Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our trip to Nantahala National Forest on the Cherohala Skyway

The elevation on our Etowah to Etowah in six hours road trip changes a bit when you cross the state line in Graham County. This is the home to Robbinsville, North Carolina. At this point we entered the Nantahala National Forest where miles of scenic wonder were still of us. This forest is bordered by the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and is one part of the tremendous chain of Appalachian Mountains.

The land was originally set aside to help protect waterways. Today, it is a nature lover's dream. The Cheoa area offers hiking, camping and other types of outdoor recreation. If you can think of an activity it is probably offered somewhere in the Nantahala National Forest.




On this road trip we were content to stop at the overlooks and take in the views. And what views they are! The elevation is a little higher in North Carolina than in Tennessee and the scenery is fabulous on either side.

The 531,148 acre Nantahala National Forest is overseen by only three districts. There is the Cheoah District in Robbinsville, Nantahala District in Franklin and the Tusquitee Ranger District in Murphy.
 

Park rangers have their work cut out for them. The 531,148 acre Nantahala National Forest is overseen by only three districts. There is the Cheoah District in Robbinsville, Nantahala District in Franklin and the Tusquitee Ranger District in Murphy.

Monitoring the forest is a big job for so few offices. My hat is off to the people who watch over the forests.

We visited the mountains late in the afternoon before the sun was gone. This may be the best time to drive the Cherohala Skyway but a beautiful sunset would probably be a memory to treasure. I'll stick to driving the road in the daytime.

Star party buffs are already familiar with the skyway. Our next stop happens to be a popular star party destination. You'll understand why when you read more about the Unicoi Crest.