Franklin Trail Days, Franklin NC, Appalachian Trail Hike, Outdoor 76
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  Franklin, North Carolina
An Appalachian Trail Gateway Community

Franklin, North Carolina has had a love affair with the A.T. dating back to the work of the Reverend Rufus Morgan in the 1940s. He and a group of friends took care of the Trail for years and formally created the Nantahala Hiking Club in 1968. Since then, members have worked with the U.S. Forest Service to maintain the 60 gorgeous miles of the A.T. in their territory.

"When the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) informed the town of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) developing Appalachian Trail Community designation program in fall of 2008, it was a no brainer for the town to pursue the designation," said Bill Van Horn, club president. In Oct 2008, NHC brought the program to the attention of Ronnie Haven, a local hiker-friendly business- man, town alderman Bob Scott, an NHC member, and the Executive Director of Franklin's Main Street Program, Linda Schlott. They all agreed that the program could clearly benefit the town economically and at the same time benefit the AT and its hiker community.

After coordination with the land manager, USFS Nantahala Ranger District, NHC presented the application to the town Council and County Commissioners, and both bodies voted to submit the application. A steering committee was developed, made up of representatives from the county commission, alderman, town and county planners, NHC, county school system, library, chamber, tourism businesses and USFS. The program was developed to say ‘thank you’ to trailside communities for the decades of service they have dedicated to hikers, and to assist them in becoming a part of a broader trail-wide Appalachian Trail Community™ network.

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© Franklin A.T. Committee » Franklin Trail Days
Franklin, NC 28734 » PHONE: 828-524-2516