Parking on the TN/NC Appalachian Trail

Section 23 - Tellico Gap to Wayah Gap Displayed from North to South

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  Nantahala Hiking Club 358cor @ Wesser, N.C., at U.S. 19 to Bly Gap, N.C.

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Tellico Gap NC 1365
  Poor            Great

Reached from SR1310 (see Burningtown Gap) or from US28 that runs from Franklin to US19 near Bryson City. The road in from 1310 (Otter Creek Rd.) is a good dirt road, while the road in from US28 (Tellico Rd.) starts fine, but is a very steep, rough road before reaching the Gap. From 1310, turn at sign for Tellico Gap, and follow Otter Creek road to Gap, which is top of climb, and has parking areas bounded by railroad-tie walls. 2/4/06 1
Nantahala Hiking Club
GPS: N35 16 05.3 W83 34 20.2 11/30/08
BeauregardTD @
Here is a little more detail on the route via Otter Creek Road. From the Nantahala Outdoor Center go west on US 19/74 (compass southwest) for 7.7 miles then go left on NC 1310 (Wayah Road). In 5 miles go left on NC 1365 (Otter Creek Road) for 4 miles to Tellico Gap. The are at least five small parking areas, one on either side of the road at the actual trail crossing, one further to the east and two to the west. The marker indicates the trail crossing.

From Franklin go 4 miles west on US 64 and go right on Patton Road (NC 1442) AKA Old Murphy Road. In about a quarter mile go left on Wayah Road (NC 1310) and proceed west 23 miles to Otter Creek Road. Go right and continue as above.
Zoom in on the satellite view on the attached map to see the parking areas from above. Rotate the street view to the south to see the southbound trail (to Section 23). Rotate to the north to see the northbound trail (to section 22). The other parking areas can also be seen as the view is rotated. 06/26/14 about 10 total 1
dlcul @
Burningtown Gap NC 1397
  Poor            Great

This trailhead can only be accessed from State Road 1310 which runs between US64 4 miles West of Franklin, and US19 at the Nantahala River rafting put-in location. Take 1310 to the sign for Burningtown Gap, and follow the signs. The road starts as macadam, turns to gravel, then dirt, then at the end is just a track (sometimes passable by car, sometimes only by 4-wheel, high clearance vehicle). The road ends at Burningtown Gap, and AT blazes are visible at both ends of the old orchard clearing. AT North and South match the compass here. 2/4/06 1
Nantahala Hiking Club
Here are some more details on the route to Buringtown Gap. From the Nantahala Outdoor Center follow the directions for Tellico Gap (Mile 0.0) as far as NC 1310. Follow that road 8 miles to NC 1397, which initially follows White Oak Lane. NC 1397 soon turns right onto Cold Springs Creek Road and in about another mile bears right onto Ben Creek Road. Follow that to the end of the road in another 2.2 miles. This is supposedly in an old apple orchard.

From Franklin follow directions at Mile 0.0 to NC 1310. Follow that for 20 miles to White Oak Lane (NC 1397). Go right and proceed as above.
The marker arrow on the attached map indicates location of Burningtown Gap. If you zoom in on the satellite view the parking area can be seen. 06/26/14 Several 1
at @
GPS: N35 13 20.4 W83 33 43.9 11/30/08
BeauregardTD @
There are spaces for at least 10 cars at this Gap. I did not drive to it but hiked to it twice. It is a large open area. 03/30/12 1
Fussymary @
Wayah Bald
  Poor            Great

Follow the directions for Wayah Gap (Mile 13.5) but turn RIGHT at the gap if coming from Franklin (left if coming from US 19/74), and follow the gravel road (FS 69) for 4.3 miles to the parking area, which is just around a sharp right turn after reaching the paved path to the bald. A few feet along that path you will pick up the blazes for the AT (white) and the Bartram Trail (yellow). If you are headed South, make a sharp left turn just before the latrines and follow the blazes downhill. If you are headed North, follow the blazes up the paved path to the stone tower and continue. 2/4/06 1
Nantahala Hiking Club
See satellite view n the attached map. The marker is at the sharp curve mentioned in the previous listing where the paved path to the tower begins. The parking lot can be seen at the end of the road. The northbound trail soon joins the paved path as far as the tower, then bears west. The observation tower at the summit can be seen in the upper right of the view. 06/26/14 20 or more 1
dlcul @
Wine Spring/ Bartram Trail
  Poor            Great

To reach the Sawmill Gap trail head for the Bartram Trail, follow the directions to Wayah Gap (Mile 13.5). In this case if coming from Franklin, drive west on NC 1310 for 10.7 miles to FR 711. Turn right. If coming from US 19/74 drive east on NC 1310 for 17.4 miles to FR 711 and go left. Follow FR 711 and drive 2.5 miles to a parking pullout on the left. The parking area can be seen in the satellite view on the attached map. Everything in this listing is book information from 'Long Trails of the Southeast' by Johhny Malloy or from . The marker on the map indicates the position of the pullout. From FR 311 follow the yellow-blazed Bartram trail east for 2.0 miles to meet the AT near Wine Spring and the summit of Wine Spring Bald. The southbound AT to Wayah Gap goes right. The northbound AT and the Bartrram Trail coincide for the next 2.5 miles before the Bartram Trail diverges to the right. (From this point it is over ten miles to a road via the Bartram Trail, so access from that direction isn't really an option.) Coordinates at the Wine Spring intersection are 35.1739 -83.5839 . 06/26/14 Several 1
dlcul @
FR 69 Crossing
  Poor            Great

The AT crosses FR 69, the road to Wayah Bald, 2.7 miles from the intersection of FR 69 with NC 1310 in Wayah Gap. Coordinates for the crossing are from . I know nothing about this crossing other that the AT Guide to NC/GA lists it and mentions that there is a piped spring nearby. The satellite view on the attached map seems to show that parking is very limited at best. The AT overlay on the map appears to be incorrect in this area. 06/26/14 Not known 1
dlcul @
FS 69
  Poor            Great

Follow the directions to the intersection of NC 1310 and FS 69 in Wayah Gap. Follow FS 69 about 0.4 miles to a parking pull-off on the right. The AT comes very close to FS69 here. It is on the east side of the road (right side if coming from Wayah Gap). See pictures for TN/NC Section 23 for a view of this parking area. 06/26/14 4-5 1
dlcul @
We found only 2 parking spots close to the AT on Wayah Road (NC 1310). But down about .5 miles oon the forest service road to Wayah Bald, we found a pull off with room for maybe 3 cars right where the AT touches the road. We almost parked on the AT.
The marker on the Wayah Road is a new metal green AT sign. 07/07/17
3 1
Caroledellinger1 @
Wayah Gap - NC 1310
  Poor            Great

To reach Wayah Gap from Franklin, follow US64 West for 4 miles from overpass, turn right at signs for Wayah Bald and LBJ Job Corps. Just a short distance after turning, turn Left on Wayah Road (state road 1310). Follow this road (becomes very winding and steep) for 9 miles to top of climb, where you will see signs for both Wayah Bald (right) and Wayah Crest. Turn Left into dirt road to Wayah Crest -- (left fork short way in) and park in small parking area. The AT is reached by walking through the picnic area until you see white blazes. If you are headed North on the trail (to Section 23, turn left -- if South (to Section 24), turn right. 2/4/06 1
Nantahala Hiking Club
From the Nantahala Outdoor Center go west on US 19/74 (compass southwest) for 7.7 miles. Go left (east) on NC 1310 (Wayah Road) for 19 miles to Wayah Gap and the intersection with FR 69, the road to Wayah Bald. Turn right to reach the picnic area and parking at Wayah Gap. The trail crosses NC 1310 a short distance east of the intersection Note See pictures for TN/NC Section 23 and 24 to see pictures of the intersection and some roadside parking. There may be some parking in a picnic area but I know nothing about that. 6/24/14 1
at @
When you reach the top of the road, there are no signs for either Wayah Bald or Wayah Crest. I would reword this to say that when you go the 9 miles to the top of the climb, you will see the sign for the AT - just past the trail crossing, turn right onto Forest Service Road 69, which climbs to Wayah Bald. The road is in good condition but is narrow in spots and I was nervous driving on it. For Wayah Crest, I would say that when you reach this same trail crossing, turn left just past the trailhead into a dirt road and stay left to the parking area and sign for Wayah Crest. These directions would be if someone were coming from Franklin. 03/30/12 1
Fussymary @

This section is described as Section 7 in the "Appalachian Trail Guide to North Carolina-Georgia"
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Section 23 Pictures

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Page last updated: 9/19/2016 3:21:47 PM