Official Website of the North Carolina Bartram Trail Society

Trail Overview

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Overview Descriptions for Each Of The 7 Sections Of The NC Bartram Trail

The overview descriptions, linked below, are reprinted here from the set of seven sectional maps published by the NC Bartram Trail Society (NCBTS) in the 1990s. The BTS acknowledges the hundreds of hours donated to this early mapping effort, chiefly by Burt Kornegay, and assisted by Keith Day, and Ms. Corky Hansen. Other board members that helped on the mapping project were Frank Findley, Virginia Talbot, Dan Pittillo, Ina Warren, Mo Wheeler and Dean Zuch.

These descriptions cover only the NC portion of the BT since, currently, there is no single map that covers the entire length of the Bartram Trail (BT), i.e., North Carolina and Georgia. A map is being developed by the NCBTS that will cover the entire trail and contain information panels that will describe the primary features of the trail, as well as driving directions to trailheads, etc. The entire length of the trail is being re-walked with high-precision GPS equipment and a distance measuring device (a “wheel”) to achieve the greatest accuracy of the path location, elevation profiles, distances to important features, etc. The current estimated time for the availability of this new map is late 2008 or early 2009. Check this website for updates on the new map status!

The narratives for each section of Bartram Trail should help you plan your outings – whether a day hike, a loop trail or overnight backpack trip. Information for each section includes: an overview of the section, popular short day hikes and driving directions to its trailheads.

Even though the narratives for the trail sections are provided below, 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.

BTS maps and “Guides” are available through online ordering at here or by printing a map order from insert link here and mailing a check to: Treasurer, P. O. Box 968 Highlands, NC 28741.

Several other information centers and outfitting stores in the area also sell all or some the maps mentioned above. Go to our Maps and Guides page for details on finding these retailers.

Overview and Narratives of Trail Sections

Click on a section number, below, to read its overview .

  • Section 1: This section is 12.5 miles long, traveling from/to Hale Ridge Road to/from Hickory Gap Highlands NC.
  • Section 2: This section is 9.8 miles long, traveling from/to Hickory Gap to/from Buckeye Creek.
  • Section 3: This section is 14 miles long, traveling from/to Buckeye Creek to Wallace Branch.
  • Section 4: This section is 11.5 miles long, traveling from/to Wallace Branch to/from Wayah Bald.
  • Section 5: This section is 7.4 miles long traveling from/to Wayah Bald to/from Nantahala Lake.
  • Section 6: This section is 16.5 miles long, traveling from/to Nantahala Lake to/from Nantahala Gorge.
  • Section 7: This section is 6.6 miles long, traveling from/to Nantahala Gorge to/from Cheoah Bald.