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Photo by Brittney RabyAutumn is trickling down the mountain in the Cullasaja Gorge as leaves begin to change promising a spectacular show.

In the next few months, thousands of tourists will make the drive from Franklin to Highlands to catch a glimpse of the changing leaves.






Since John Wesley Powell led the first expedition down the Grand Canyon in 1869, adventure seekers from around the world have flocked to Arizona to gaze into the natural wonder.

Spanning 277 miles in length with the widest point of 18 miles across, it is easy to see why around 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. Last month, a crew from Macon County traveled to the National Park to celebrate James Pader's 85th birthday. Pader was joined by his son, James, and friend Sarah Lowell, to hike the entire Grand Canyon from rim to rim.



Volunteers with the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) spent Saturday morning removing tin siding on a building at the old Duncan Oil site and clearing brush to clear the property to bring new life for the LTLT.

"LTLT is indebted to its volunteers," said Dennis Desmond, LTLT's Land and Easement Stewardship Coordinator. "Projects like this one would not be possible without volunteers. It just would not be economical to salvage these building materials if we had to pay someone to do it. Plus, we have fun doing it."

According to Ben Laseter with the LTLT, the clean up is preparing the property to provide a green space adjacent to the LTLT office that will have several different purposes.


Within Macon County, lies 47 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and Franklin falls just 11 miles north of the AT's trailhead at Springer Mountain, Ga. With Franklin's position near the trail, and the fact that just five years ago Franklin became the first town to be designated as a trail town, the Appalachian Trail has proved to be a great benefit for the Franklin economy.

For the first time, Macon County transit launched a pilot program this year to provide transportation to and from the trail to bring more hikers into town, as well as give residents a chance to spend the day hiking. Over the last few years, Macon County Transit has often received phone calls from hikers heading to town to request a ride from the trail. The transit has not only provided the service to hikers, but the transit has also shuttled local residents to and from various trails so they can enjoy a day in the woods. The cost for the service is the same as if the transit was being used around town. Macon County Transit Director Kim Angel developed a trial program this summer that would send a transit shuttle, twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, to pick up hikers out on U.S. 64. The shuttle runs for the six-week thru-hiking season.


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