New Nantahala & Pisgah National Forest Maps

Written by Robert Sutherland on 31st July 2013

forest stream

Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The U.S. Forest Service’s National Forests in North Carolina has updated the recreation map of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.

Click Here to Download Free PDF Map

The map identifies the locations of the many recreation sites in the two national forests, as well as the activities and amenities available at each site.

The map can be printed or downloaded on a mobile device for easy reference.

Nantahala National Forest

This forest lies in the mountains and valleys of southwestern North Carolina.  Elevations in the Nantahala National Forest range from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along Hiwassee River below Appalachian Lake Dam.

“Nantahala” is a Cherokee word meaning “land of the noon day sun,” a fitting name for the Nantahala Gorge, where the sun only reaches to the valley floor at midday.  With over a half million acres, the Nantahala is the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina.  The national forest is divided into three ranger districts: Cheoah, Nantahala and Tusquitee.

Pisgah National Forest

The Pisgah National Forest is a land of mile-high peaks, cascading waterfalls and heavily forested slopes.  Comprised of over 500,000 acres, the Pisgah is primarily a hardwood forest with whitewater rivers, waterfalls and hundreds of miles of trails.

This national forest is home of the first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act of 1911 which led to the creation of the national forests in the eastern United States.  It is also home of the first school of forestry in the United States, now preserved at the Cradle of Forestry in America historic site, and boasts two of the first designated wilderness areas in the east.

The Pisgah, Grandfather and Appalachian Ranger Districts are scattered along the eastern edge of the mountains of western North Carolina and offer visitors a variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoying the natural beauty of the mountains.

For a complete list of maps and publications for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, visit

Click Here for USDA Forest Service in North Carolina

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