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Community’s request could take until spring to complete.

After years of trying to establish a safe recreation spot at Nantahala Lake, Macon County Commissioners voted to approve an application Tuesday night that would begin the process to work with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to establish a "no wake zone" within the Lakes End Cove area of Nantahala Lake.

Daniel Lopp, a member of the Nantahala community, has been petitioning commissioners to make a request to the state for months and with the help of North Carolina Wildlife Resource Officer Mark Ray, gained the approval of commissioners Tuesday night.


From Franklin's Main Street to the top of Wayah Bald is just a little more than a 15-mile trek on foot along the Bartram Trail. The trail has just under 11,000 feet in elevation gain and winds up a remote mountain that stands as one of the oldest trails in the Smokies. A day hike of the trail is a feat accomplished by few outdoor adventurers, but last Saturday more than 50 thrill seekers raced in a 25k to the top of the mountain, with nearly half turning around at Wayah Bald and racing back down to complete The Naturalist 25/50k, Franklin's first ever 50k ultra marathon hosted by Outdoor 76.

"Overall the event was a huge victory. Considering the caliber of difficulty, the weather and the fact that this was a first year event competing with some very well-known races in the fall," said Rob Gasbarro, co-owner of Outdoor 76. "I don't think there was a single runner we spoke to that didn't say this was the hardest race they've ever run and one of the best, if not the best, organized race they've ever participated in. We lost count of how many said this was #1 on their list now."


On Saturday, Oct. 17, Teen Challenge of The Smokies will be open to the public for a public preview of the ministry plans for the camp facility.

Executive Director Mike Barres, the staff and volunteers will host a program and open house beginning at 4p.m.

The Addiction Recovery Ministry site is on the Camp Cullasaja Campground off Highlands Road.

The program will be held in the assembly hall. It will include live music, testimonies, a slide show and a short talk about the future goals and plans for Teen Challenge of the Smokies. Following the presentation, refreshments will be served in the cafeteria. Afterward, all attendees are invited and encouraged to tour all the buildings and property of the facility.


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.






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