About Franklin & The A.T.
Franklin, North Carolina has had a love affair with the A.T. dating back to the work of the Reverend Rufus Morgan in the 1940's. He and a group of friends took care of the trail for years and formally created the Nantahala Hiking Club in 1968. Since then, members have worked with the U.S. Forest Service to maintain the 60 gorgeous miles of the A.T. in their territory.
"When the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) informed the town of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's (ATC) developing Appalachian Trail Community designation program in the fall of 2008, it was a no brainer for the town to pursue the designation," said Bill Van Horn, president of the NHC at the time.
After coordination with the U.S. Forest Service Nantahala Ranger District, the NHC presented the application to the Town Council and County Commissioners. Both bodies voted to submit the application. A steering committee (now the Franklin A.T. Community Council) was developed made up of representatives from the county commission, town council,, town and county planners, the NHC, county school system, library, chamber of commerce, tourism businesses and the U.S.F.S. The program was developed to say "thank you" to trailside communities for the decades of service they have dedicated to hikers and to assist them in becoming a part of a broader trail-wide Appalachian Trail Community network