Hooper Bald, Cherohala Skyway. Unicoi & Blue Ridge Mountains, Nantahala NF, NC, USA.
Starting from the Cherohala Skyway, Hooper Bald Trail (elevation 5290 feet) wanders through a tunnel of trees atop the Unicoi Mountains (a subset of the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Southern Appalachians) in Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA. Long in planning since 1958, the Cherohala Skyway opened to automobile traffic in 1996 – a new National Scenic Byway. The Skyway climbs over 4000 feet, starting at elevation 900 feet along Tellico River in Tennessee and reaching 5400 feet on the slopes of Haw Knob in North Carolina. The 43-mile paved road of the Cherohala Skyway follows Tennessee State Route 165 (SR-165 or TN 165) for 25 miles from Tellico Plains to the state line at Stratton Gap, then continues on North Carolina Highway 143 (NC 143) for 18 miles to Robbinsville. Cherohala combines the names of the two National Forests traversed: "Chero" from Cherokee and "hala" from Nantahala NF. The Skyway accesses various protected and recreational areas of the Unicoi Mountains, including Citico Creek Wilderness, Bald River Gorge Wilderness, and Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download