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!
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.
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:
Gazebo Creekside Cafe
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 www.discoverfranklinnc.com
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!