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Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located on a plateau in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest, it lies mostly in southeastern Macon County and slightly in southwestern Jackson County, in the Highlands and Cashiers Townships, respectively. The permanent population was 1,014 at the 2020 census.
Swain County is a county located on the far western border of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,981. Its county seat is Bryson City.Three rivers flow through the mountainous terrain of Swain County: the Nantahala, Oconaluftee, and Tuckaseegee. Their valleys were occupied for thousands of years by various societies of indigenous peoples, including the South Appalachian Mississippian culture era, and the historic Cherokee people. Today Native Americans, mostly members of the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, comprise 29% of the population in Swain County.
Rabun County is the northeasternmost county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,276. The county seat is Clayton. With an average annual rainfall of over 70 inches (1,800 mm), Rabun County has the title of the rainiest county in Georgia and is one of the rainiest counties east of the Cascades. The year 2018 was the wettest on record in the county's history. The National Weather Service cooperative observation station in northwest Rabun's Germany Valley measured 116.48 inches of rain during the year. During 2020, the Germany Valley NWS station reported a yearly precipitation total of 100.19 inches.
Cherokee (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ, romanized: Tsalagi) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Swain and Jackson counties in Western North Carolina, United States, within the Qualla Boundary land trust. Cherokee is located in the Oconaluftee River Valley around the intersection of U.S. Routes 19 and 441. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 2,138. It is the capital of the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, one of three recognized Cherokee tribes and the only one in North Carolina.