Nantahala Village  LbNA # 2095

Placed DateMay 1 2003
LocationBryson City, NC
Planted ByDixieKin    
Found By HahaMama
Last Found 0 2005
Hike Distance?

These boxes are now listed with and adopted by DixieKin because Kayaklil was not able to service them any longer. I was thrilled to take on the effort. You may reach me at or through my web pages and blogs.

Placed by: Joe and one of the Buds
Placed: December 1, 2002

The Nantahala Village Lodge is the starting point for this letterbox hidden on a loop trail near Fontana Lake. Located 15 minutes west of Bryson City, NC on US Route 19, the trails which begin here are fairly easy wooded walks with some great views on Village property and land of the US Forest Service. There is an excellent picnic and swimming spot at lakeside very near the letterbox, so you might want to pack a swimsuit and call the lodge at 828-488-2826 and have them pack a box lunch for your walk. They have an excellent restaurant if you don’t want to pack in your lunch. This lodge was built a year after the fire in 1997 that destroyed the original lodge of 1949. The letterbox contains a beautifully carved stamp that you will be proud to have.

Equipment needed: good hiking shoes/boots, a compass (just in case).

Time: about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half.

Type of steps: those of a 6’ man.

Difficulty of walk: moderate with some uphill walking. The entire route is on either a small paved road, dirt path, or a gravel road.

Caution: Parts of the trail can be muddy following a rain. Horses and bicyclists share this trail.

Extra information: A free trail map is available at the lodge, but trust the directions in the clues. Lodge rooms or cabins are available for rent: We thank the Nantahala Village for allowing letterboxers permission to park on their property. They are not responsible for this letterbox or for your mishaps.

1. From the west end of the lodge, walk downhill on the small paved road called “Blue Ridge Parkway.”
2. This road twists around several cabins. Pass the Tabor House, an old white farmhouse still in use. Take the unpaved clay trail to the left of the next cabin on what is called the Hill Bypass Trail (not signed when we were there).
3. The trail splits after a short uphill climb. Bear left as this is the Connector Trail which leads to the Lakeside Trail. (Note that none of these trails are signed.)
4. At the next intersection, take a left and you are on the Lakeside Trail. You will soon see Fontana Lake and a mountain view through a clearing on the trees. The train from Bryson City can sometimes be seen or heard on its lakeside tracks, across the lake from you. Look for the next intersection and go up, not down.
5. As you walk, a gravel road in the distance can be seen through the trees. Stay on your trail and turn right. Notice the large vines all around. Soon a trail comes in from the right, but you continue straight.
6. Look for a large forked tree beside the left side of the trail. About 8 yards beyond it. A white PVC pipe emerges on the left at trail’s edge. From this pipe you will take a certain number of steps. To get the number, subtract the number of the year that the original lodge opened from the date the current lodge opened (a year after the fire). Now, subtract from this the number of clues of this letterbox. The result is the number of steps to take from the white pipe forward along the trail.
7. Stop. Look to the left at the large vine-wrapped tree. Look on your right beside the trail at a cluster of rocks, knee-high. Lean in and remove the top, odd-shaped rock that sits with 2 others that are basically flat. All are under a small rock ledge that may be obscured by leaves. No climbing required. Remember, it’s directly across from the large tree. You are there! Stamp in and replace the rock and a few leaves. If you continue just a few feet down the trail, you’ll find a perfect private spot for that picnic or swim.

To return to the parking area: Turn
back along the trail the way you came, but keep heading straight, not left. You’ll see the gravel road and green meadow to the right. Your trail ends at the gravel road, but you’re not out yet. Turn left on the gravel road and continue up. Ignore the short trail to a concrete block structure. There will be a “Y” in the road, but still stay left. When the road turns to the right, bear left on the older road. This will be your road/trail back to the Village through Rhododendrons and ferns. Take the trail upward to the right. At the brown cabin, walk along the water here and soon you’ll see where you need to be. Congratulations!

If there are problems with any of these letterboxes, contact: