Nantahala National Forest

Explore the mountains and valleys of southwestern North Carolina.

Explore the mountains and valleys of southwestern North Carolina.

Nantahala National Forest

Explore its Scenic Beauty and Abundant Adventures

"Nantahala" is a Cherokee word meaning "land of the noon day sun," a fitting name for the Nantahala Gorge, where the sun only reaches to the valley floor at midday. The largest of North Carolina's four National Forests, the Nantahala encompasses 531,148 acres and is divided into three Districts in the westernmost section of North Carolina::

With over 600 miles of trails, visitors to the Nantahala National Forest can explore many recreational activities including whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping. This page primarily covers the recreational outdoor adventures within and nearby to Swain County, home of Bryson City.

To visit the Nantahala National Forest website, click here.

Find All There is to do in the Nantahala Gorge


Tsali Recreation Area near Bryson City is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Cycling, hiking, horseback riding, camping, and a boat ramp on Fontana Lake are just a few of the activities available here.

More Things To Do in Bryson City


Explore the deep history and culture of Bryson City, Western North Carolina and the…