The Bartram Trail is designated as a National Recreation Trail by the National Trails System Act of 1968. The trail is blazed in a yellow, vertically oriented rectangle in North Carolina and a yellow diamond in Georgia. It crosses over some of the most scenic mountains of North Carolina and Georgia, with many side trails, blazed in a blue vertically oriented rectangle, leading to views of the Blue Ridge and the Smokies.
In North Carolina, the trail curves in a north-to-west direction through western North Carolina, joining the Appalachian Trail at two points and ending on Cheoah Bald. On its path from the Georgia state line to Cheoah Bald it goes to the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and crosses the Fishhawk Mountains before descending to the Little Tennessee River Valley. Here the Bartram Trail Society has designated a stretch of the Little Tennessee River to Franklin a canoe trail. Thru-hikers must follow a series of country roads through the valley into Franklin.
Near and within the city limits of Franklin, there is the Little Tennessee Greenway, a footpath that winds along the river. While not a part of the Bartram trail, it still offers a “side-path” that is a pleasant excursion.
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