May 5, 2019
After hiking Albert Mountain Tower, I met my good friend Perry at Outdoor 76 in Franklin, NC. The route to Cowee Tower is not overly complicated. We took Hwy. 28 for 15 minutes and arrived at Cowee. A “town” in Macon County, Cowee once was an important site for the Cherokee people. The landscape is perfect for farming and water is abundant from the Little Tennessee River. From Hwy 28, turn onto Cowee Creek, then Leatherman Road and finally Huckleberry Creek. The latter eventually runs into FR 70.
It’s worth nothing that there are two sets of FR roads that run to Cowee (70 and 86 from Whittier). I do not recommend FR 86, there is a creek crossing and the road is in pretty bad shape. It appears that there has been some recent work on FR 70, and other than being steep, it was not a bad drive. It takes about 30 minutes on the FR to reach the closed gate for Cowee.
Once the at the parking area, the first thing you will notice is that 1) people like to party here and 2) they like to drink Busch Light while they party. We did our best to pick up cans and trash from the area. The hike itself is actually quite pleasant. Perry and I took our time and stopped at many of the flowers and ferns. It was a foggy day and the views were somewhat limited from the tower. I did like the vistas that I saw and it was great to spend the afternoon with Perry.
Total mileage is 1.1 miles.