Bartram Trail Approach

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 35.32560°N / 83.6807°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Sign the Climber's Log

Bartram Trail Approach to Cheoah Bald

Another less often used to the two Appalachian Trail approaches to Cheoah Bald is the Bartram Trail. The Bartram provides a 5 mile one way, 3000 foot vertical approach to the summit.

Getting There

The trailhead is a small paved parking lot in the Nantahala Gorge about 1.5 miles west of the Nantahala River put-in at the intersection of US 19 and Wayah Rd. The parking lot is on the north side of the road.

Route Description

This route follows the Bartram Trail (blazed yellow) for a majority of the hike only joining up with the AT (white blazes) for the last 0.2 miles. The trail leaves the parking lot immediately crossing a set of railroad tracks. There are a number of impromptu camp sites in this area. From there a steep climbs leads you out of Natahala Gorge and drops you into the drainage for Ledbetter Creek. The Bartram Trail proceeds to follow Ledbetter Creek climbing at a moderate grade, mostly following the creek. This section can get pretty wet, especially in spring or after heavy rain.

After about 4 miles, the trail intersects and follows an old FS road and quickly rejoins another trail leading up to the main Cheoah ridge. With about a quarter mile to go the Bartram Trail intersects with the AT for the final approach to Cheoah.

You can either return via the same route, or with the help of a shuttle, descend to Stecoah Gap or the NOC via the AT.

This route is well-maintained, but seldom used. Wear orange during bear season in Oct-Dec as the area around Cheoah is quite popular with bear hunters.

Essential Gear

External Links

Detailed maps can be ordered from the NC Bartram Trail Society:


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