Franklin is located in Macon County and is nestled within the Nantahala National Forest. The city has a population of 4,175 as of the 2020 census. In 2010, the population was 3,845 people. The city has numerous attractions for visitors to enjoy, including the Scottish Tartans Museum and the Smokey Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.
The Little Tennessee River Greenway
The Little Tennessee River Greenway is one of the nation’s premier nature trails. In 2008, it was accepted into the National Recreation Trails system. This program was established by the 1968 National Trails System Act, which authorized the creation of a nationwide system of trails, including National Scenic and Historic Trails. To become a National Recreation Trail, a trail must meet certain criteria, including that it represents a region, has the support of a diverse community, and is one of America’s best trails. As of this writing, the Little Tennessee River Greenway is one of 1307 federally designated trails in the United States.
This trail follows the Little Tennessee River and Cartoogechaye Creek through upland forest, wetlands, and pastures. The trail offers scenic views of bridges and natural vegetation along the river. It also includes exercise stations and canoe put-ins.
If you are looking for a scenic hiking and biking trail in Franklin, NC, the Little Tennessee River Greenway is a great place to go. This popular paved path trail is three miles long and can be easily walked or biked in either direction. It has an overall physical rating of easy, with only one steep climb of 61 feet. It takes about twenty-three minutes to complete the trail.
The Franklin Town Hall voted Tuesday night to purchase a 13-acre piece of property for $22,000 in order to connect the Greenway to the Macon County recreation park. The property is located between Allman Road and Siler Road. The board also discussed a potential grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation for a greenway connector project. This grant would cover 30% of the overall cost of the connector project.
The Little Tennessee River is just a few miles away. It is one of the few major rivers in the Blue Ridge Mountains that has avoided dam construction. As a result, it is home to rare species and is known as one of the nation’s top smallmouth fishing rivers. The water is also home to many other species of game fish, including channel and flathead catfish.
The Gem Mine
If you’ve never been to a gem mine, you’re in for a treat. Franklin is considered the “Gem Capital of the World” and boasts four gem mining operations. This town also has plenty of other attractions, including a museum, the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, and local craft breweries. Visitors should plan ahead, though, and bring old clothes and rubber gloves.
If you’re interested in gemstones and jewelry, Franklin is the place for you. Located in a historic jail building, the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum features a stunning collection of minerals, fossils, and historical pieces. This museum also teaches visitors about the natural processes involved in creating gems and how they are transformed into jewelry.
Located downtown, Franklin has a typical small town USA downtown. While the downtown isn’t particularly attractive, recent tourism efforts have helped revitalize the area. The Gem and Mineral Museum is housed in a historic jailhouse on Phillips Street. The museum has been operating in its present location since 1974. The museum celebrates the history of gem mining and the town’s heritage, while also preserving the old jailhouse.
Franklin’s Blue Ridge Mountains surround the city, making it ideal for hiking and waterfall-watching. The town is also home to many active mines. Its famous Pickin’ on the Square festival is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The Gazebo on the Square hosts pickin’ sessions, which are popular with both tourists and locals alike.
Franklin’s proximity to two popular scenic gorges means that visitors can enjoy a scenic drive to both waterfalls. The Cullasaja River is only 16 miles from the town, and Bridal Veil Falls is located 23 miles to the north. If you’re visiting the area, don’t forget to bring your hiking boots!
Pickin’ on the Square is a free event held in downtown Franklin. This event has been a favorite of locals for nearly three decades. It’s held weather permitting.