Franklin, North Carolina: An Appalachian Trail Community

Forget West Virginia. The town of Franklin -- in Macon County, North Carolina -- is as "almost heaven" as anywhere.

Macon County is blessed with roughly 47 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Macon County is truly a blessing to those who trod the AT.

Franklin is a friendly oasis for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail (AT). The Blue Ridge Mountains town is 111 miles north of the AT's starting point in Georgia at Springer Mountain. That makes Franklin a perfect place to resupply and take a zero day.

"When the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) informed the town of the ATC's developing Appalachian Trail Community designation program in fall of 2008, it was a no-brainer for the town to pursue the designation," said Bill Van Horn, NHC president.

Following decades of service to the AT, the commitment and dedication of local individuals and groups was recognized and honored by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). In 2010, Franklin was designated an Appalachian Trail Community(TM).

The Appalachian Trail Community(TM) program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the Appalachian Trail (AT). Towns, counties, and communities along the AT's corridor are considered assets by AT hikers and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the trail. The program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the AT.

Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community(TM) and participation in the program has these goals:

  • Engage community citizens, trail visitors and stewards
  • Recognize and thank communities for their service to the trail and hikers
  • Act as a catalyst for enhancing sustainable economic development
  • Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
  • Help local community members see the trail as a resource and asset

Franklin NC's 2012 April Fool's Appalachian Trail Days - (photo: Robert Sutherland)

Franklin hosts April Fools Trail Days each year. Read about the 2012 celebration here.

You are welcome to attend the festivities and see why so many people love the town that loves the AT.

Bring your friends!

Click Here to Download Franklin, NC's Hiker Brochure

Click Here for Appalachian Trail Community Information

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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