A combination of Southern hospitality and a bit of adventure, the mountains of Haywood County welcome you!

Whether you prefer a hike through the pristine natural forest, the rush of a whitewater adventure or to relax and savor the culinary talent of area restaurants, Haywood County has plenty to offer.

Elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Culinary & Libations
Mélange of the Mountains
Microbrew Scene
Get Married
Things to See & Do
Arts & Culture
Driving & Motor-touring
Outdoor Activities

If it is apples you crave in the fall, the sights and flavors of holiday celebration, mountain music passed down through generations, or the creative beauty of handmade arts and crafts, there are festivals celebrating these and other mountain activities throughout the year.

Haywood County has a wide variety of arts and cultural organizations, museums featuring handicrafts by regional artisans, collections devoted to preserving and exhibiting our heritage, and even a museum that celebrates American transportation.

The Blue Ridge Parkway winds its way around the county with four entrances to this scenic byway and its many hiking, viewing and picnic spots along the way.

The most famous natural attraction in the area is the Great Smoky Mountains. The 520,000 acres of pristine wilderness is a world unto itself. The Great Smoky Mountains are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which has more than 14 peaks with elevations topping 6,000 feet.

Other mountain ranges include the picturesque Balsam Mountains, which borders on the west side of Haywood County. The Balsams offer seven types of forests and has peaks of more than 6,400 feet. There are also the Nantahala Mountains nearby. The Nantahala National Forest at 516,000 acres is North Carolina’s largest national forest, spanning from Waynesville to Murphy, Fontana and Cashiers. It is also home to the Nantahala River Gorge, a nine-mile stretch of the Nantahala River, which offers a haven for whitewater rafters.

Photo credits:

Home Page / Downtown Waynesville courtesy of Ed Kelley