. If your idea of a museum includes dusty displays tended by a boring curator, get ready to rediscover what a museum can be and this museum will captivate young and old alike.  On a visit to the museum, the visitor can learn about and experience every facet of Cherokee life through the many interactive videos, intriguing displays and exhibits. Stepping through the doors envelopes the visitor in a world where the Cherokee people’s spirit of inventiveness, resilience and will to survive are told in the stories and objects of the Cherokee people. The museum provides a moving experience that illustrates who the people of Cherokee really are, where they came from, and why they’re still here and it’s a journey that you won’t soon forget.

OPEN: 7 days/week year-round. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Summer Hours: (Jun–Aug): 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sundays.
Winter Hours: (Sep–May): 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

ADMISSION: Adults $11; Children (ages 6–12) $7; Children 5 and under admitted free.

LOCATION: 589 Tsali Blvd. Cherokee, NC, at the intersection of Tsali Blvd. and Drama Road.