Haywood County is brimming with Things to See and Do and outdoor adventures are around every corner. For the outdoor enthusiast, whether it be hiking, biking, fishing, boating, skiing, rafting or canoeing, Haywood County has it all.
The Blue Ridge Parkway combines curvy roads and the perfect mountain backdrop for the cycling or the motorbike enthusiasts. Every August the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual cycling event known as the Blue Ridge Breakaway.
Breakaway is an adrenaline pumping ride through county lanes, scenic byways and the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and features a variety of routes specifically designed for riders of all skill levels. Beginners and avid cyclists alike will find challenging rides to meet their individual needs. Visit BlueRidgeBreakaway for additional information.
For those who would like to test their skills on the slopes, Cataloochee Ski Area is nestled into the Great Smoky Mountains with views of the surrounding peaks. Known as the first resort to open and last to close during the winter ski season, Cataloochee boasts 14 slopes and trails, a snowboarding park and a cozy lodge for those who would prefer to relax around the inviting fireplace.
Tee off from one of the area’s many golf courses. The Waynesville Inn Golf Resort & Spa, Maggie Valley Club, Laurel Ridge Country Club & Springdale Country Club offer prestigious mountain views and picture perfect greens.
Perhaps the most famous natural attraction in the area is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The 520,00 acres of pristine wilderness is a world unto itself. The Blue Ridge Parkway surrounds the County with access from four entrances. The Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina’s largest national forest, spans 516,000 acres from Waynesville west to Murphy, Fontana and Cashiers. The Nantahala River Gorge, a nine-mile stretch of the Nantahala, offers a haven for whitewater rafting and kayaking.
Manitoban elk are also a must see for visitors to the area. Most elk are located in the Cataloochee Valley area in the south eastern section of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Haywood County also offers a wide variety of arts and cultural organizations, museums featuring handicrafts by regional artisans, collections devoted to preserving and exhibiting our heritage, and even one that celebrates American transportation through the ages.
The Haywood Arts Regional Theater has become one of the most active theater companies in the region, attracting guest artists from New York, and actors from all over Western North Carolina. Located in the Performing Arts Center, HART produces seven Main Stage plays and up to six Studio Theater shows each year.
The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts is located in the Shelton House in Waynesville, with a fine collection of pottery, quilts, baskets and woodworking. The Shelton House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Canton Area Historical Museum is devoted to collecting, preserving and exhibiting heritage handicrafts, artifacts, records and photographs of the setting and growth of the eastern section of Haywood County.
Lake Junaluska Heritage Museum and the World Methodist Museum are both located at the Lake Junaluska Assembly, featuring books, photographs and other items related to the development of Methodism in the area.