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The 1.2-mile Nantahala Bikeway extends from National Forest Rd./Winding Stairs Rd. 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 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
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