A half a million years ago, tectonic plate movement in the Atlantic Ocean caused a massive upheaval of solid granite that eventually became the Appalachian Mountains. These lofty peaks at one time were over 100,000 feet high. Exposure to the elements, the many epochs of glaciation, and time itself wore down these great rocky crags to the thickly forested, sinuous terrain we know today. Greatly diminished but still formidable, they beckon for all to explore and enjoy.
Nantahala is a Cherokee word meaning, 'Land of the Noon Day Sun.' The Cherokee have lived in these hills for hundreds of years and Nantahala is the very heart of their culture and being. It is part of a larger tract of occupation known as Katuah, the boundaries of which at one time stretched from Virginia to Alabama and encompassed most of the southern Appalachian Mountains. The Cherokee refer to themselves simply as 'The People' and words like cullasaja, 'sweet water,' wayah, 'wolf,' and many other surviving place names are an enduring testimony to the influence of the Cherokee people.
Nantahala is a land of cool dark coves, rushing streams and high mountain vistas, a land of many uses with pristine forests, trout streams, rolling farmland and scenery unsurpassed in the eastern United States. The unsettled nature of the terrain lures people from all over the world to hike its trails, fish its streams and explore its many serpentine back roads. It's truly a paradise for the adventurer struck by the wanderlust to see what lies around the next curve.