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 14 – April 14 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 9 – May 29, 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
Friday, March 27 5pm
Flix, Food, & Brews hosted by Outdoor 76. A celebration of spring and our surrounding protected/conserved public and private lands. Food and beer will be available for purchase and will benefit Mainspring Conservation Trust. As always, gear advice will be available, but now offering laundry services. For more information call 828-349-7676 or visit Outdoor 76 on Facebook.
35 East NE Main St, Franklin, NC 28734
Saturday, March 28 12pm-3pm
Thru-Hiker Chow Down hosted by the Nantahala Hiking Club and Lazy Hiker Brewing Company. They will be serving a chili-dog lunch along with home baked goods and fresh fruit to thru-hikers. It’s a great opportunity for thru-hikers and NHC Club members to mingle. For more information call 828-369-1983 or visit Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. on Facebook.
188 W Main St, Franklin, NC 28734
Saturday, March 28 2pm
Hiker Hunger Games hosted by Gooder Grove Hostel at Lazy Hiker Brewing Company. 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! For more information call 828-332-0228 or visit Appalachian Adventure Hostel at Gooder Grove on Facebook.
188 W Main St, Franklin, NC 28734
Friday, April 3 5pm
Hiker Bash hosted by Currahee Brewing Co and Three Eagles Outfitters. Enjoy live music, craft beer, food & footwear! Fresh beer and food truck(s) on site along with a Merrell Footwear representative. For more information call 828-634-0078 or visit Currahee Brewing Co. or Three Eagles Outfitters on Facebook.
100 Lakeside Dr, Franklin, NC 28734
April 3 – 5
Springtopia 2020 hosted by Altered Frequencies. This is the 3rd annual music and art festival to celebrate spring in the Great Smoky Mountains. For more information call 828-342-2372 or visit Altered Frequencies on Facebook.
110 Carolina Mountain Dr, Franklin, NC 28734
Saturday, April 11 7pm
AT110 Fest hosted by The Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub. Come and enjoy live music by hikers, craft beer, specialty coffees and freebies. For more information call 828-369-6796 or visit The Rathskeller on Facebook.
58 Stewart St, Franklin, NC 28734
Saturday, April 18 6pm
Outdoor Music Jam & Gear Exchange hosted by 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 more information call 828-349-2337 or visit Lazy Hiker Brewing Co on Facebook.
Walking with Spring
Macon County Public Library’s “Walking with Spring” series of films and programs complements Franklin’s AT 110 Trail Days Celebration.
All programs are held in the Meeting Room and are free and open to the public. Please call the library at 828-524-3600 to confirm times and for more information.
March 25, 6:00 p.m. – Grandma Gatewood Returns with storyteller/AT hiker Nancy Reader
March 26, 2:00 p.m. – Documentary “Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story”
April 1, 6:00 p.m. – Fundamentals of Footwear with professional bootfitter Kev Martin
April 2, 2:00 p.m. – Documentary “The World Before Your Feet”
April 8, 6:00 p.m. – Yoga for Hikers (and everyone else) with yoga teacher Jennifer McIntee
April 15, 6:00 p.m. – Are You BearWise? with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
April 16, 2:00 p.m. – Drama based on W. Bruce Cameron’s novel “A Dog’s Way Home”
April 22, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Nantahala Hiking Club co-founder Sally Kesler Memorial Art Reception
April 29, 6:00 p.m. & April 30, 2:00 p.m. – Documentary “Cultivating the Wild: William Bartram’s Travels”
Our fantastic town was named the 2015 Top Small Town by the readers of Blue Ridge Outdoors.
Check out the full story HERE.
Or watch this quick video:
Fall in Franklin North Carolina is truly a sight to behold.
Here are 6 reasons why Fall in Franklin North Carolina is something you should not miss!
1) Experience the Wonders of Nature!
There is nothing quite like Fall in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Macon County has some of the best spots around to see the electric colors of the season.
2) Navigate the winding mountain highways.
Fewer sights are more remarkable than those found along U.S. 64 connecting Franklin and Highlands or those found along Wayah Road connecting Franklin and Nantahala.
3) Enjoy the last purely agricultural fair in North Carolina!
You might not find carnival rides and games at the annual Macon County Agricultural Fair, but as the last purely agricultural fair in the state, the annual event is nothing shy of a good time for the whole family.
4) Compete in the world famous Pumpkin Roll down Frogtown.
Its tough to pin down the best part of Franklin’s annual PumpkinFest. Who can chose between the Pumpkin Pie eating contest, the costume parade and contest down main street featuring the most darling princesses and adorable clowns, or the World Famous Pumpkin Roll that launches pumpkins 100 yards down Phillip Street’s steep incline. Whatever your vice, this annual Fall festival has a little taste of everything.
5) Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches
All Fall long local farmers such as Deal Farms have fresh picked harvests like apples and pumpkins and just when the cool crisp air begins to tingle your skin, the corn field is carved out in a maze for a fun day of adventure.
6) Race in the cool mountain air.
All year long Franklin has a busy schedule of foot races planned ranging from 80s themed 8ks to benefit for the Shriner’s Hospital to 5ks downs main street while sporting a kilt for the annual Father’s Day weekend Braveheart run, but there is just something about the Fall weather that makes races a little more enjoyable. If you’re looking for a longer distance run, check out the annual Conquer the Mountain half Marathon on November 7 or if you want to get funky, put on your best turkey costume and race along the Greenway for the annual Cold Turkey 5k on Thanksgiving morning.
Photos provided by Eric Haggart of Timeless Moments Imaging. Timeless Moments Imaging is Franklin, NC photographer specializing in weddings, engagements, family photos and stunning scenic portraits in and around Macon County.
Welcome to the Discover Franklin, NC website! We completely overhauled our old site and hope you find our new site easy to navigate while you are planning your stay to Franklin, NC.
Whether you like the great outdoors, like to shop, or go site seeing Franklin has something for everyone. As you begin to plan your vacation we have provided you a guide.
In the “Visit” section, discover hotels, motels, and bed & breakfast accommodations all located within the city limits. In addition, you can also explore all of the local restaurants to satisfy any craving.. You will also find many “shopportunities” from boutiques to specialty stores.
For those of you that are more adventurous check out the “Explore“ section where you will find all things outdoors in the Franklin area from hiking, white water rafting, gem mining, and so much more. Be sure to download the gem mining and waterfalls map to help you plan which mine and waterfall you want to visit.
Maybe you prefer a less adventurous route but equally as fun, visit the “Things To Do” section of the site to learn about the three local museums, historic trails, and more. If you are into music and theater then be sure to see the show schedule for the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts right here in Franklin, NC!
Franklin is filled with heritage, culture, and provides excitement year round for all ages. Local festivals in Franklin bring people in from all over. With the famous pumpkin roll at Pumpkin Fest to Folk Festival displaying our rich culture there is something for everyone. Check the “Events and Festivals” section of the website to learn about each festival Franklin has to offer.
When you visit Franklin, NC we want you to feel at home and enjoy your trip! Eat good food, hike to a beautiful waterfall, gem mine for the perfect stone, and stop in to a local store filled with pottery, antiques, or unique crafts.
Come Discover Us!