Springtime’s warmer weather makes you want to kick up your heels in the great outdoors. Maybe you like hiking in the woods or playing some softball with your friends. Or, you might take the kids for a stroll along the Murphy River Walk. And if you’d enjoy a good old-fashioned family picnic, with a cooler full of sandwiches, sides, and cookies, you’ve got your choice of destinations.
You’ll find one enticing picnic spot in Murphy, NC, and two more in Cherokee County. Just a short drive away, neighboring Clay County offers another option. So get ready to hop in the car and enjoy some fresh air and good food.
Konehete Park: 699 Connehetta Street, Murphy, NC
This expansive community park borders the scenic Valley River, and is jointly operated by the Town of Murphy and Cherokee County. Besides the baseball and soccer fields, you’ll find a nicely maintained picnic area along with a kids’ playground.
After you finish your feast, stroll down to the river and relax on a bench under the trees. Or, burn some calories by exploring the Murphy River Walk, a beautiful 2-mile wooded walking trail that winds along the Valley River and Hiwassee River.
Hanging Dog Recreation Area (5 miles north of Murphy)
If you’ve always wanted to enjoy a picnic by the lake, visit scenic Hanging Dog Recreation Area, about 5 miles north of Murphy. While you savor your lunch at a lakeside picnic table, gaze out over Hiwassee Lake, where you might see fishing boats and/or kayaks cruising the quiet waters.
After you polish off your sandwiches and desserts, enjoy a leisurely walk through the forest. Each of the two 1-mile trails will give you a taste of our beautiful scenery while you soak up the invigorating mountain air.
Directions from Murphy: Drive about 5 miles on State Road (SR) 1326. Turn left onto SR 1447, and travel about 1 mile. You’ll find most recreation facilities at the end of this road.
Cherokee Lake Picnic Area (11 miles west of Murphy)
Beautiful Cherokee Lake offers another enticing option for your lakefront picnic. This U.S. Forest Service-maintained park is located in the Hiwassee Dam community, less than a dozen miles from downtown Murphy. Once you arrive, claim one of 25 convenient picnic tables, each with a nearby grill to cook your burgers and hot dogs to perfection.
After you’ve satisfied yourself with great picnic food, enjoy some fishing from the nearby dock (after getting your North Carolina Fishing License, of course). Or, spend some time meandering along the wooded walking trails.
Directions from Murphy: Head toward Tennessee on US Highway 64 West. After driving 8 miles, turn right onto NC Highway 294. Travel 3 miles, and turn right onto Forest Service Road 313. You’ll see the spacious picnic area just ahead.
Fires Creek Recreation Area (14 miles east of Murphy)
This wild, beautiful recreation area provides a real feast for the senses. Located next to Leatherwood Falls in the Nantahala National Forest, Fires Creek features a scenic picnic area next to a cool flowing mountain stream. Operated by the U.S. Forest Service., this inviting spot offers plenty of parking, plus grills for your burgers and hot dogs.
After you enjoy your picnic fare, stroll along an easy 0.7-mile paved trail, reaching 25-foot Leatherwood Falls in just a few minutes. The falls’ appearance may vary with our local rainfall totals, but it’s always a treat to view this natural attraction. If you’d prefer a longer hike, explore another wooded trail adjacent to the picnic area. Or, try your hand at snagging a crafty fish or two, provided you have a current trout stamp.
Directions from Murphy: Take the Highway 64 Bypass to Hayesville. Stay on Highway 64 for several more miles. Turn left on State Road 1344 (Fires Creek Road). Follow signs to Fires Creek Recreation Area.
Now that you’ve found some choice picnic spots in and near Murphy, NC, gather your family and begin planning your picnic getaway. Pack your hiking shoes and your camera, too. Then, treat yourself to a delicious movable feast, and spend some time relaxing in our beautiful mountains.
The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team