Blue Valley

Sometimes a person just needs to get away from it all for the weekend – no people, no phones, no electricity. Blue Valley has several primitive campsites scattered along the gravel road that offer plenty of privacy.  I took my cameras, my dog, and a picnic lunch and spent the day photographing fall wildflowers and working on my novel.

This area is also listed on several websites as being a good place for mountain biking. The main gravel road is graded smooth enough for cars, but the side roads have some rough spots and a lot of brush growing into the roads. I had no trouble with my Jeep, but I think a larger SUV would get scratched.  The ride from Franklin is a beautiful trip even if you decide not to camp here.

At the end of the road are the trailheads for the Hurrah Ridge Trail which follow the historic livestock trail used by Blue Valley pioneers to move livestock to Scaly Mountain, and the West Fork Trail.  You can also hike to Glen Falls from here, but check a good trail map before starting. It is a steep hike that would be easier to do coming from Hwy 106 toGlen Falls parking area, then hiking downhill to Blue Valley.

Hernando DeSoto passed through here in 1540 and described the area as having “many oaks and some mulberries, and plenty of pasturage for cattle. There were ravines and streams with little water, though they flowed rapidly, and very green and delightful valleys.”  Thanks to the Nantahala National Forest, the valley has been preserved for us much the same as DeSoto saw it 500 years ago. The human population has changed, but nature remains almost the same.

Directions from Franklin: Hwy 28 to Highlands; right at traffic light; continue on hwy 28 about 6 miles to Blue Valley sign at right at bottom of mountain