Ledbetter Creek may be the Nantahala Gorge's best keep secret. With its many cascading waterfalls and lush flora it's a scene straight out of a tropical paradise. Hike as little or as much as you'd like.

Leaving the Nantahala Outdoor Center, drive upriver for 6.5 miles until you see a pull off on the right. Walk past the picnic tables, cross the railroad tracks, then follow the trail to arrive at the creek. Once you're there, it's up to you on what to do next.

One of the most popular activities here is to follow the creek up and marvel at the numerous cascades and waterfalls. The cool water feels great on a warm summer afternoon. Looking for something more relaxing? No problem. Find a spot by the creek and string up your hammock!

If you decide you don't want to leave, you're covered there as well: two primitive campsites are located right by the creek. And if you're feeling really adventurous, the Bartram Trail crosses the creek and climbs up to Cheoah Bald on the Appalachian Trail. It's a steep, difficult climb of over 6 miles with 3,000' elevation gain, but the views from the top are superb.

Pack List

  • Water shoes or sandals
  • Camera
  • Hammock
  • Camp chair
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Scenic
Waterfall

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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