Section 21 - Stecoah Gap to the Nantahala River Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Smoky Mountains Hiking Club spangler @ Davenport Gap, TN/NC to Wesser, NC at US 19

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles  Map   &  
Stecoah Gap - Highway 143
   Poor           Great

Trail Crossing and Parking: 35.3582, -83.7179 Parking lot is along paved road 143. From Fontana Village take NC 28 east. Take NC 143 south to Stecoah Gap. From Robbinsville, take 143 north to Stecoah Gap. There is a nice picnic area with trash cans at the Gap. SOBO leaves the parking lot, NOBO crosses the road. 05/21/22 6-8


WardandDA @
Bartram Trail
   Poor           Great

The Bartram Trail meets the AT near the summit of Cheoah Bald. Following directions to the trailhead are slightly modified from 'Long Trails of the Southeast' by Johnny Malloy (Menasha Ridge Press) or the attached Google Map From Andrews take US 19/ 74/ 129 north about 6 miles to where US 129 diverges left. Continue on US 19/ 74 3.1 miles. The parking are is a short distance down a dirt road to the right. There is a pedestrian crosswalk at the intersection. Alternatively drive south on US 19/74 6.6 miles from the Nantahala Outdoor Center (See Mile 13.6). The markers on the attached map indicate parking area. A street view to the south at the interaction of the highway and the side road shows the parking area on the right. The Bartram Trail is a yellow-blazed 78 mile trail. The section here is the northernmost section. According to Malloy's book, the trail climbs about 2800 feet in approximately 5.1 miles to meet the AT on the north side of Cheoah Bald. The northbound AT to Stecoah Gap is left, the southbound to the summit of Cheoah Bald and eventually the Nantahala Outdoor Center is right. Coordinates at the intersection given on a web page maintained by Backpacker magazine are 35.3242 -83.6841. 08/27/15 Lot appears to hold 6-8


David Cullen
For an on-line description of this section of the Bartram Trail, see . The parking area described above is called the Winding Stair Trail Head on this link. 08/27/15


David Cullen
Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) US 19/74
   Poor           Great

Trail crosses US 19/74 in Wesser, NC. The Nantahala Outdoor Center is a good safe place to leave a car. 2/4/06


The Nanatahala Outdoor Center is on the south bank of the Nantahala River in the community of Wesser, NC. From the point where NC 28 diverges from US 19/74 southwest of Bryson City, coontinue on US 19/74 for 4.3 miles to the center which will be on the left. Major parking appear to be on the north side of the river. The large lot is obvious on the satellite view of the attached map. If planning long term parking, ask the staff where you should park. The official southern end of Section 21 and northern end of Section 22 is the south end of the footbridge visible in the center of the satellite view directly north of the main building. The northbound trail to Section 21 crosses the bridge and the parking lot and then goes into the woods. There is a street view of the Google map as well as several photos of the area available. 08/26/15 Ample


David Cullen
April 2022 update: info remains acurate (DA Thomas-Admin) From the street view and pictures associated with the Google map in the previous listng, it appears that there is some pull-off parking on the south side of US74 across from the NOC complex. 08/27/15


David Cullen

This section is described as Section 5 in the "Appalachian Trail Guide to North Carolina-Georgia"
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  Page last updated: 9/9/2022 4:53:52 PM