Hiking and Biking Trails
For the latest information regarding National Forests in North Carolina, please check out the Forest Service website.
Our public lands offer more than 245 miles of bike trails. In addition, forest roads are also open for mountain biking, unless otherwise signed.
The Ramsey Bluff Bike Trail System is located at the Hanging Dog Campground area, and offers under-utilized adventure in Mountain biking, hiking, and cross-country running. The eight mile labyrinth of trails is actually a group of connected loops, allowing an interesting variety of combinations for repeat visitors to explore. The trail difficulty ranges from easy to moderate, and range from 1500 to 1900’ in elevation. The trail system has two good access points with parking: the Upper Parking area above the Boat Launch, and Iceberg Hill on Ramsey Bluff Road. Restrooms are near the Boat Launch trailhead.
Jack Rabbit Trail
Jackrabbit Mountain trail system provides access to over 14 miles of trails with a main central loop, which is easy and nearly level, and has junctions with several more difficult side trails, traveling to some interesting destinations such as ridgetops and beaches.
From Murphy, follow Hwy 64 for 19 miles and turn right on Hwy 175 South. Go 1 mile and turn right to stay on Hwy 175, crossing a long one-lane concrete bridge over an arm of the lake. Go 2.5 miles and turn right onto Jack Rabbit Road. Bear left after 250 ft., staying on Jack Rabbit Rd. The signed parking area is on the left after about 1/2 mile.
Fires Creek Recreation Area
The 25-mile Rim Trail in the Fires Creek Backcountry Area climbs the ridge around Fires Creek and makes a large loop. The trail offers vistas as it crosses several high elevation balds. From the Leatherwood Falls Picnic Area, a 0.7 mile loop goes to Leatherwood Falls.
From Murphy, travel US 64 towards Hayesville. At Hills Store turn left on Fires Creek Road (NC175) for 2.5 miles, left on Fires Creek Wildlife Road (SR 1344) for two miles. The recreation center is on the left after the bridge.
Ocoee Whitewater Center
Boasting more than 20 miles of trails, this trail system has it all. This trail has tons of options from a hke with history along the 2.4 mile restored segment of the Old Copper Road Trail, or an easy 1 mile stroll around the Olympic course at the Whitewater Center to a screaming 1.5 mile mountain bike ridge on the Thunder Rock Express.
Located on Hwy 64 approximately 6 miles west of Ducktown, Tennessee. Day use parking is available in the lower lot at the Ocoee Whitewater Center.
The approximate 3 miles of easy walking trails start at the far end of Konehete Park along the Valley River, and end at the Old L&N Depot by the Hiwassee River bridge. Enjoy walking through Konehete Park then along the river past the historic Leach Place and the abandoned railroad trestle to the Historic L&N Depot.
The Murphy River Walk is located in Downtown Murphy and has several access points including the L&N Depot, McClelland Street, and Konehete Park.
There are two entrances to the Appalachian Trail that are easily accessible from our area and both are 40 minutes away! You can get on the AT at the Nanatahala Outdoor Center in the Nanatahala Gorge on Hwy 74 or you can get on at Winding Stair Gap on the top of Franklin Mountain on Hwy 64. There are many other short day-hike options!
Piney Knob Trail
Piney Knob Trail System, 22.3 miles of recreational hiking and mountain biking trails on the 700+ acre Murphy Watershed property off of Piney Knob Hill Road. All trails are dirt single-track trails and built in accordance with International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) standards.
Full Width Template Conceived by Howard Neufeld and Michael Denslow Map Constructed by Michael Denslow So as to not “bury the lead” fall foliage fiesta looks like it will peak during the second and third weeks in October. However, nature has its own way of doing things, and a spate of soggy days may spell…
WHERE NC BEGINS Robbing the Bees with Alan Wamsley of Simple Life Farm and Campground Alan Wamsley, owner of Simple Life Farm and Campground in Robbinsville, NC, invited us to join him last month while “robbing the bees.” Robbing the bees is an old expression for getting honey out of bee hives. But that’s just…
American Pickers Coming to North Carolina this Spring One man’s trash is another man’s trash. This old proverb has a number of variations and it is difficult to pin down where it originated. Nonetheless a truer statement was never invented when it comes to junking, antiquing, garage sale hopping, picking, flea marketing, etc. The superstars…
In the Air with Riley – Ziplining at the Nantahala Outdoor Center You are perched hundreds of feet above the forest floor. The silhouette of mountains on the horizon, shrouded by a thin veil of fog. A lake shimmering in the distance. A river snaking through the valley. The soothing voice of your guide, explaining…
Submitted by Theresa Jo Gaffney Rotary Club of Murphy Public Information Officer Beloved Caboose Gets a Facelift Earlier in the summer, we asked our Rotary club members if there were any projects that we could help out with. Murphy Mayor Rick Ramsey, one of our Rotarians, mentioned that the train caboose behind the L&N Depot…
1st Virtual AfterHours and Door Prize Winners Announced Well we are back! Holding our first Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce’s AfterHours Networking event since February was tremendous. We decided to attempt this event on a virtual platform; Facebook Live. To be honest we were not sure what kind of response we would have and more…
Cherokee County Chamber’s Virtual After Hours from Downtown Murphy with WKRK As is the case with all our After Hours events, the public is welcome! Our first After Hours since February’s standing room only event at Parson’s Pub, will be no different. The public is welcome. Well – maybe, a little different. Instead of members…
WHERE WNC BEGINS First Day of Fall 2020 Fall leaves along Yellow Creek Road in Graham County | © Ronda Birtha We may not have been setting temperature records lately but the cool days and cooler evenings offer a promise of something pleasant and hopeful to look forward to. What is that? First, let’s drop…
DAY TRIPPIN’: HIWASSEE LAKE LOOP Hiwassee Lake is one of the crown jewels of Cherokee County. Whether it is fishing, swimming, boating, or just panoramic views this non-commercialized reservoir has it all. Looking for a fun drive? There is an easy loop around the lake that offers sweeping views and several access points to Hiwassee…
Promoting Agritourism in Graham County – the Neighbor in our Region Since activating the Visit NC Farms app in July of this year for Cherokee, Clay, and Graham Counties it has been an interesting journey for us into the world of agritoursim. Who knew so many rural businesses could be counted under that umbrella. Farm…
Need Help Getting Around?
Do you need help getting around or planning your next adventure in the great outdoors? Start with our "outdoor life" business directory listing and find the service that can help make your visit to our region memorable.