Nantahala Ranger District
The Nantahala Ranger District is the largest of the forest's districts, covering an area of about 250,000 acres (390.6 sq mi; 1,011.7 km2) in Macon, Jackson and Swain counties. It was formed in 2007 by consolidating the former Highlands Ranger District and Wayah Ranger District. The headquarters are in Franklin, North Carolina. Part of the district is adjacent to the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
The district contains the 40,000-acre (62.5 sq mi; 161.9 km2) Roy Taylor Forest located in Jackson County, southwest of and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, that it acquired in 1981. The rugged and scenic Tuckasegee Gorge is within the Roy Taylor Forest.
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The Nantahala National Forest
The Nantahala National Forest (/ˌnæntəˈheɪlə/), established in 1920, is a national forest located in the American state of North Carolina. The word "Nantahala" is a Cherokee word meaning "Land of the Noonday Sun." The name is appropriate as, in some spots, the sun only reaches the floors of the deep gorges of the forest when high overhead at midday. The Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Soto explored the area in 1540, as did William Bartram in the 18th century. The Nantahala River flows through the Nantahala National Forest.