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 (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
Friday March 29 5 PM
Flix, Food & Brews 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. For more information call 828-349-7676 or visit Outdoor 76’s Facebook page.
Saturday March 30 12 – 3 PM
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.
Saturday April 6 6 PM
Currahee Brewing Hiker Bash. Call 828-634-0078 for more information or visit Currahee Brewing’s Facebook page.
Saturday April 13 6 PM
Franklin’s AT110 HikerFest hosted by Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub and Gooder Grove Hostel. Rathskeller’s Hiker Haus Party (Live Band at 6 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.
Saturday April 20 6 PM
Outdoor Music Jam and Gear Exchange 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 6 pm. For more information visit the Lazy Hiker Brewing’s Facebook page.
Walking with Spring
The 2019 Walking with Spring programs- the Macon County Public Library is an Appalachian Trail Community Supporter. Since Franklin’s designation in March 2010 as an A.T. Community, MCPL has helped build public awareness about the significant resources and economic opportunities the Appalachian National Scenic Trail brings to Franklin as an A.T. Community.
The 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 which happens from the first day of Spring through Earth Day, as well as with thru-hiker season in Franklin. Events highlight the A.T., its hikers, and other outdoor activities and environmental issues.
All programs are free and open to the public and take place in the Meeting Room unless otherwise noted.
Thur. Mar. 21, 2:00 p.m.- documentary- The National Trail of Tears Historic Trail
The National Park Service is proud to share Trail of Tears, produced in collaboration with the Cherokee Nation.
Trail of Tears exposes one of the darkest chapters in American history: the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians from the southeast United States to a new home in the West, and the Cherokee people’s determined struggle to maintain their cultural identity.
Stories of hardship, endurance, love, and loss come alive as a Cherokee grandfather endures the Removal experience with his granddaughter. Filmed on historic ground, Trail of Tears depicts the homeland that the Cherokee lost, the trail they followed, and the modern Cherokee people of today.
The national Park Service and the Cherokee Nation invite you to experience history and learn more about this story by visiting the sites on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. For more information please log on to nps.gov/trte (23 minutes)
Fri. Mar. 22, 2:00 p.m. – 1959 adventure starring Michael Rennie, James MacArthur & Janet Munro- “Third Man on the Mountain”
A boy attempts to realize his father’s dream of climbing an alpine peak known as the Citadel. 1 hr. 47 min.
Thur. Mar. 28, 6:00 p.m. Women’s History Trail with Marty Greeble
Friday, Mar. 29, 10:30 a.m. in the Macon County Public Library Meeting Room and adjacent Greenway- Yoga on the Greenway
Join Beyond Bending Yoga’s Jennifer McIntee to combine light yoga with nature for a walking yoga class on the Greenway. Meet in the meeting room and leave from there to enjoy a brisk walk on both paved and gravel paths. Along the walk we will take yoga breaks, practicing basic postures. In the event of inclement weather, we will hold a beginners yoga class in the meeting room. beyondbendingyoga.com
Thur. April 4, 2:00 p.m.- Appalachian Trail Conservancy documentaries- “MyATstory: Adventures from the People’s 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. In these five films, we will showcase inspiring tales from some of these unique individuals about how the A.T. has changed their lives forever.
Thur. April 4, 6:00 p.m. – National Trails in Western North Carolina
The focus of this programs will be on encouraging folks to visit national trail sites and other places significant to removal-era Cherokee history here in Western North Carolina.
Andy Denson of the NC Trail of Tears Association will discuss the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Bill Van Horn of the Nantahala Hiking Club will discuss the Appalachian Trail, and Brent Martin of the NC Bartram Trail Society will discuss the William Bartram Trail.
Friday, April 5, 10:30 a.m. – Downhill Hiking with Carol & Jim Steiner
The Steiners will share stories about their hikes from their book, “The Appalachian Trail Day Hikers’ Guide: Downhill to Fine Wine and Accommodations, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee”
Thur. April 11, 6:00 p.m. – Cherokee Trail of Tears in Macon County.
Lamar Marshall will talk about the Trail of Tears route in Macon County. In 1838, Cherokees traveled from Fort Lindsay (present-day Almond), down along the Little Tennessee corridor to Franklin, where they turned West on the Great State Road. When Congress last amended the national trail, the National Parks Service and Trail of Tears Association did not have strong proof that Cherokees took this route, but good documentation has since emerged with the hope that it will eventually be included as part of the Congressionally designated route of the national trail.
Fri. April 12, 10:30 a.m. – Reflections on our AT Journey: both humorous and challenging. By A.T. section hikers (2005-2013) Bill and Sharon Van Horn