Things to Do in Robbinsville, NC

March 8, 2023

things to do in robbinsville nc

If you're visiting Robbinsville, North Carolina, there are plenty of things to do. From watching shows to exploring the natural world, these attractions will surely make your trip a memorable one!

If you're a hiker, don't miss the chance to explore the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. This is a pristine area of the Nantahala National Forest where you can take in stunning views of the mountains.

1. Take a Hike in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Hike through one of the largest and most pristine stretches of old growth forest in North Carolina. It's a rare treasure that was saved from logging in 1936 and is now protected as the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

The forest is an example of the unique old-growth cove hardwood forests that are only found in the Appalachian Mountains. It features a variety of different tree species, including poplars, hemlocks, red and white oaks, basswoods, beech trees and sycamore.

There are two trails in the forest, including a figure-eight recreation trail that takes hikers through Poplar Cove. The lower loop passes by a plaque that pays tribute to Joyce Kilmer, and the upper loop swings through the cove to see some of the forest's largest trees.

2. Watch a Show at the Stecoah Valley Center

The Stecoah Valley Center is a small town gem that offers amazing art, craft and entertainment you won't find in larger communities. The Center is housed in a historic 1920's school building and provides a variety of programs for people of all ages.

The center offers a summer concert series, an artisan gallery, a food ventures culinary co-op, arts, textile and culinary classes, the Junior Appalachian Musicians program and more.

The Stecoah Valley Center is devoted to preserving and promoting Southern Appalachian mountain culture. It is located near Robbinsville and the Cherokee tribal community of Snowbird.

3. Go Whitewater Rafting at the Cheoah River

Located near Robbinsville, North Carolina, the Cheoah River offers some of the most exciting whitewater rafting in the Southeast. The nine mile run is chaulk full of Class IV and Class IV+ rapids, which are surrounded by a thick bed of vegetation that requires a high skill level to navigate.

The Cheoah was dewatered for 77 years after Santeetlah Dam was built, but after years of advocacy by American Whitewater and Western North Carolina Paddlers, the water is released on a scheduled basis. This means that the river is able to continue to provide whitewater rafting opportunities for everyone!

4. Take a Ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of train excursions that travel through the North Carolina mountains. Choose from trips along the Nantahala Gorge or Tuckasegee River, across valleys, and through tunnels.

They also offer special event trains, like the Polar Express and Moonshine Experience. These rides are a great way to get the family together for a fun day out in the mountains.

They also offer open air and climate controlled cars, as well as first-class dining options. All passengers receive a souvenir tote and free drink refills.

5. Explore the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular national parks in the United States. It boasts impressive swaths of wilderness, legendary whitewater rivers, scenic waterfalls, and quaint nearby towns.

Hiking is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the park. There are countless trails in the park, from easy walks to challenging climbs.

Fall is the best time to hike in the Smokies, especially if you want to see the swaths of colorful trees painting the mountains with bright hues. You’ll also find an explosion of wildflowers, including delicate spring beauties and several types of trilliums.

6. Visit Santeetlah Lake

Lake Santeetlah is an incredibly beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It is surrounded by the Cheoah District of the Nantahala National Forest and offers countless recreational opportunities.

It is also home to a variety of fish, including trout, walleye, and bass. The lake is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and swimming.

During scheduled dam recreational releases, the Cheoah River also offers exciting whitewater rafting. There are also a number of hiking trails around the lake and in the Nantahala National Forest and Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

7. Go Outdoors

Robbinsville, North Carolina, is a small town with an incredible natural landscape. Its laid-back ambiance and peaceful community make it a perfect place to visit if you’re seeking a top-notch outdoor experience.

Its close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains means that you can easily access several outdoor activities. For example, you can go hiking or skiing in the nearby public lands.

One of the best places to go outdoors in Robbinsville is the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. This natural area is home to ancient virgin forests that are worth exploring and trekking through.


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