Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Winding Stair Gap and Highway 64
Franklin, NC 28734


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail - ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.

Connecting Town and Trail:

Hikers coming to the junction of Winding Stair Gap and Hwy 64 in Macon County, NC, usually can’t pass up the temptation to hitch a ride 11 miles down the road to the hiker-friendly town of Franklin. Macon County hosts 47 miles of the A.T., and Franklin sits 110 miles north of Springer Mountain, a perfect resupply point between Hiawassee, GA, and the Nantahala Outdoor Center ​in Wesser, NC.

Franklin has long been a community that is very supportive of the Appalachian Trail. "When the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) informed the town of ATC’s developing Appalachian Trail Community designation program in fall of 2008, it was a no brainer for the town to pursue the designation," said Bill Van Horn, who was president of the NHC at the time, and in 2010, Franklin became the very first Appalachian Trail Community.

As an A.T. Community, Franklin has shown its support for the A.T. in a plethora of ways:

Franklin LogoLocal business Goshen Timber Frame donated a shelter to the A.T.

Franklin’s new town logo was modified to include the A.T. white blaze

Creation of the Franklin Hiker Services brochure and map

Local TTEC alumni teach about the A.T. in their classrooms

Hosting the annual April Fools Trail Days festival

Town support for the Nantahala Hiking Club, the local A.T. maintaining club.

Plan Your Visit:

Voted ​the Top Small Town for Adventure by Blue Ridge Outdoors in 2015 and 2016, Franklin is known for its wealth of natural beauty. Magnificent waterfalls, mountain vistas, and gorgeous trails all await hikers in Franklin, and it is also home to many opportunities for anglers and cyclists. Franklin is steeped in the traditions of mountain music and crafts as well, and at just over two hours from cities like Atlanta, Knoxville, and Greenville, it's a great place to take a relaxing mountain getaway. Whether you're coming for PumpkinFest in October or summer's weekly concert series Pickin' on the Square, there's never a bad time to visit Franklin!

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