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Cool Curves

Hiking and Picnics

  • Joyce Kilmer Forest-from NC 143 turn right on SR (state Road)1127, follow 2 miles to Joyce Kilmer Rd. to explore this rare example of an old growth forest. In 1936, 3800 acres of one of the few remaining tracts of virgin hardwood in the Appalachians was set aside in honor of the poet, journalist and World War I soldier who was killed in action. A two mile trail winds through the forest.
  • Spirit Ridge-.3 mile trail to overlook. Accessible to the physically challenged.  (elevation=4950 ft.)
  • Huckelberry Trailhead-1/2 mile to peak. Excellent vistas abound! (elevation=5300 ft.)
  • Hooper Bald Trailhead-.25 mile hike to the bald. Restrooms and (2) picnic tables. (elevation=5290 ft.)
  • Santeetlah-(3) picnic tables, and is the highest overlook on the skyway. (elevation=5390 ft.)
  • Stratton Ridge-Restrooms and (5) picnic tables (elev.=4420 ft.)

Getting There From:

  • Robbinsville-take US 129 N for 1 mile. Turn left on NC 143 West, follow signs for 10 miles.
  • Marysville, TN --Go East!!


The Cherohala Skyway is an 18 mile highway from Robbinsville, NC to Tellico Plains, TN, atop the Nantahala mountain range. Nantahala is the Cherokee word for "land of the noonday sun." The skyway opened in 1996 and if you like the Blue Ridge Parkway, then you should make the trip here! The skyway climbs in elevation from 2660 feet to Santeetlah  @ 5390 feet and is rarely crowded. We recommend continuing towards Tellico Plains, TN and turn left and follow signs to Bald River Falls for an awesome driveby view of the 100 foot cascade. (5mi.)


As a visitor to the wilderness areas surrounding the Cherohala Skyway are primitive environments.  (or boondocks!)  The Cheoah Ranger Station would like to remind you that you will face the challenge of being entirely self-sufficient.  (No Boat, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury!!)  BYO Beverages and Food, Gas, Film, Smokes, etc!!

Also: Pack-in and Pack-out!!