Bartram Trail Wallace Branch to Nantahala Lake

Franklin, North Carolina

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1 Review
4 out of 5
This segment resumes hiking on foot trails through national-forest land. However, end-to-end hikers’ relief at having completed the road walk portion of the Bartram Trail may soon turn into disdain: the BT goes up and down, up and down, and ever up along Trimont Ridge, leading to weary legs and shot lungs. Pass by wildlife clearings and a closed, hazardous mica mine before intersecting the Appalachian Trail near Wayah Bald. Climb in conjunction with the AT to reach Wayah Bald and the crest of the Nantahala Mountains. Atop this peak is a stone observation tower with informative signs that will amaze you as much as the view of an endless sea of mountains. The AT and BT continue together another couple of miles to reach Wine Spring, a fine source of water equal to its name. Here, the trails part ways and the Bartram Trail follows a lonely path along McDonald Ridge away from the Nantahalas, making a rugged and spectacular ridge walk to descend precipitously to Nantahala Lake. Cruise along the lake before reaching a store and campground where limited food and supplies can be purchased. The campground has showers and should you want to step to the next level of luxury, cabins. The campground marks the end of this section.

Bartram Trail: Wallace Branch to Nantahala Lake Professional Review and Guide

"This segment resumes hiking on foot trails through national-forest land. However, end-to-end hikers’ relief at having completed the road walk portion of the Bartram Trail may soon turn into disdain: the BT goes up and down, up and down, and ever up along Trimont Ridge, leading to weary legs and shot lungs. Pass by wildlife clearings and a closed, hazardous mica mine before intersecting the Appalachian Trail near Wayah Bald. Climb in conjunction with the AT to reach Wayah Bald and the crest of the Nantahala Mountains.

Atop this peak is a stone observation tower with informative signs that will amaze you as much as the view of an endless sea of mountains. The AT and BT continue together another couple of miles to reach Wine Spring, a fine source of water equal to its name. Here, the trails part ways and the Bartram Trail follows a lonely path along McDonald Ridge away from the Nantahalas, making a rugged and spectacular ridge walk to descend precipitously to Nantahala Lake. Cruise along the lake before reaching a store and campground where limited food and supplies can be purchased. The campground has showers and should you want to step to the next level of luxury, cabins. The campground marks the end of this section."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Franklin
Distance: 18.8
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Year-round, but high country can be rough in winter
Trailhead Elevation: 2,400 feet
Top Elevation: 5,300 feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Bartram Trail: Wallace Branch to Nantahala Lake

Recent Trail Reviews

1/3/2008
0

My sister and I section hiked from Wallace Branch up to Wilkes Knob and back. It was 10 degrees when we set off at 9:10 AM. We arrived at Wilkes Knob at about 12:10 PM. Much quicker on the way back, we returned to Wallace Branch at 2:30PM. The trail was in good condition altho a covered in snow and icy at parts.



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May 2018