Appletree Group Campground


Campground trail winding through open trees next to picnic shelter

If you love to hike, fish and camp with a group in western North Carolina's mountains, Appletree Group Campground is the perfect getaway.

Visitors can easily access eight hiking trails that offer 32 miles of variety and adventure. Avid anglers can cast their lines for the bounty of fish in nearby rivers and creeks.

Visitors can sightsee along the 61-mile Mountain Waters Scenic Byway. This scenic drive links US 19 and US 64, and it winds through cullasaja and Nantahala River gorges, passes Nantahala Lake, Wayah Bald's restored fire tower, numerous waterfalls and the rural countryside.

Named after the apple trees that used to cover the site, Appletree Campground bears signs of Native Americans who existed as long as 10,000 years ago. Passing this way were early hunters and gatherers who lived here temporarily.

The Cherokee lived and used Appletree for nearly 4,000 years. About 400 years ago European traders followed Indian paths to western North Carolina and Appletree. Soon after 1819, the Cherokees traded the land to settlers and migrated west of the Nantahala River. In 1838, the Cherokee were forced to move west along the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. Early pioneers from the East followed the well-blazed paths over the mountains to settle here in this fertile, well-watered land.

Click here to print a recreation opportunity guide with campground map.

At a Glance

Reservations: Reservations are available from 8am-4:30pm, M-F excluding holidays at the Nantahala District Office, 828-524-6441 or through Reservations are available beginning Jan 1 for that year Campground quiet hours are from 10pm-6am.
Rentals & Guides: Whitewater rafting, biking and fishing guides or rentals are available on the Nantahala River.
Permit Info: Reservations are required
Open Season: April 1 - October 31
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Campsites A and D are limited to 25 people; Campsites B and C are limited to 50 people, no exceptions. All areas are tent areas; only one wheeled camping unit is permitted per campsite and must be kept in the gravel parking area. Pets must be on a leash.
Closest Towns: Franklin or Andrews, NC
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush
Operated By: Nantahala National Forest, Nantahala Ranger District, 90 Sloan Road, Franklin, NC 28734, (828)-524-6441

General Information


From Franklin: From Franklin/Clayton/Atlanta exit, take U.S. 64 west for about 3 miles. Turn right at LBJ/Wayah signs and take first left beside Loafer’s Glory Store onto Wayah Road (SR 1310), which goes over Wayah Gap and past Nantahala Lake. After passing Lake’s End Store, take first left onto Junaluska Road (SR 1401), toward Andrews for about 2.5 miles to Appletree Group Campground.

From Asheville: Take I-40 west and Exit 27 (Waynesville) onto U.S. 23. Take U.S. 23 past Sylva Exits 85 & 83. At Exit 81, either: take U.S. 74 west and U.S. 19 through Nantahala Gorge to the Nantahala River Launch Site. Turn left onto SR 1310 (Wayah Road). Go about 8 miles and turn right onto SR 1401 (Junaluska road). Go approximately 2.5 miles, and the campground entrance is on your right, or: Take U.S. 441 south to Franklin. Stay on U.S. 441/64 past the Clayton/Atlanta exit, and you will be on U.S. 64 west. Follow directions “From Franklin.”

From Atlanta: Take I-85 north and exit onto U.S. I-985 north. Continue to Franklin, NC, via U.S. I-985 and U.S. 441. Take U.S. 64 west. From here, follow directions “From Franklin.”

From Knoxville: Take U.S. 129 south to Topton, NC. Turn left onto U.S. 19. Turn right at the Nantahala River Launch Site onto SR 1310 (Wayah Road). This will be at bottom of hill. Go about 8 miles and turn right onto SR 1401 (Junaluska Road). Go about 2.5 miles, and the campground entrance will be on your right.

From Murphy: Take U.S. 19 toward Andrews. Leave 4-lane and go through downtown Andrews. At outskirts of Andrews, road forks. Take right fork, SR 1505 (Junaluska Road). Follow this road about 12 miles to campground.

General Notes:


Camping & Cabins

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Water Activities

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Boating - Non-Motorized