Nantahala National Forest
Nantahala National Forest is the largest national forests in North Carolina, located in the mountains and valleys of western North Carolina. The elevation range from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County, to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along the Hiwassee River below the Appalachian Dam. It is the home of many western NC waterfalls. The last part of the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway travels through this forest. Several areas of old-growth forest have been identified in the Nantahala National Forest, totaling some 30,800 acres, The Joyce Kilmer Wilderness in particular contains nearly 6,000 acres. Several hiking trails pass through the forest including the Appalachian, Bartram, Foothills, and Mountains-to-Sea Trails making the area a premiere hiking destination.