Waynesville, NC – There is nothing fresher than springtime in the North Carolina Smokies. As the mountains awake from their winter slumber and eagerly welcome the first blossoms of spring color, you will find the ideal seasonal getaway in the picturesque towns of Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Canton, Clyde, and Lake Junalaska. Fondly referred to as “the other color season”, the area comes alive with the early blossoms of spring like daffodils, dogwoods and cherry blossoms. Warmer days and mild evenings offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy a plethora of outdoor adventure and unique local hotspots amidst the scenic backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you’re looking for that special “off the beaten path” hiking excursion or an epicurean adventure, the North Carolina Smokies are serving up the freshest springtime experiences around.
Satisfy your Epicuriousity in Haywood County
Haywood County is home to rich agricultural offerings, with over 700 farms encompassing more than 56,000 acres – from sprawling picturesque farms to family-owned and operated homesteads. With that comes endless agritourism opportunities spread across Haywood County’s five towns and rural communities. To experience Haywood County’s unique agripreneurial offerings, grab a copy of Buy Haywood’s “Find Your Adventure!” Agritourism Guide. Haywood County offers year-round opportunities to explore the many agritourism adventures available in our area. From rustic to refined, there is an experience for everyone!
Some features in the upcoming Find your Adventure! 2016 Haywood County Agritourism Guide are:
- Historic Farmer & Tailgate Markets
- Award Winning "Farm to Table" Restaurants
- Uniquely Local Jams, Jellies, Savory Spreads & Artisan Pickles
- Specialty Retail Shops
- Rustic Hospitality Venues
- Heritage Festivals
- U Pick Farms
- Historic Preservation Sites and Educational Opportunities for all ages
- And much more!
Cheers! April is North Carolina BeerMonth!
Come celebrate it in Waynesville visiting the town’s FOUR craft microbreweries: BearWaters Brewing Company, Boojum Brewing, Frog Level Brewing, and Tipping Point Brewery. All located within a short radius of each other, you can conveniently enjoy their one-of-a-kind brews while experiencing the charm and beauty of downtown Waynesville. Each brewery will celebrate North Carolina Beer Month in their own special way so make time to visit each one. There are also a number of other establishments boasting the area’s local brews, like Mad Anthony Wayne’s Bottle Shop, Sunburst Market, The Classic Wine Seller, and The Strand at 38 Main, just to name a few. Cheers!
Spring hiking at its finest
With several trails offering easy year round access, Haywood County is a basecamp for fantastic spring hiking. Purchase Knob, located in northwestern Haywood County along the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offers butterfly and wildflower abundance, native wildlife, historical significance, and amazing panoramas. The Sam’s Summit Loop Trail, located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway on Hwy 215 is another hiking gem with year round access. The compilation of trails offer a unique adventure that weave you through several ecological systems and boasting incredible sights of the Shining Rock Wilderness Area. Both of these trails have been spotlighted by certified Blue Ridge Naturalist, Ken Czarnomski. His passion for hiking, mapping, and drawing brought to life an unique hand illustrated guides for both Purchase Knob and Sam’s Summit. The free guides are available exclusively in Haywood County through the Haywood TDA. There are a number of other great hiking areas to explore this Spring from Cataloochee Valley and the Blue Ridge Parkway to a scenic stroll through the majestic gardens of Lake Junaluska. For suggestions, contact the Haywood TDA – 800.334.9036.
More Than Just a Scenic Drive
Every year, the winding roads of Haywood County draw thousands of motor touring enthusiasts in search of the area’s best scenic twist and turns. In fact, Haywood County is located in the heart of the greatest collection of motorcycle rides in the nation, which has led to the creation of Haywood’s own NC Smokies Motor Touring Guide. This free guide features a dozen mapped rides with names like The Rattler that can be picked up from various locations within the county. Haywood’s central location serves as the perfect base to explore the area’s breathtaking spring scenery and still experience the homegrown hospitality of the NC Smokies. Maggie Valley is home to Wheels Through Time, the world’s premier, All-American motorcycle museum that houses over 300 of America's rarest and most historic classic motorcycles. With the help of unique attractions like this, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the 46-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Haywood County continues to attract a wide variety of visitors, from motor tourists to family vacationers.
The area’s rich heritage and the popularity of scenic drives have also helped create other local attractions, like theHaywood County Quilt Trail. The HCQT tells the county’s history by featuring colorful wooden quilt blocks installed on barns and buildings around the community. Each block is featured in the Haywood County Quilt Trail Guide, which takes visitors on a scenic drive of the county while telling the story of each block along the way. This year-round activity has been growing in popularity and the number of blocks has increased from it’s original 25 to almost 50, as they are being added, designed, and installed at a rapid rate.
Spring Birding in the NC Smokies
Come meet the fine feathered friends of Haywood County! Early spring is a perfect time for birding in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. You can utilize the NC Birding Trail, and their website’s interactive map where you can pinpoint good viewing locations: www.ncbirdingtrail.org Haywood County is one of the highlighted areas on the map and offers seven suggested areas in the county that boast an abundance of bird species. Each section provides a description of the location, a list of potential bird species and their seasonality, directions and other related information that will be helpful before and during your visit. There is also a local birding club right here in Haywood County, The Great Smoky Mountains Audubon Club: www.gsmas.org. The group works to promote and bring awareness to the hobby of birding and is a great reference for those interested in birding. The group highlighted Lake Junaluska as one of county’s birding “hotspots” due to easy access and open bodies of water. The water will attract a wide variety of birds, especially those that rely on aquatic plants and animals as a food source. Among the many varieties of birds that have made themselves at home by the lake, there is a resident bald eagle that can often be seen soaring high over the water or perched a top a tree. Just the chance the spot this regal creature is well worth the trip!
Upcoming Spring Events:
3/10 – 3/13: Melange of the Mountains Culinary Weekend – Across Haywood County
3/11: Jacob Johnson and Antsy McClain at The Strand – Waynesville
3/11 - 3/20: “Twelve Angry Men” at Feichter Studio of Hart Theater – Waynesville
3/26: David Hold and Josh Goforth at The Hart Theater - Waynesville
3/26 – 3/27: Easter at Lake Junaluska – Lake Junaluska
3/31: Wheels Through Time Opens for the Season – Maggie Valley
4/2: Balsam Range in Concert – The Colonial Theater - Canton
4/8 – 4/17: “The Red Velvet Cake War” – Hart Theater - Waynesville
4/22 – 5/8: Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” – Hart Theater - Waynesville
4/23 – 4/24: Southeastern Mini Tuck Nationals – Maggie Valley
4/30: 84th Annual Ramp Festival - Waynesville
4/30: Shining Rock Riverfest - Canton
5/6: Art After Dark - Waynesville
5/6: Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival – Historic Frog Level - Waynesville
5/6: Pat Donohoe at The Strand – Waynesville
5/13 – 5/15: Thunder in the Smokies Spring Rally – Maggie Valley
5/13: Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon - Waynesville
5/20 – 6/12: “Legally Blonde: The Musical” at The Hart Theater – Waynesville
5/27 – 5/29: Maggie Valley Spring Rally – Maggie Valley
5/28: Block Party - Downtown Waynesville
Welcome to Haywood County, North Carolina, boasting 46 of the most scenic miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway and authentic Appalachian history, culture, and natural experiences. Along with its picturesque beauty, Haywood County and its five towns of Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, Canton and Clyde offer year round activities and events centered around farm-fresh food, unique heritage, an eclectic music and art scene, and of course, the wildly natural great outdoors. No matter what experience you choose, we guarantee that your stay here will stay with you! For more information visit www.visitncsmokies.com or contact the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority at 800-334-9036.