May 5, 2019
Albert Mountain is mainly known for being the 100-mile mark on the Appalachian Trail (AT) from the southern terminus. Albert is located in Macon County in the Nantahala National Forest, just outside the Southern Nantahala Wilderness. I lived in Franklin for a year while I was practicing law in Sylva and would occasionally venture to the summit, but have not chronicled it as part of the fire tower challenge. The steel fire tower sits atop the mountain at 5,200 feet. Views from the tower include the Little Tennessee Valley, the Smoky’s and Coweeta.
The easiest hike to the tower utilizes the Albert Mountain Access Trail and the AT. Getting to the trail is the harder part. F.S. #67 starts at Standing Indian Campground and winds up to Albert. You’ll pass a lot of waterfall hikes, campsites and trails along the way. It took me about 25-30 minutes to traverse the dirt road, but it was in excellent shape and my Subaru had no trouble, even in the muddy conditions of this day.
Unfortunately, I did not get the long views associated with Albert, since a fog was enveloping the mountain this morning. But, there is certainly an impressive, high altitude feel to the foliage and terrain of the peak.
Total mileage is 1 mile.