Home to 546 scenic square miles of mountain vistas, fertile valleys and rolling foothills, Haywood will satisfy everyone’s outdoor recreation desires.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, “America’s favorite drive,” winds its way around the county with four entrances to the 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 National Park, the most visited national park in the United States. The area has recently been designated a Blue Ridge Heritage area and is well known for its creativity in arts and crafts.
Fourteen peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains soar to elevations of at least 6,000 feet (more than any east of the Mississippi River). Notable mountain peaks include Cold Mountain at 6,030 feet, Mt. Guyot at 6,621 feet and Richland Balsam at 6,410 feet in elevation.
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy an abundance of year-round opportunities to explore nature, including:
- horseback riding
- trail running
- mountain and road biking
- outdoor yoga
- motor touring
- nature photography
- en plein air painting, sketching and other art mediums
- skiing and snow boarding
Though some of those statistics make the county seem quite remote, lost between vast undeveloped mountains and forests, Haywood County is a hub of towns, museums, specialty retail shops, outdoor recreation and historical sites with some of the most popular festivals and special events Western North Carolina has to offer.