Pickens Nose Trail

Categories: Play, Hiking & Backpacking, Dog Friendly Hiking Trails


  •  Multiple "Nose-like" outcroppings make-up Pickens Nose distinct peak at 4,880 feet  
  •  Located near Franklin NC and Standing Indian Campground 
  •  Excellent views of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness to the North, West and South into GA 
  •  Tunnel-like hike through a canopy of Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel and Native Hardwoods 
  •  Numerous rock out-croppings to climb out on for views in multiple directions 
  •  Great photo opportunities (especially in leaf season, mid-October to early November) 
  •  Rock climbing and rappelling Opportunities  
  •  Parking for approx. 6 cars 
  •  Suitable for all ages (careful with children, see "local scoop" info) 
  •  25-30 minute hike IN 
  •  20 minute hike OUT

The Local Scoop

Pickens Nose Trail is a very fun and short hike. I would recommend this trail to the entire family with exception to those folks with any walking difficulties. There are a couple of fairly steep parts that tend to be wet and covered in leaves/debris which could cause difficulty for footing. Take your time, this is a hike of about 25-30 minutes at a moderate pace. After about 12 minutes or so, you'll come to the first rock overlook towards the Southeast. This is an extraordinary view at the peak of leaf season, so bring your camera. Once you are here, the trail tends to flatten a bit and continues on through the green canopy just over head. After another 12 minutes of moderate pace you come to a primitive fire ring/camp site on your Right, and another rock out-cropping, with a tremendous view towards the Northwest (this is the side of the ridge with the most vertical drop). Be so very careful here! If you have children with you please pay close attention to where they are! One misstep on ANY of these out-croppings and you'll free fall for a good 500 ft or so to your end. Please pay attention. While very dangerous these views can be very rewarding at the same time. Continue on the Main trail (there are many side trails that dart throughout the thick Rhodo's and Mtn Laurels, which I find a waste of time and effort, so stick to the predominant path) for another 5 minutes or so to more outcroppings and what seems to be the end of the trail. There is an extension trail that goes down and to the Left of this area which will take you out another 50 yards to the end of the line for more views. After you've taken it all in, simply pick up the Main trail and return to the parking lot.

The Local Directions

From intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 W and U.S. Hwy-23/441 North in Franklin take Hwy-64 W towards Murphy, NC for 12 miles. At just before the 12th mile you should see a Brown sign for "Wallace Gap", "Appalachian Trail" & "Standing Indian Campground" with arrows pointing you towards West Old Murphy Road(SR 1448) on your left. Stay on W.Old Murphy Rd. for 2 miles. You'll pass a Nantahala National Forest Sign for the campground saying "500 Ft Ahead", and at 2 miles you'll be at FR (Forest Road) #67 to your Right (indicated by a small, skinny Brown sign at the beginning of the road). Continue 1.8 miles on FR 67 until you come to a fork in the road. To your Right will be the entrance to "Standing Indian Campground", avoid the Right and continue on FR 67 to the left. In about 0.3 miles the road will turn to gravel. Continue on FR #67 past Big Laurel Falls Trail head and Mooney Falls Trailhead until you come to another fork in the road at 8 miles from where the pavement turned to gravel at the Backcountry Info Kiosk. This is the intersection of FR #67 and FR #83. Take FR #83 toward Coweeta Hydrological Laboratory (faded grey sign) to the Right for 1.1 miles to the Pickens Nose Trailhead on your Right. There is a brown sign indicating where the trailhead starts (Pickens Nose Trail).

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Difficulty Levels

  • Hike8What's this?
35.03034, -83.46150
35.02259, -83.45766
Macon County
Hike Distance
1.5 mi. roundtrip
Moderate via Forest Roads 67 & 83
Nearest City
Distance From
Franklin, 25.1 miles