Joanna Bald Fire Tower NC
Total Mileage: 1 Mile Directions 35.257029,-83.796421
Total rise: 141′ Facebook
Hike Time: 45 min My Pintrest
Significance: Views, Fire tower
Here is some of what you need to know: On my way to the tower my GPS took me to a dead end…it was a neighborhood and someone must have bought the land and shut down a small piece of road- just go around the block and pick the road up on the other side of the woods.
1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map
2. Click on the flags for more information
3. Click on the pictures to make them large
Like so many of these North Carolina fire towers, the story starts on the drive to the trail head. I got goosebumps when I saw this sign showing that we were about to drive on a route associated with a most terrible piece of American history, The Trail of Tears. Our experience was the beauty and grandeur of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but for thousands of Native Americans it meant the start of a death march, not cool.
As for the Drive to the top of the mountain, I recommend a dedicated GPS unit. It does not take long to loose your phone signal and there are several miles of twisty mountain roads that you need to navigate.
The road leads to a gait and there you will park; walk around the gait can continue following the road 0.4 miles until you reach the tower. Like many of the Fire towers in NC you can only climb to the top step, the gait to the cab is locked.
The view is limited by the overgrown trees but one mountain was clearly visible, Cheoah Bald. Cheoah has an elevation of 5000′ and the summit is about 8 miles away the way the crow flies. These are Blue Ridge Mountains and you are standing near the center of the massive 530,000 acre Nantahala National Forest.
On the way back to the car I noticed a path about the width of a car leading to the adjacent mountain (NW), we walked past it but as I was driving away I noticed what looked to be some rock cliffs up in the direction that would have been very cool to see up close. If anyone has any pictures I would like to see what was up there.
Below is a list of the fire towers we have hiked in the state. There are 24 fire towers on North Carolina’s fire tower challenge and it is a great way to see the mountains and see the western part of the state.