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Lake-Nantahala is located in the towering mountains of western North Carolina, near the small town of Topton. It sits like a pristine jewel at the edge of the Nantahala National Forest, surrounded by the rustic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Activities on or near Lake Nantahala include swimming, boating, fishing, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, hiking and golf. Whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking are available on the Ocoee or Nantahala Rivers, and snow skiing, sledding and snowboarding opportunities can be found at nearby Maggie Valley. The Nantahala River, which is just south of the lake, attracts anglers from all across the country. The whole area is brimming with crappie, trout, walleye, catfish, bass and sunfish. It's also very popular for its world-class white-water rafting trips. The 8-mile river trip through Class I, II, and III rapids takes about three hours, and more than ten outfitters can found along the river, offering a variety of services. There are also many hiking trails near Lake Nantahala, some that connect to parts of the Appalachian Trail, and a drive through the Nantahala Gorge offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Western North Carolina. The town of Franklin is just 18 miles away, and is well known for its gem mines open for public prospecting, along with lots of antique shops, art galleries, fine restaurants and accommodations. Other nearby places to visit in the Lake Nantahala area include the resort towns of Highlands and Cashiers, the Smoky Mountain Railroad, Cherokee Indian casinos and the Cullasaja River Gorge.

Surrounding areas: Aquone, North Carolina (3.0 mi), Topton, North Carolina (5.0 mi), Nantahala, North Carolina (7.5 mi), Andrews, North Carolina (8.9 mi), Lake Chatuge Village, North Carolina (12.2 mi), Hayesville, North Carolina (12.5 mi), Robbinsville, North Carolina (12.6 mi)

Lake Nantahala Vacation Rentals

Lake Nantahala Hotels and Resorts

Hotels & Motels
Andrews Valley InnBeavercreek RdAndrews, NC8.9 mi.(888) 777-7901
Microtel Inn & Suites Robbinsville107 Rodney Orr By-PassRobbinsville, NC12.6 mi.(828) 479-6772
San-ran MotelRobbinsville, NC12.6 mi.(828) 479-3256
Microtel Inn & Suites81 Allman DrFranklin, NC15.8 mi.(828) 349-9000
Snow Hill Inn531 Snow HL RdFranklin, NC16.2 mi.(828) 369-2100
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites300 Big Sky DrHiawassee, GA16.7 mi.(706) 896-8884
Ramada Inn Lake Chatuge Lodge653 Hwy 76Hiawassee, GA16.7 mi.(706) 896-5253
Days Inn1320 E Main StFranklin, NC17.3 mi.(828) 524-6491
Hampton Inn244 Cunningham RdFranklin, NC17.7 mi.(828) 369-0600
Best Western Murphy1522 Andrews RdMurphy, NC19.9 mi.(828) 837-3060
Charleston Inn208 Arlington AveBryson City, NC20.9 mi.(828) 488-4644
Holiday Inn Express64 White Oak LnDillard, GA21.0 mi.(706) 746-3383
Nantahala Village Mountain Resort9400 Hwy 19 WestBryson City, NC21.4 mi.(828) 488-2826
Sleep Inn500 SPG StBryson City, NC21.4 mi.(828) 488-0326
Knights Inn3 Best Inn WayDillard, GA21.6 mi.(706) 746-5321
Days Inn754 Hwy 64 WMurphy, NC21.6 mi.(828) 837-8030
Econo Lodge100 Ter StMurphy, NC21.6 mi.(828) 837-8880
Holiday Inn Express Hotel And Suites130 Holiday DrMurphy, NC21.6 mi.(828) 837-1111
Ela Motor Court5280 Ela RdBryson City, NC24.6 mi.(828) 488-2284
Lloyd's On The River5370 Ela RdBryson City, NC24.6 mi.(828) 488-3767
Days InnHwy 441 Box 1176Clayton, GA25.8 mi.(706) 782-4258
Quality Inn & Suites834 Hwy 441 SClayton, GA25.8 mi.(800) 334-2214
Stonebrook InnHwy 441Clayton, GA25.8 mi.(706) 782-2214
Seasons InnBox 10 On The SQBlairsville, GA26.6 mi.(706) 745-1631
Holiday Inn Express333 Fisher StBlairsville, GA26.9 mi.(706) 745-6844
Best Western River Escape Inn And Suites248 Wbi DrDillsboro, NC26.9 mi.(828) 586-6060
Mountain Creek Cottages162 Dicks CRK RdDillsboro, NC26.9 mi.(704) 586-6042
Mountain High MotelMain St And Second StHighlands, NC27.9 mi.(828) 526-2790
Comfort InnHwy 23/74Sylva, NC28.4 mi.(828) 586-3315
Comfort Suites35 Hwy 441 NorthCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-3500
Days Inn Smokey Mountain Inn660 Painttown RdCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-2300
Econo LodgeUs Hwy 19Cherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-4575
Fairfield Inn & Suite - Cherokee568 Painttown RdCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-0400
Hampton Inn185 Tsalagi RdCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-3115
Holiday Inn CherokeeHwy 19 WCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-9181
Holiday Inn Expres Hotel & Suites376 Paint Town RdCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-3113
Holiday InnHwy 19 SCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-9181
Microtel Inn & Suites674 Casino TrlCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-7800
Quality Inn-cherokeeUS 441 N BypCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-4702
Ramada Limited196 Painttown RdCherokee, NC28.5 mi.(828) 497-4231
Bed & Breakfast
Angels Landing Inn94 Campbell StMurphy, NC21.4 mi.(828) 835-8877
Freeze House Bed And Breakfast71 Sylvan HeightsSylva, NC28.4 mi.(828) 586-8161

Lake Nantahala Weather & Climate

The Mountains of North Carolina range from 800 feet to over 6,600 feet and topography affects the local weather. Expect temperatures to be 10 to 20 degrees cooler on the mountaintops. Spring is unpredictable, particularly at the higher elevations. Snow may fall in March, but by May, things warm up with daytime highs in the 80s. Summer is warm and humid, but more pleasant at the higher elevations. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common in the summertime. Winter is generally moderate, but extreme conditions can occur in the mountains. It's not unusual to have warm temperatures in the valleys and snow in the higher areas. In the lowlands, snows of one inch or more occur just 1-5 times per year. More frequent and deeper snows fall at the higher elevations.

     Month       High Temp   Low Temp   Rainfall   Ocean Temp 
January 48°F 25°F 7.17 in. -
February 52°F 27°F 6.09 in. -
March 60°F 34°F 6.97 in. -
April 68°F 40°F 5.18 in. -
May 76°F 49°F 5.37 in. -
June 82°F 57°F 5.54 in. -
July 85°F 61°F 5.00 in. -
August 85°F 60°F 5.50 in. -
September 80°F 54°F 4.45 in. -
October 70°F 41°F 3.51 in. -
November 60°F 33°F 5.33 in. -
December 51°F 27°F 6.02 in. -

Lake Nantahala Map & Transportation

Main viewing image.
Click each thumbnail image to enlarge.
The closest airports in the area are the Mc Ghee Tyson airport (TYS) located about 47 miles northwest of Lake Nantahala in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge airport (GKT) located approximately 47 miles north of Lake Nantahala in Sevierville, Tennessee, the Asheville Regional airport (AVL) located roughly 66 miles east of Lake Nantahala in Asheville, North Carolina, and finally the Moore Murrell airport (MOR) located around 71 miles north of Lake Nantahala in Morristown, Tennessee.

Lake Nantahala Attractions

Amusement and Theme Parks
Cherokee Fun ParkCherokeeNC28.5 mi.
Santa's LandCherokeeNC28.5 mi.
Ghost Town in the SkyMaggie ValleyNC39.8 mi.
DollywoodPigeon ForgeTN42.5 mi.
Rockin' RacewayPigeon ForgeTN42.5 mi.
NASCAR SpeedParkSeviervilleTN47.9 mi.
Water Parks
Lake Lanier Island Beach & Water ParkLake Lanier IslandGA72.2 mi.
White Water ParkMariettaGA98.5 mi.
Golf Courses
Chatuge Shores Golf CourseHayesvilleNC12.5 mi.
Mountain Harbour Golf & Yacht ClubHayesvilleNC12.5 mi.
Franklin Golf CourseFranklinNC16.2 mi.
Mill Creek Country ClubFranklinNC16.2 mi.
Cherokee Hills Golf & Country ClubMurphyNC21.3 mi.
Smoky Mountain Country ClubWhittierNC24.6 mi.
Rabun Country Golf ClubClaytonGA26.3 mi.
Butternut Creek Golf CourseBlairsvilleGA26.6 mi.
Highlands CoveHighlandsNC27.8 mi.
Ski Areas
Scaly MountainScaly MountainNC23.1 mi.
CataloocheeMaggie ValleyNC39.8 mi.
Ski Wolf LaurelMars HillNC77.2 mi.
State Parks
Chatuge State ParkGA17.1 mi. 
Moccasin Creek State ParkGA24.0 mi. 
Black Rock Mountain State ParkGA24.3 mi. 
Unicoi State ParkGA31.9 mi. 
Vogel State ParkGA33.9 mi. 
Oconee State ParkSC39.1 mi. 
Sequoyah Birthplace MuseumVonoreTN43.0 mi.(History)
East Tennessee Discovery CenterKnoxvilleTN55.8 mi.(Science)
Ewing Gallery of Art & ArchitectureKnoxvilleTN55.8 mi.(Art)
Knoxville Museum of ArtKnoxvilleTN55.8 mi.(Art)
East Tennessee Historical Society MuseumKnoxvilleTN55.8 mi.(History)
Farragut Folklife MuseumFarragutTN55.8 mi.(History)
South Carolina Gold MuseumPickensSC58.1 mi.(Miscellaneous)
Zoos and Aquariums
Knoxville Zoological GardensKnoxvilleTN55.8 mi.
Western North Carolina Nature CenterAshevilleNC69.2 mi.
Greenville ZooGreenvilleSC75.6 mi.
Tennessee AquariumChattanoogaTN93.2 mi.
Warner Park ZooChattanoogaTN93.2 mi.
Zoo AtlantaAtlantaGA107.0 mi.

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