As an Appalachian Trail Gateway Community, Franklin opens the town to all hikers of the Appalachian Trail as they start their journey north to Katahdin.
Franklin, NC Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Celebration March 20 – April 22, 2022
First Day of Spring to Earth Day
A.T. Celebration: Come celebrate the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Historic Franklin, NC located 110 trail miles (AT110) north of Springer Mountain, GA, the southern terminus of the A.T. Designated an A.T. Community in 2010 by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Franklin is a logical resupply/rest point between Hiawassee, GA and the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Wesser, NC. The A.T. crosses Highway 64 at Winding Stair Gap 10 miles west of Franklin. It is an easy hitch or make use of Macon County Transit’s daily pickups at 9:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm.
We’re big fans of the A.T. around here. Franklin was the first of 49 towns along the 2192.0 (2019) mile Trail to be designated an A.T. Community. Members of the Franklin based Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) work with the U.S. Forest Service and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to maintain 58.5 gorgeous miles of the A.T. to include 10 shelters with privies, 9 group camp sites and 26 scenic viewpoints.
Tourists are invited to come and explore the Appalachian Trail through local hikes, documentaries and more or sit and talk with A.T. thru-hikers before they press on towards their goal of Mt. Katahdin in Maine.
#AT110: Help us promote Franklin’s unique location at Mile 110 by tagging photos you take while in town.
Hiker Services: In addition to Franklin’s two Outfitters, Three Eagles Outfitters and Outdoor 76, there are many more services for hikers making a stop in Franklin. Come on down for a night or two of good food, local craft beer, and a warm welcome as you continue your journey north.
Free Hiker Breakfast: The First Baptist Church of Franklin, NC provides a free breakfast to A.T. hikers daily from March 15 – April 15 at 7:15am. All the pancakes and bacon you can eat. Van pickup available. In addition to the breakfast, the church offers to take a photo of each hiker and mail it to a friend or love one along with a note written by the hiker, leaving hikers with a full belly and fond Franklin memories. For more information call 828-369-9559. 69 Iotla St, Franklin, NC 28734
Hiker Shuttle: In addition to private party shuttles, Macon County Transit will provide a Monday through Friday shuttle, March 7 – May 27, for hikes at an affordable $5.00 fare per boarding. Hikers will be picked up at Winding Stair Gap and Rock Gap at the designated times below. In hikers need transportation back to the trail, they can call Macon County Transit at (828) 349-2222.
Departs Franklin: 9:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm
Winding Stairs Gap Pick-up: 9:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm
Rock Gap Pick-up: 9:45am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm
For more information go to atmile110.com.
Franklin’s A.T. Celebration Events
March 26 (5pm) – “Hiker Bash” at Currahee Brewing Co.
Featuring live music, food trucks on site & brews of course! For up-to-date information, call 828.634.0078 or visit Currahee Brewing Co. on Facebook. 100 Lakeside Drive. Franklin. NC. 28734
April 1 – 2 – “28th Anniversary Hiker Fest” at Three Eagle’s Outfitters
Featuring hiker demos, in-store specials and giveaways! Hiker happy hour on Saturday 3pm-6pm with brews, views and grub! For up-to-date information, call 828.524.9061 or visit Three Eagles Outfitters on Facebook. 78 Siler Road. Franklin. NC. 28734
April 2 (noon – 2pm) – Nantahala Hiking Club’s “Thru-Hiker Chowdown” at Lazy Hiker Brewing Co.
The volunteers of our local hiking club will be serving a free lunch to any and all thru-hikers! It’s a great opportunity for thru-hikers and NHC Club members to mingle! For up-to-date information, call 828.349.2337 or visit Nantahala Hiking Club or Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. on Facebook. 188 West Main Street. Franklin. NC 28734
April 8 (5pm)– Outdoor 76 “Food, Flix & Brews”
A celebration of spring with food, beer and film. As always, gear advice will be available, and now offering laundry services. For up-to-date information, call 828.349.7676 or visit Outdoor 76on Facebook. 35 East Main Steet. Franklin. NC. 28734
April 9 (3pm) – “Hiker Hunger Games” and “Gooder Grove’s Groovy Gathering” at Gooder Grove Hostel
Hikers are invited to compete in this fun-filled, faux hiker “Olympics” featuring individual, duo and trail family competitors. Competitors will participate in events such as trekking pole javelin toss, the bear bag hang, and the cat-hole digging contest, in pursuit of the ultimate hiker trash bragging rights! Following the games a congregation of comradery will commences at Gooder’s Grove Hostel. For up-to-date information, call 828.332.0228 or visit Gooder’s Grove Hostel and Retreat on Facebook. 130 Hayes Circle. Franklin. NC. 28734
April 15 (6pm) – “AT110 Fest” at The Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub
Come and enjoy live music, craft beer, specialty coffees, freebies, and eats. In addition to live music, Rathskeller will be hosting a “Hiker Open-Mic”, instruments will be available for hikers to share their musical talents! Rathskeller will be partnering with Mainspring Conservation Trust to raise funds for local public lands. For up-to-date information, call 828.369.6796 or visit The Rathskeller on Facebook. 58 Stewart Street. Franklin. NC. 28734
April 22 (6pm) (Earth Day) – “Outdoor Music Jam & Gear Exchange” at Lazy Hiker Brewing Co.
Come and enjoy live music, craft beer and food outside in The Yard. There will be a gear exchange that hikers and locals are welcomed to participate in as well! For up-to-date information, call 828.349.2337 or visit Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. on Facebook. 188 West Main Street. Franklin. NC 28734
For more information on any of these events, please follow Franklin ATmile110 on Facebook or Instagram.
Macon County Public Library’s “Walking with Spring” series of programs complements Franklin’s AT 110 Trail Days Celebration.
All programs are held in the Meeting Room of MCPL at 149 Siler Farm Rd. and are free and open to the public. Please call the library at 828-524-3600 or email Kristina Moe at email@example.com to register, confirm times and for more information.
March 26th, 3-5pm. – Nantahala Hiking Club co-founder Sally Kessler Memorial Art Reception
March 30, 5:15 p.m. – Yoga for Hikers (and everyone else) with yoga teacher Jennifer McIntee please sign up at beyondbendingyoga.com/schedule/
April 6, 6:00 p.m. – Fundamentals of Footwear with professional bootfitter Kev Martin
April 13, 6:00 p.m. – Grandma Emma Gatewood Returns with storyteller/AT hiker Nancy Reeder
April 20, 6:00 p.m. – Are You BearWise? How to co-exist safely with bears, with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Ashley Hobbs