Listed below are parts of the NC Bartram Trail that are not recommended for use at this time. You should use a trail map and/or a guide to familiarize yourself with this part of the trail and avoid using it.
Update 18 Jan 2012:
Duke Energy informed us that they are planning to place an underground cable on Hightower Road. The Hightower Road area is between the Appletree Group Camp and the Concrete Ford, a road walk formerly called Section 6 of the BT. There is no indication how long this work might go on.
NANTAHALA LAKE LEVELS (ON-GOING):
In compliance with their operating license Duke Energy manages the Nantahala Lake levels with scheduled lake water releases. Periods of heavy rainfall may require additional unscheduled water releases. The release schedule is posted on the NCBTS website as are links to the Duke Energy website for lake level information regarding both scheduled and unscheduled water release.
When lake water is not being released hikers traveling south to north just past mile 54 descend on wooden steps to Nantahala Dam Rd. Stay straight on Nantahala Dam Road and cross the Nantahala riverbed on the concrete ford spillway for the Nantahala Lake dam. Then continue uphill about 300 feet, turn right on Highwater Trail Road and proceed 2.2 miles to intersect Cloudwalker Cove Road. Turning right the Bartram Trail goes a short distance and over a bridge to Junaluska Road (SR 1400) where it goes right again 0.1 mile to the Appletree Group Campground gate on the left. At this point the trail becomes a blazed footpath again.
During lake water releases the concrete ford is impassable and the following alternate roadwalk is necessary. Traveling south to north just past mile 54 after descending the wooden steps go right on Nantahala Dam Road 0.9 miles to its intersection with Junaluska Road (SR 1400). Go left and take Junaluska Road about a mile to rejoin the Bartram Trail near the Appletree Group Campground gate where the trail becomes a blazed footpath again.
NOTICE: While every attempt will be made to keep the above information current, sudden weather systems (tropical storms, snow storms, etc) can negatively impact the trail’s condition and cause sudden increases in the water flow of the streams that the trail crosses. Information is updated as soon as trail maintenance crews can visit a part of the trail and report their findings or repair the trail. Regardless of the currency of the “Advisory”, there is no substitute for using caution and prudence in making your decision to hike any trail that has, or possibly has had, some damage to its pathway. It’s better to turn around and retrace your steps (and hike another day) than to risk injury trying to traverse a dangerous trail condition. The NC Bartram Trail Society strongly recommends obtaining the trail maps and associated Guides. The BT crosses complicated terrain. Although the trail is marked (blazed) with yellow vertically-oriented rectangles in North Carolina and yellow diamonds in Georgia, it is important to know where you are on the trail and where you are going. You need to know the location of possible ingress and egress paths/roads, especially in case of emergency. Maps and guide books can be obtained by clicking here.