The Cherokee Caves

When you driving past the N.O.C. (Nanathala Outdoor Center) on Hwy 19, off to the right, look for a random swinging bridge like the one we saw on the side of the road going to Dillsboro. This one actually will lead you to somewhere interesting. Park at the pull off and go across it to the other side. Go to the left and walk down the railroad tracks about a mile (maybe a little farther, we didn’t take our GPS with us, but don’t give up, it’s not a strenuous walk until you get to your destination). Keep in mind that the GSM train goes by here, so don’t choose to do this in the middle of the day, evening time would be best. Once you get to the spot, there are no signs, but you will know by the site that you have arrived. There is a small well worn trail straight up a hill to the Cherokee Caves. They are not very deep, just big enough for shelter. The Cherokee used them during hunting seasons. The Cherokee also called these caves the tiny houses of the “Little People”. Legend has it that the Little People lived in small caves in the woods and were invisible to people except on rare occasions when they allowed themselves to be seen. They loved music and dancing and protected the forest and all plants and animals. There is a Geocache near the caves too (look it up on http://www.geocaching.com for more about clues on where to find it). We love looking for geocaches as well, but didn’t know one was here until we were already gone. It is a very neat sight to view. From a random bridge, to a random walk down the tracks next to the Nantahala River, to a set of random caves in the woods that aren’t really random at all! Isn’t exploring fun?

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