Outdoor Attractions

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Two scenic railway excursions run from Bryson City through the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina, providing a day trip for all the family to enjoy. Select from one of two excursions from March to December. The Tuckasegee River excursion runs on Saturdays only in Jan & Feb. Nantahala Gorge is a 4.5-hour round trip into the Nantahala Gorge. It stops at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and… Read more »

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Whitewater Falls

Whitewater Falls, NC

If you love waterfalls, you’ve come to the right place! There are several area waterfalls within a short drive, including Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls and Glen Falls and Cullasaja Falls. See more here. Just over an hour’s drive from Buttercup Haven is Whitewater Falls on the Whitewater River in the Jocassee Gorge area of North Carolina –… Read more »

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Lake Nantahala (Fishing & Boating)

Nantahala National Forest

Lake Nantahala is one of the most pristine lakes in North Carolina. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains in Macon County, the Lake has a surface area of 1,605 acres; sits at over 3,000 feet above sea level and boasts over 20 miles of shoreline. About half of the lake sits within the Nantahala National… Read more »

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Scenic Drives

There are three recommended Franklin trips including the Scenic Highway 64 to Lake Lure. Along this roadway, you will see beautiful waterfalls, such as Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls, and Cullasaja Falls. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers more than half a million acres, making it the largest national park in the East. A scenic… Read more »

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Where Shadows Walk

Haunted history walking tours begin at the gazebo on Franklin’s town square on main street each Friday and Saturday evening (Thursdays also in June, July and August). Special late night ghost tours and in-house tours are also available. Check website for recommendations regarding suitability for children.

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Waterfalls

There are 16 scenic waterfalls in Southwestern North Carolina, including areas of the Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be sure to check out Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls just outside of Highlands. Click here for a list of waterfalls, including a map and guide. Or, click… Read more »

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Gem Mining

This is a popular activity, particularly with children. Most gem mines operate from early Spring through late Fall. Be sure to wear old clothes. For a list of locations and gem mining map, click here. Dating back to before 1897, Mason’s Ruby & Sapphire Mine is one of the most popular “dig your own” gem… Read more »

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