Mountain Waters Scenic Byway

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Mountain Waters Scenic Byway
Route information
Length: 61.3 mi (98.7 km)
Major junctions
west end: US 64 in Highlands, North Carolina
east end: NC 143 in Almond, North Carolina
Counties: Macon, Swain
Highway system

The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway is a two-lane byway in North Carolina, which travels through the Nantahala National Forest in Macon and Swain County, North Carolina counties. The first part of this 61.3-mile (98.7 km) byway follows the combined route of U.S. 64 and NC 28 from Highlands, North Carolina to Franklin, North Carolina and features views of the Cullasaja Gorge, the Cullasaja River and numerous waterfalls, including:

From Franklin, the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway follows SR 1442 to the west, climbing through Wayah Gap (elevation: 4,180 ft) on the way to Nantahala Lake and then to the community of Aquone. From Aquone, SR 1442 follows the Nantahala River to Beechertown, where it joins U.S. 19/74, which the byway follows to its ending point in the community of Lauada. The route from Aquone to Lauada features the Nantahala Gorge.


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