Graham County, North Carolina Vacations (NC)

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Home of Lake Santeetlah

Graham County is steeped in history, tradition, and culture for both Native Americans and the Early American settlers. This area was once part of the Cherokee Indian Nation that existed in the Southern Appalachian Region until President Jackson ordered their forced removal in 1838. This devastating and tragic journey westward is known as the "Trail of Tears".

Today about Two-thirds of Graham County is National Forest, which helps to ensure that its pristine and unspoiled beauty will be around for many more generations. It includes the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, which is 3,800 acres of primitive forest that has been deemed a perpetual natural museum.

Lake Santeetlah offers a shoreline that is more than 75% National Forest. There's also Fontana Lake, with over 25 miles of water to discover and whose entire north shore is the Smoky Mountain National Park. Fontana Dam and Historic Fontana Village are also a must see for the vacationer.

If motorcycling is more your speed, then you'll have to check out two of the best roads for riding in the country. The Tail of the Dragon has 318 curves in 11 miles and is not for the faint of heart! Then there's the 50 mile-long Cherohala Skyway, which is not quite as harrowing as the Tail of the Dragon, but offers unsurpassed views of Joyce Kilmer and Cherokee National Forest.

Most activities in Graham County are geared toward outdoor ventures such as hiking, canoeing, fly-fishing, water sports, hunting, mountain biking and horseback riding. For those in ned of something more relaxing, check out the Stecoah Valley Center. It provides a variety of cultural events and live Appalachian music every Saturday night through the summer.

For more information on this mountain county, go to the Graham County Chamber of Commerce.