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. We recommend taking a scenic drive from Buttercup Haven to Highlands via US Highway 64E. There are three falls along the way – Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls, and… Read more »

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Franklin North Carolina is known as the “Gem Mining Capital Of The World” and it’s a great family activity and popular among children in particular. 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. Rose Creek Mine… Read more »

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Bring your own bike or rent one from Motion Makers Bike Shop in Sylva. A list of easy, intermediate, and difficult bike trails can be found on the Franklin Chamber website. The Tsali mountain bike trail system attracts thousands of biking enthusiasts to the area every year and offers four loops and 40 miles of nationally… Read more »

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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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Whether you are looking for a short, family-friendly walk or something more strenuous, the following links will offer plenty of options. Our top pick is the family-friendly Little Tennessee River Greenway which runs through Franklin. It’s great for a short walk or jogging. The trail offers wheelchair-accessible paved trails, off-trail hiking, and bike trails. There is… Read more »

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Catalooche Ski Area

Some fun winter outdoor activities for all the family to enjoy. Sapphire Valley Ski Resort is 28 miles away in Sapphire, NC. Click here for directions. The resort website is a great source of information on the resort’s amenities, which includes a ski school and a tube park. You can access a trail map, snow report,… Read more »

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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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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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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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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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