Franklin is a small town in Macon County, North Carolina just about fifteen miles north of the Georgia/North Carolina State line. The town sits within the Nantahala National Forest and is surrounded by many beautiful waterfalls and hikes. Franklin is also where my grandma lives. I love visiting her as it is a great escape from the hectic and fast-paced life of living in Southern California. Her house sits on 5 acres of beautiful grass prairie surrounded with lush green trees and a clear view of Scaly Mountain. A brook runs just twenty feel behind her house and at night with the windows open it’s constant sound gently lulls you to sleep. During the summer night fireflies dance around the trees and the sky is full of bright stars.
We usually visit in August when it is hot and humid but we can escape the heat by tubing down the Little Tennessee River, sliding down the waterfall at Sliding Rock, swimming in a nearby lake, or simply wading in the brook behind the house. Every Saturday night in the summer, downtown Franklin hosts “Pickin’ On The Square”. The streets surrounding the downtown gazebo area are closed off and large groups of people bring their chairs to sit and enjoy local entertainment and music, while some do spontaneous line dancing to the sounds. Franklin in October is beautiful when the leaves are changing colors as fall sets in. The Nantahala Forest turns from dense bright green to various shades of green, red, orange, and yellow as the days pass. It gets cool during the day and cold at night. This is my favorite time to visit Franklin for hiking because the weather is perfect during the day. Franklin is just a little over an hours drive to Asheville, home of the Biltmore Estate. This is a great day trip to visit the historic mansion and it’s lovely gardens. We usually take a day trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is a beautiful drive over the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway. There are many things to do in Gatlinburg including my favorite, moonshine tasting at the many moonshine distilleries.
Waterfalls are abundant around Franklin. The largest one, Dry Falls, has a nice parking area and foot path down to the falls were you can walk underneath the 75 foot falls. Bridal Veil Falls is right off the U.S. 64 and is visible from the road. In the summer Bridal Veil Falls is rather small but during the wet season it is more impressive. Cullasaja Falls can be seen from U.S. 64 or hiked to for a better view by taking a short but rather steep trail through some rough terrain. Sliding Rock is always fun in the summer. This natural waterslide can get crowded in the summer with people jumping in the water towards the top and sliding down the face of the smooth rocks in the rushing water. These are just a few of the wonderful waterfalls in the Franklin area. Hiking trails are just as abundant in the area. My favorite hike is at Chimney Rock State Park. It is a somewhat strenuous climb up many stairs to get to the top but definitely worth the view of the valley and river below. Everywhere you turn in Southwest North Carolina is a new outdoor adventure. I have just started exploring the area and I have been going there for over ten years!