Mountain High Music, Crafts & Car Show
October 24, 2020
Enjoy the day at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts with music, crafts, cars, food and family fun. An all day ticket includes tickets to Mountain Faith Band, Blue Highway & Balsam Range. Please contact the theatre box office at 828-524-1598 for more information or to make a reservation. Event schedule: Car & craft show begin at 10am. Mountain Faith 11am, Blue Highway 2pm, Clogging Show 4pm, Balsam Range 7:30pm.
For more information visit GreatMountainMusic.com or call 828-524-3161.
Sunshine and gorgeous mountain views go a long way toward boosting your mood and bringing the family together. If you’re in Franklin, North Carolina, you know that the outdoor adventures are just waiting to be had – but you have little people to think about.
No worries. Here are some family-friendly hikes that everyone can enjoy.
The Little Tennessee Greenway – 6.4 Miles
This partially paved trail is perfect for families with younger kids and strollers. Not only will you get to walk along the Little Tennessee, but you can stop along the way for a play date at Wesley Park, take the dogs by the dog park, and stop for a picnic at several different pavilions.
The inclines are small, so this one can hardly be called a hike – but it’s a perfect outdoor stroll for younger families.
Wayah Bald Tower – 4 Miles
When you’re up in the mountains, what is cooler than an old stone fire tower to climb up and catch the view? That’s what you can find when you hike up to Wayah Bald.
The steady incline is perfect for kids who want a bit more of a challenge without anything too intense, and the 180 degree overlook at 5,342 feet elevation at the end is a treat for all. If it’s a clear day, see if you can spot the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee!
Rufus Morgan Trail – 1 Mile
Don’t let the single-mile loop fool you – this trail is almost entirely switchbacks that zigzag up the mountain, and the many small waterfalls are well worth the extra effort. You’ll cross several streams on stepping stones and gasp at the steepness of the mountain beside you; we’d recommend this trail for ages 10 and up.
If you want to feel like you’re truly immersed in a mountain adventure without committing to a long hike, the Rufus Morgan Trail is for you!
Bartram Trail – 4.1 Miles
Got any trail runners in the family? The Bartram Trail is going to be your new best friend! The perfect cross between switchbacks and winding trails, this section of the Bartram will take you to a breathtaking overlook at William’s pulpit. It’s also very accessible for kids of all ages, so long as they are able to make the 4.1 mile trek. Pack trail mix and get ready for a great excursion!
Wherever you go, have a great time in Franklin, NC!
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is one of life’s greatest joys – and Franklin is the perfect place to head out. For more information on hikes in the area, check out our other local trails and start planning your next adventure today.
There’s no better place to get the flavor of a town than its downtown area, and Franklin has quite a few delightful restaurants and eateries on Main Street. Of course, there are plenty more delicious places to stop for a bite in the area, but if you plan to spend an afternoon shopping downtown, here are the places you need to know (in alphabetical order!).
The Lazy Hiker
First up is one of our local microbreweries, which sports a food truck in their main parking area. Grab a beer and drop an order at the truck, whether you get street tacos, burgers, or some gourmet concoction you’ll never see anywhere else! The trucks rotate every few months, so keep up with the offerings on the Lazy Hiker’s social media pages.
This southern food staple is home-cooked goodness tucked away from the hustle and bustle. Martha’s Kitchen is best known for their full buffet, complete with three meets, two soups, salad, and deserts every day—but if you want to know what’s really stolen our hearts, it’s the cranberry pecan chicken salad. It’s a local favorite!
Motor Company Grill
Want a blast from the past and a real foodie challenge? Look no further than the Motor Company Grill, a 50’s style diner with the notorious El Dorado cheeseburger. If you can down all four pounds of this beefy, cheesy, bacon-y monster on your own in 45 minutes, you’ll get a t-shirt and you photo on the Wall of Champions! And, of course, there are plenty of regular-sized cheeseburgers for anyone wanting big flavor without the stomach ache.
Root and Barrel
The most sophisticated restaurant on main street has two appetizers that keep us coming back for more. Whether you order their fried pimiento cheese balls drizzled with red pepper jelly or indulge in some panko fried shrimp and Thai chili sauce, you’ll have the perfect Franklin delicacy to pair with your cocktail.
Rockin’ Rollie Pollies
Last but not least, if you want a big bite of the wild west, prepare to sink your teeth into a bison burger at Rockin’ Rollie Pollies! The fusion-style restaurant has mouthwatering bison, beef and lamb gyros, build-your-own tacos, and many more off-the-wall combinations. You’ll be sure to find something for everyone!
Just need a little bite? We’ve got those, too
If you’re in the mood for something small, there are plenty of options downtown for snacks. Check out Rathskellar’s famous peanut butter cookies, Just Donuts’ donuts (bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?), Crabtree General Store’s hand scooped ice cream, Life’s Bounty’s baked goods, and Main Street Coffee’s frozen yogurt for a quick bite to eat.
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”
Planning a Family Reunion in the Mountains
When it comes to getting your whole family together, there’s no better place to have a reunion than the North Carolina mountains. Franklin is home to both exciting outdoor exploration and family-friendly entertainment, so there’s plenty to do for people of all ages!
All that’s left to do is plan out the details—so here are the three big things to think about while planning your next family vacation in Franklin, North Carolina.
Get cozy with mountain lodging
First, you need a place for everyone to crash when they arrive from the four corners of the map. Whether you choose a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast, take into consideration where you’ll be spending the most time during your reunion.
If you’re keeping everyone busy from sunup to sundown, you can spread everyone out once it’s time to hit the hay. On the other hand, maybe you want to spend most of your time lounging indoors—in that case, planning to keep everyone in one location is the way to go.
Plan an expedition or two
What activities does your family enjoy? Franklin is home to gem mining, fly fishing, hiking, great live shows, and arcade gaming—so you’re sure to find something for everyone.
Even if you don’t want to split off for your activities, many options are great for people of all ages. For example, local hiking trails range from easy one-mile strolls to more challenging 15-mile treks, so finding one that’s perfect for your crew is a breeze.
Gather around great food
Let’s be real: Food is everyone’s favorite way to catch up. Once the whole family arrives, it’ll be on their minds, so it’s a good thing Franklin is home to a myriad of dining options. Take everyone out, or get catering and eat in!
Make memories and have fun!
The mountains are full of opportunities to celebrate the old while exploring the new, so there’s no better place to reminice family memories, make fresh ones, and have an adventure. We can’t wait to have you!