Take 64 West out of Franklin and look for Wayah Rd. You have to take a Forest Service road after that to get to the Bald. It's been awhile since I was there but it should be signed OK. It is a curvy, at times steep, maintained gravel road.
Cowee Mtn and Big Laurel:
This is a little more obscure. I would recommend getting one of those DeLorme map books; I believe many Wal-Marts still carry them for about $20.
You take state hwy 28 West (actually north) out of Franklin. You want to wind up on Leatherman Gap Rd at a place called Cowee. At some point I think the name changes before you get onto the Forest Service Rd.
There is a gate and you have to walk about the last 1/2 mile to a lookout tower atop Cowee Mtn. The top will likely be closed, but you can still walk the rather steep stairs for some good views. If you're lucky maybe they'll be someone there or the gate will be open.
Toward the top not that far from the gate you can turn (left going up) on another Forest Service Rd and go into the Big Laurel. There are a couple innocuous stream crossings so you can get your Forester wet. You can actually take this Forest Service road down to Whittier, NC if you like. It's likely to be a little rougher than the road up from Franklin but is maintained by the forest service.
There are also lakes nearby if those are more your cup of tea.