Nantahala Bikeway

North Carolina

5 Reviews

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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

Nantahala Bikeway Description

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 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

Nantahala Bikeway Reviews

green and serene!

mellow, beautifully paved and short trail perfect after a long drive on winding roads. Good place to watch the ww rafters start their adventure. Next time, we plan to join!

Nantahala Bikeway AKA Laurie's Trail

This is a short but sweet trail. If your are biking you can continue your ride up Wayah Rd. to the cascades of the upper Nantahala and even further on the Old River Rd. This trail does not start at the Nantahala Outdoor Center as advertised. It starts at Winding Stairs Rd. and ends at the commercial raft put in. This is about six miles west of NOC and just off highway 19/74. During rafting season (March thru October) start at Winding Stairs Rd. parking area just off 19/74, cross 2 bridges and follow the trail along the river. This is part of the Bartram Trail System.

Nantahala Greenway

I really like Greenways.

Loved it!

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.


Nantahala bike path

Short but Sweet!

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