Appletree Group Campground

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Campground trail winding through open trees next to picnic shelter

Sleep under the Stars.  Looking for a campsite for a group of people near the Nantahala River? The four sites at Appletree Group Campground accommodates two sites (A and D) for up to 25 people each and two sites (B and C) for up to 50 people each. 

Each site has its own picnic shelter, outdoor group gathering area with a fire ring and lantern posts, restroom with flush toilets, water hydrant, designated parking area and a grassy field for tents and activities. The campground offers a shower house.

Open April 1 – October 31, the campground is most popular during summer weekends and quieter on the weekdays. Reservations are required at 828-524-6441. Only the occupants have access through a combination lock on the gate.

Follow the Trail.  Hike near the campground on more than 20 miles of interconnecting loops. Nearby, catch a section of the long-distance Bartram National Recreation Trail, named for William Bartram, an American naturalist noted for his botanical expeditions in the late 1700s.

Get in the Water.  Avid anglers can cast their lines for rainbow, brown and native brook trout that live in the cold mountain streams near the campground. State fishing regulations apply, and licenses are required for fishing in national forest streams. Nantahala Lake is 10 minutes away.

If you enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting, use your personal craft to raft the lower section of the Nantahala River or use local outfitters’ services.

Check out the Sights.  From Appletree Campground, you can sightsee along the 61-mile Mountain Waters Scenic Byway. This scenic drive links U.S. 19 and U.S. 64, and it winds through the Cullasaja and Nantahala River gorges, passes Nantahala Lake, Wayah Bald’s restored fire tower, numerous waterfalls and the rural countryside.

Be Safe. Your safety is your own responsibility.


Check out the brochure.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed for the season.
Reservations: Reservations are available from 8am-4:30pm, M-F excluding holidays at the Nantahala District Office, 828-524-6441. 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.
Fees $75/night for 25 person sites; $150/night for 50 person sites 
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)-524-6

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:

Nantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
(828) 524-6441

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Day Hiking

Eight signed hiking trails, with a total length of about 32 miles, can be accessed from the campground. These are some trails you may discover:

Appletree Trail: This 2.2 –mile most-difficult trail climbs 1,640 feet in elevation and connects with four other area trails. To access, park or walk across the road from Appletree Branch and follow the blue blazes to the right of the branch. With two stream crossings, the trail meanders through an array of wildflowers.

Bartram Trail: A 6.5-mile section of the 71.1-mile Bartram Trail passes near the campground. The trail runs near the expeditions of William Bartram, an American naturalist noted for his botanical studies in the late 1700s.

London Bald Trail: A length of 9 miles one-way, this trail climbs and contours a side slope at a high elevation and travels through a fern-covered forest floor. This most-difficult trail connects with the Appletree Trail and Bartram Trail, accessed by the campground. Access is also by Junaluska Road (SR 1401).

Water Activities

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