Welcome to Nantahala National Forest

The name Nantahala means ‘Land of the Noonday Sun’ in Cherokee, because only when the sun is at its highest can it penetrate all the way to the floor of the Nantahala Gorge. The gorge itself is in the forest’s Nantahala Ranger District, which also holds the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Very close to South Carolina, 26 miles southwest of Brevard, Whitewater Falls can be reached via a steep 1-mile hike from NC 281.

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Nantahala National Forest in detail