Nantahala Bikeway

North Carolina

Nantahala Bikeway Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Swain
Length: 1.2 miles
Trail end points: Nantahala Center and Nantahala Gorge (raft launch site)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017321
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Nantahala Bikeway Description

The 1.2-mile Nantahala Bikeway extends from the Nantahala Outdoor Center to the Nantahala Gorge raft launch site in the Nantahala National Forest. A half-mile of the trail follows an abandoned spur of the Murphy Branch, now the popular Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The spur was used to carry steel and other materials to build a power plant near the present boat launch site.

Trail users enjoy mountain views and beautiful forested scenery through the river gorge. The area is known for its seasonal wildflowers and thickets of rhododendron. The river is also a popular spot for rafters and kayakers.

A bike lane on U.S. 19 offers those riding on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad excursion train to the gorge to hop off and safely access the trail (a short transition on SR 1100 to the paved trail).

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at both ends of the trail, off of US Highway 19/74. For parking at the southern terminus, turn east on Wayah Road. To park at the northern terminus, turn east onto a Forest Service Road from US 19/74 and cross the river. For more information, contact:

Nantahala National Forest, Nantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
828-524-6441

Nantahala Bikeway Reviews

I really like Greenways.

This quaint ride through the forest is feet away from the Nantaha- yes the same one with rafters screaming down the rapids. Two bridges on one side where the kayaks and rafts pass under starts the trail from the Winding Stair side. I had only two complaints: there was no signage letting you know which place was correct, and if you have a road bike, beware of about 8- places where the roots have grown up into the pavement. Other than that, it was terrific- worth the drive over.

Short but Sweet!

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