Bartram Trail In North Carolina

Here is everything you need to know about the Bartram Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: North Carolina
  • Length: 78.4 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Bartram Trail is a historic trail located in the southeastern United States, primarily in the states of Georgia and North Carolina. The trail follows the footsteps of renowned naturalist William Bartram, who explored the region during the late 18th century. Bartram’s travels and observations were documented in his book “Travels,” which became a significant contribution to the understanding of the region’s flora, fauna, and Native American cultures.

The trail itself was established in the 1970s by the U.S. Forest Service and various hiking organizations to commemorate Bartram’s journey. It spans approximately 115 miles, passing through diverse landscapes such as mountains, forests, and rivers. Hikers can experience the same natural wonders that Bartram encountered centuries ago, providing a unique historical perspective.

Throughout the trail, there are several historical landmarks and sites that offer glimpses into the past. These include remnants of Native American settlements, old homesteads, and even Bartram’s own campsite. These historical features serve as reminders of the rich cultural heritage of the region and provide hikers with a deeper understanding of the area’s history.

Today, the Bartram Trail continues to attract outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and nature lovers alike. It offers a chance to connect with the past and appreciate the beauty of the southeastern United States. The trail’s historical significance and natural splendor make it a popular destination for those seeking a unique and educational hiking experience.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Georgia-North Carolina Border: This is the starting point of the Bartram Trail, located on the border of Georgia and North Carolina.

2. Rabun Bald: This access point is located near Dillard, Georgia, and provides a trailhead to hike up to Rabun Bald, the second-highest peak in Georgia.

3. Warwoman Dell Recreation Area: Situated near Clayton, Georgia, this access point offers parking and facilities for hikers to begin their journey on the Bartram Trail.

4. Russell Bridge: Located near Clayton, Georgia, this access point provides parking and access to the trail, allowing hikers to explore the scenic beauty of the area.

5. Osage Overlook: Situated near Franklin, North Carolina, this access point offers parking and a trailhead to start hiking on the Bartram Trail.

6. Wayah Bald: This access point is located near Franklin, North Carolina, and provides parking and facilities for hikers to begin their journey on the Bartram Trail.

7. Nantahala Outdoor Center: Situated near Bryson City, North Carolina, this access point offers parking and a trailhead to start hiking on the Bartram Trail.

8. Wallace Branch: Located near Franklin, North Carolina, this access point provides parking and access to the trail, allowing hikers to continue their journey on the Bartram Trail.

9. Cheoah Bald: This access point is located near Robbinsville, North Carolina, and provides parking and facilities for hikers to begin their journey on the Bartram Trail.

10. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest: Situated near Robbinsville, North Carolina, this access point offers parking and a trailhead to start hiking on the Bartram Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Bartram Trail, but there may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Bartram Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from various points along the Bartram Trail.
2. Local Taxi – Taxi service available for transportation needs in the vicinity of the Bartram Trail.
3. Ride-Share Services – On-demand ride-sharing platforms offering convenient transportation options near the Bartram Trail.
4. Public Bus – Local bus service with routes that include stops near the Bartram Trail.
5. Car Rental – Rental car services providing vehicles for independent transportation along the Bartram Trail.
6. Bicycle Rental – Rental service offering bicycles for exploring the Bartram Trail and its surroundings.
7. Hiking Group Transportation – Group transportation services catering specifically to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts visiting the Bartram Trail.


The amenities available at the Bartram Trail may vary depending on the specific section or location of the trail. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available at trailheads or designated rest areas. However, it is advisable to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer as these facilities may not always be well-maintained.

2. Parking: There are parking areas available at various trailheads along the Bartram Trail. These parking lots provide a convenient starting point for hikers and visitors.

3. Camping Sites: The Bartram Trail offers several designated camping sites along its route. These sites may have amenities such as fire rings, picnic tables, and access to water sources. However, it is important to check with local authorities or trail organizations for any permits or regulations regarding camping along the trail.

4. Picnic Areas: Some sections of the Bartram Trail may have designated picnic areas with tables and benches. These areas provide a scenic spot for hikers to rest and enjoy a meal.

5. Water Sources: The trail passes through various streams, rivers, and lakes, providing opportunities for hikers to access water sources. However, it is recommended to carry a water filter or purification system to ensure safe drinking water.

6. Trail Markers and Signage: The Bartram Trail is typically well-marked with trail blazes, signs, and maps at key junctions. These markers help hikers navigate the trail and stay on the designated path.

7. Information Boards: Some trailheads or visitor centers along the Bartram Trail may have information boards providing details about the trail, its history, and any current alerts or closures.

It is important to note that amenities may vary along different sections of the trail, and it is always advisable to check with local authorities or trail organizations for the most up-to-date information on amenities and trail conditions.

Nearby Services

1. Bartram Trail Lodge – A cozy lodge located near the trailhead, offering comfortable accommodations.
2. Riverside Campground – A scenic campground situated along the river, providing camping facilities for hikers.
3. Mountain View Inn – A charming inn with picturesque mountain views, offering lodging options for trail visitors.
4. Trailside Diner – A popular eatery located right on the trail, serving delicious meals and snacks.
5. Wilderness Grill – A rustic grill offering hearty meals and refreshing drinks for hungry hikers.
6. Bartram Trail General Store – A convenient store near the trail, providing essential supplies and snacks.
7. Bartram Trail Medical Center – A medical facility equipped to handle emergencies and provide medical assistance to trail visitors.

Bartram Trail Difficulty Notes

The Bartram Trail, spanning over 100 miles through the Appalachian Mountains, offers a moderate to challenging difficulty level for hikers. With varying terrain and elevation changes, the trail presents a mix of easy, flat sections and steep, rocky climbs. Hikers should be prepared for rugged conditions, including stream crossings, fallen trees, and narrow paths. The trail’s length and remote sections also require careful planning and endurance. While the Bartram Trail may pose challenges, its stunning views, diverse ecosystems, and sense of adventure make it a rewarding experience for those seeking a moderate to challenging hiking adventure.

Features And Attractions

The Bartram Trail is a 116-mile long hiking trail that stretches through the states of Georgia and North Carolina. Along this trail, you can find various scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Bartram Trail:

1. Rabun Bald: This is the second-highest peak in Georgia and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

2. Nantahala National Forest: The trail passes through this vast forest, known for its beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and diverse wildlife.

3. Wayah Bald: Located in North Carolina, this bald offers breathtaking views of the Nantahala National Forest and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains.

4. Chattooga River: The trail follows the banks of this wild and scenic river, famous for its whitewater rapids and pristine beauty.

5. Tallulah Gorge State Park: This park features a deep gorge with stunning waterfalls and scenic overlooks. It is a popular spot for hiking and rock climbing.

6. Franklin: This historic town in North Carolina is known for its charming downtown area, antique shops, and local art galleries.

7. Bartram Gardens: Located in Franklin, these gardens showcase a variety of native plants and flowers, as well as a replica of William Bartram’s 18th-century cabin.

8. Warwoman Dell: This scenic area features a beautiful waterfall, wildflowers, and a variety of hiking trails.

9. Highlands: This picturesque mountain town in North Carolina offers stunning views, upscale shops, and a variety of dining options.

10. Scaly Mountain: This area is known for its outdoor recreational activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and tubing during the winter months.

These are just a few examples of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can encounter along the Bartram Trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
– Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
– No hunting or trapping is allowed on the trail.
– Camping is only permitted in designated areas.
– Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings or grills.
– Do not damage or remove any plants, trees, or natural features.
– Bicycles are allowed on certain sections of the trail, but must yield to pedestrians.
– Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
– Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
– Leave no trace: pack out all trash and litter.
– Respect private property boundaries and do not trespass.
– Observe any seasonal restrictions or closures in place for conservation purposes.

Seasonal Information

The Bartram Trail, located in the southeastern United States, offers a stunning outdoor experience for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit the trail largely depend on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. Spring and fall are generally considered the most popular seasons due to the mild temperatures and beautiful foliage. During these times, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, and the weather is perfect for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.

In spring, the Bartram Trail comes alive with the blooming of dogwoods, azaleas, and other native plants. The temperatures are pleasant, ranging from the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit (15-25 degrees Celsius), making it ideal for long hikes and exploring the diverse ecosystems along the trail. Fall, on the other hand, offers a breathtaking display of colors as the leaves change, creating a picturesque landscape. The temperatures are cooler, ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10-25 degrees Celsius), making it a comfortable time for outdoor activities.

It’s important to note that the Bartram Trail, like many other hiking trails, may have seasonal closures or restrictions. During the winter months, some sections of the trail may be closed due to inclement weather, such as heavy snowfall or icy conditions. It’s advisable to check with local authorities or the trail’s official website for any closures or safety advisories before planning your visit. Additionally, during periods of heavy rainfall, certain sections of the trail may become muddy or impassable, so it’s essential to be prepared and check for any trail updates.

Overall, the Bartram Trail offers a unique experience throughout the year, each season showcasing its own beauty and charm. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring or the crisp air of fall, visiting during these times will provide you with an unforgettable journey through the diverse landscapes and natural wonders along the trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the trailhead, providing easy access for individuals with mobility challenges.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, ensuring smooth and accessible routes for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available along the trail, equipped with features like grab bars and wider doorways for wheelchair accessibility.
4. Trailhead Accessibility: The trailhead area is designed to be accessible, with ramps, curb cuts, and other accommodations to facilitate entry and exit for individuals with mobility limitations.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to be wheelchair accessible, featuring accessible tables, benches, and pathways.
6. Braille and Tactile Signage: Informational signage along the trail includes Braille and tactile elements, ensuring accessibility for individuals with visual impairments.
7. Accessible Viewing Areas: Scenic viewpoints and overlooks along the trail are designed to be accessible, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.
8. Assistance Animals: The trail welcomes service animals, providing assistance to individuals with disabilities as per ADA guidelines.
9. Accessible Interpretive Displays: Interpretive displays along the trail are designed to be accessible, featuring large print, audio descriptions, or tactile elements for individuals with visual impairments.
10. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps are available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, to ensure individuals with visual impairments can navigate the trail effectively.

Safety Information

1. Plan and prepare: Familiarize yourself with the trail, weather conditions, and potential hazards before setting out.
2. Inform others: Let someone know your itinerary and expected return time.
3. Carry essential gear: Bring a map, compass, first aid kit, extra food and water, and appropriate clothing for changing weather conditions.
4. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially in hot weather.
5. Protect against wildlife: Be aware of potential encounters with bears, snakes, and other wildlife; carry bear spray and know how to use it.
6. Avoid poisonous plants: Learn to identify and avoid contact with poison ivy, poison oak, and other harmful plants.
7. Watch your step: Be cautious of uneven terrain, loose rocks, and slippery surfaces to prevent falls and injuries.
8. Use insect repellent: Protect yourself from ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects that may carry diseases.
9. Be cautious near water: Exercise caution when crossing streams or rivers, and be aware of changing water levels and currents.
10. Stay on the trail: Stick to designated paths to avoid getting lost or damaging fragile ecosystems.
11. Leave no trace: Pack out all trash, respect wildlife and vegetation, and minimize your impact on the environment.
12. Be prepared for emergencies: Carry a whistle, flashlight, and extra batteries for signaling and communication purposes.
13. Check weather conditions: Stay updated on weather forecasts and avoid hiking during severe storms or dangerous conditions.
14. Hike with a buddy: Whenever possible, hike with a partner for added safety and support.
15. Know your limits: Be aware of your physical abilities and don’t push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
16. Follow trail regulations: Observe any posted rules or restrictions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
17. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings, trail markers, and any potential hazards along the way.
18. Seek local advice: Consult with park rangers or experienced hikers for up-to-date information and recommendations specific to the Bartram Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Bartram Trail, spanning approximately 115 miles through the states of Georgia and North Carolina, holds a conservation status that reflects the efforts made to protect and preserve its natural resources. As a designated National Recreation Trail, the Bartram Trail benefits from various conservation initiatives aimed at maintaining its ecological integrity and ensuring its long-term sustainability.

The conservation status of the Bartram Trail is primarily governed by the U.S. Forest Service, which manages the majority of the trail within the Nantahala and Chattahoochee National Forests. These federal agencies work diligently to protect the trail’s diverse ecosystems, including its forests, wetlands, and waterways. Through the implementation of sustainable land management practices, such as controlled burns and invasive species removal, the Forest Service aims to maintain the trail’s natural habitats and prevent the degradation of its biodiversity.

Additionally, the Bartram Trail benefits from the efforts of local conservation organizations and volunteer groups. These dedicated individuals contribute to the trail’s conservation by conducting regular trail maintenance, including erosion control and vegetation management. They also play a crucial role in monitoring and reporting any environmental concerns or threats to the trail’s conservation status, ensuring prompt action can be taken to address them.

Overall, the conservation status of the Bartram Trail remains relatively stable due to the collaborative efforts of federal agencies, conservation organizations, and volunteers. By prioritizing the protection of its natural resources and implementing sustainable practices, these stakeholders work together to preserve the trail’s ecological value and provide future generations with the opportunity to experience its unique beauty.

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