Prehistoric Sites

Surrounding Highlands Pass is a wonderland of natural, prehistoric, and preserved beauty. Wildlife abounds, old growth forests still exist, and rare flora is everywhere.

Franklin, North Carolina was called "Nikwasi" by the Cherokees, meaning "center of activity." This holds true today as Franklin is the center ofthe area's history and the mountain way of life.

In the center of town is the Nikwasi Mound. This mound held the ever-burning sacred fire, and was the dwelling place of the immortal spirit-beings, the Nunnehi.

Marvel at the Standing Indian in the basin atop the Campground. Legend has it he was turned to a pillar of stone when he neglected his tribal duties.

The Bear Cave, the Indian Cave and other fascinating caves are located in our high mountains. They will pique your curiosity and provide wonderful opportunities to explore.

Highlands Pass is populated with prehistoric boulders placed by time in perfect positions along our trails, roads and streams. Many are covered with varieties of ancient mosses and are a unique feature of Highlands Pass. Be sure to see the amazing Boulder Cascade on the Bear Cave Trail.


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