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 28, 2019
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 2200 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 to maintain 60 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 start your journey north.
Free Hiker Breakfast: The First Baptist Church of Franklin, NC (69 Iotla Street) provides a free hiker breakfast to A.T. hikers from March 14 – April 14 at 7:15. 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.
Hiker Shuttle: Macon County Transit will provide a Monday through Friday shuttle, March 6 – May 25, for hikes at an affordable $3.00 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.
|Winding Stair Gap Pickup:||9:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm|
|Rock Gap Pickup:||9:45am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm|
|Leaving Franklin:||9:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm|
Veterinarian Support: Dr. DeWandeler, a local veterinarian, will be on site at selected A.T. Celebration events in Franklin. She will provide complimentary physical exams to all thru-hiking dogs. Come by her booth for treats and belly-scratches.
Franklin’s A.T. Celebration Events
Thru-Hiker Chow Down hosted by the Nantahala Hiking Club and/at the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company 12-3pm. Chili-dog lunch with home baked goods and fresh fruit for thru-hikers. For info. Call 828-369-1983 or visit the Lazy Hiker Brewing’s Facebook page. NHC and Lazy Hiker Brewing Company invite local residents to come and meet this year’s thru-hikers.
Appalachian Trail hikers can enjoy Easter of the Trail, sponsored by the Nantahala Hiking Club. For more information call 828-369-8915 or visit the Nantahala Hiking Club’s Facebook page.
Currahee Brewing Hiker Bash. Call 828-634-0078 for more information or visit Currahee Brewing’s Facebook page.
Franklin’s AT110 HikerFest hosted by Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub and Gooder Grove Hostel. Rathskeller’s Hiker Haus Party (Live Band at 5 p.m.), followed by Gooder Grove’s Groovy Gathering (Bonfire/Music at 8 p.m.) featuring the Funky Frogtown Sundown Light hiker Parade (7 p.m.-ish). For more information call 828-369-6796.
Outdoor Music Jam at the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company – enjoy live music that will be playing outside in the Yard at the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company beginning at 7:30pm. For more information visit the Lazy Hiker Brewing’s Facebook page.
Come celebrate Franklin’s unique location on the Appalachian Trail 110 miles north of the southern terminus, Springer Mountain, GA. with Beer, Bluegrass and BBQ hosted by Outdoor 76. Celebrate spring and our surrounding protected/conserved public and private lands. Available purchased food and beer will benefit Mainspring Conservation Trust. Live music starting at 11am. For more information call 828-349-7676 or visit Outdoor 76’s Facebook page.
Walking with Spring
The 2018 Macon County Public Library’s “Walking with Spring” series of movies and programs in partnership with the Nantahala Hiking Club and the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community corresponds with Franklin’s Trail Days Celebration period as well as with thru-hiker season in Franklin. Events highlight the A.T., its hikers, and other outdoor activities and environmental issues.
March 21st, 6:00 p.m. & March 22nd, 2:00 p.m. “myATstory” – short films of inspiration from the Appalachian Trail-
The Appalachian Trail is one of the most inspiring endeavors in American history. But what truly makes the A.T. special is the community of hikers and supporters that keep the spirit of the Trail alive through their adventures, their generosity, and their stories. Watch five inspiring tales from some of these unique individuals about how the A.T. has changed their lives forever. Thru- and section hikers will be on hand for discussion after the films.
March 28th, 6:00 p.m. “Walking Home” program by section hiker Bill Van Horn-
Bill Van Horn will present a program on section hiking with his wife, Sharon, from Springer Mountain, GA to Franklin, NC (AT 110).
April 4th, 6:00 p.m. “Hiking with Dogs” presentation by veterinarian Elizabeth DeWandeler-
Some of us have years of experience hiking with pets, and some of us are just getting started. Dr. DeWandeler will present information and reminders we can all use about trail safety, etiquette and gear that will help make hiking with our dogs a great experience for everyone involved.
April 11th, 6:00 p.m. “You Took the Kids Where? Adventuring While Your Children Are Young” talk with author Doug Woodward-
Doug will give a talk based on his book which presents a rare generational time span in which to evaluate the results of raising a family in an alternative environment, one which de-emphasizes the pursuit of wealth and power. Having made possible, almost from birth, wilderness experiences for their children, Trish Severin and Doug Woodward also have taken them into living situations in cultures that live much more simply than we do in the “US”.
April 12th, 2:00 p.m. in the Macon County Public Library Meeting Room- “Appalachian Trail: An American Legacy” documentary by Sam Henegar-
Follow the story of two key volunteers with opposing viewpoints, Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery, who helped build and shape the A.T., and then travel through the A.T.’s turbulent journey to its most recent transition in 2005. Rare footage of an interview with an aged Benton MacKaye illustrates his lasting impact on the Appalachian Trail and ATC/PATC archival films depicts Avery in the zenith of his tireless labors.
From its unique volunteer tradition to its “body and soul” management philosophy, this film reveals the uncommon characteristics of the A.T.’s legacy. Through its challenges and successes, see how the A.T. has managed to endure narrow odds and why this trail is so deeply cherished.
April 18th, 6:00- 7:00 p.m. “Nantahala National Forest: a History” presentation by author Marci Spencer-
Marci will give a slide presentation on the history of areas to explore in Macon County- the Nantahala Ranger District- with Q&A afterwards. Books Unlimited will be selling Marci’s book at the event.