Outdoor Activities

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With its steep, lush mountain peaks, every drop of water in Haywood County originates in the county, seamlessly flowing through the quiet creeks, meandering streams and rushing rivers. These bodies of water are full of some of the finest trout this side of the Mississippi River.

Fly fishing has been popular for years in the area, and word is traveling across the country. Somme of our local anglers have made a name for themselves on the national scene. Nearby Cherokee recently hosted the World Fly Fishing Championships.

Whether it’s fishing on stocked streams for trophy sized trout or heading into the back country for native fish, there is plenty of opportunity in Haywood County. For more information on Trout Waters visit FlyfishingNC.com.

The Hunter Banks Company is an excellent resource for fly fishing equipment, instruction and travel in the region. With a passion for fly fishing, the highly experienced and professional guides will share their knowledge and expertise to help you create amazing memories on the beautiful rivers and streams of Haywood County.

Walking Trails

Taking in the great outdoors is a favorite pastime for Haywood County visitors, whether that’s a pleasant walk along a greenway or a strenuous hike up a mountain.

Greenways and Walking Trails are easy to find and often take you along beautiful creeks and waterways. Popular Walking Areas include: Waynesville Richland Creek Greenway, Canton Greenway, Lake Junaluska Walking Trail and Maggie Valley’s Parham Park.


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If the greenway is too tame, the there are certainly hikes of all skill levels in and around the wilderness area of Haywood County. A few favorites include: Boogerman Trail – a 3.8 mi loop hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hemphill Bald – a 13.7 mi loop, but just 4.7 mi to the Bald and Mount Sterling Gap Trail – a low ridge trail beginning at Mt. Sterling Gap.


Whether one is an avid outdoorsman or an occasional hiker, there is something about making a gorgeous waterfall the destination for a hike. On hot summer days or cool nights, taking a dip in the waters of Haywood County is as refreshing as it is memorable.

There are hundreds of waterfalls throughout Western North Carolina, with an extensive list and interactive map through The Smoky Mountain News 50 Western North Carolina Waterfalls Guide.


Cyclists flock to the mountains near Haywood County to test their fitness and enjoy the scenery that greets them around every bend in the road. Haywood County is home to one of the largest biking events in the Mountains.

The third Saturday in August, the Haywood Chamber of Commerce hosts the Blue Ridge Breakaway, an organized cycling event that includes 100 mi, 66 mi, 40 mi and 24 mi rides that traverse county lanes, scenic byways and the notable Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information visit the Blue Ridge Breakaway website

Newly available, the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club has just published a brochure featuring six popular Haywood County rides. The map also includes “bike outposts” which are bicycle-friendly businesses that will allow cyclists to park their cars on the premises while riding one of the six mapped rides. The brochure is available in the Haywood Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.


Haywood County is home to a variety of public and private courses, offering some of the finest golf experiences in the Southeast. Rolling hills, lush forests and picturesque ponds are some of the features found on these majestic fairways and greens.

Courses are challenging for seasoned veterans and yet inviting and enjoyable for novice beginners. With the picturesque mountains of Southern Appalachia as a backdrop, players find comfort and solace in the timeless beauty of their surroundings. Acclaimed professionals and a helpful staff are available at each of these venues, where visitors and local residents alike are shown the true meaning of southern hospitality.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has more species – plant, animal and insect – than anywhere else in the world, rivaling even the rainforest for biological diversity. Why? The Smokies have an amazing array of mini-ecosystems within its borders – from peaks over 6,000 feet to low valleys, from moist densely forested covers to dry meadows.

The Park encompasses more than 500,000 acres making it the largest national park in the Eastern United States. A few highlights on the North Carolina side of the Park near Haywood County include the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cataloochee Valley and the Elk and Big Creek.

Cataloochee Valley Tours provides nature-based eco-tours of the eastern most boundary and gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains national Park. Cataloochee Valley Tours is officially authorized by the National Park service.

Visit the Haywood Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center for a list of popular spots, maps and information.