NC Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development Photo by Ron Ruehl

Sights & Sounds

Activities & Interests

Nantahala River Bogs

The Nantahala River Bogs Natural Area in the Nantahala National Forest protects some of the few remaining "fens," commonly known as bogs, in the North Carolina mountains. The Nantahala bogs provide habitat for numerous species of rare plants and animals, including the bog turtle.

So much of the region's high elevation bog land has been drained for farms, ponds, and pastures that the bogs themselves are becoming endangered. Once nearly 5,000 acres of bogs existed in the mountains. Today only 500 acres remain. The Nature Conservancy, the US Forest Service, and other organizations are working to protect and restore these valuable mountain wetlands.

The Nantahala River Bogs Natural Area includes five wetlands, several of which support bog turtles. Bog turtles are easily distinguished from other turtles by the large, conspicuous bright orange, yellow or red blotch found on each side of the head. Adult bog turtle shells are 3 to 4½ inches in length and range in color from light brown to ebony.

Hours of Operation


Admission Fees



The Nantahala National Forest is located in the far southwestern counties of North Carolina. Maps and information about the Forest and its bogs can be obtained by contacting:

US Forest Service Supervisor's Office
160A Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC 28802
(828) 257-4200
National Forests in North Carolina website




Nantahala River Bogs

Explore the Map >

Also Nearby

Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum (12 miles)

The Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum houses thousands of gems, minerals, fossils, Indian artifacts, and sea shells.

Scottish Tartans Museum (12 miles)

The Scottish Tartans Museum in Franklin, NC displays over 500 tartans and serves as a Scottish Heritage Center for the region.

Cullasaja River Gorge (14 miles)

The Cullasaja River Gorge offers a spectacular drive along the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway between Franklin and Highlands, NC.