Sports & Adventure Activities nearby ... Leisurely Activities nearby....
Hiking! Western North Carolina boasts some of the most spectacular hiking in the world. The mountain region of Western North Carolina is a haven for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Some of the highest peaks in the East, surrounded by vast areas of wilderness and miles and miles of trails, invite visitors from all over the world. But even locals looking for an easy day hike find the area irresistible. The Smoky Mountain National Park has trails for all levels and over 800 miles of hiking trails throughout. For extremists the Appalachian Trail offers the longest marked trail in the world at 2,180 miles stretching through 14 states from Georgia all the way to Maine. www.appalachiantrail.org/
Sunsets on the Blue Ridge Parkway. With a parkway entrance about ten minutes from the Waynesville home, a short trip to Waterrock Knob is a must-stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located at Milepost 451.2 , it features the last hiking trail along the Parkway as you travel toward the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This peak (6,292 feet) is the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States - and the the 15th highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6,000 feet. There are fantastic views both east and west from the parking area, home to a Visitors Center and restrooms. It's one of the best places in the North Carolina mountains to watch a sunrise or sunset. Bring your lawn chair and a bottle of wine!
Located in the Pisgah National Forest just north of Brevard. 7.6 miles from the junction of US Highways 64 and 276, is Sliding Rock, one place where you’re invited to “take the plunge” down a 60-foot slippery cascade into the 50-60 degree, 7-foot deep pool
for just a $2day fee!
There are 2 observation platforms, and lifeguards on duty during the season. This is a heavily used recreation area, so it’s suggested you come early. But you’ll have fun! It’s suggested, too, that you wear old shorts and old sneakers if you choose to take the plunge.
Elk in Cataloochee Valley
For a fascinating and free fun time, head to Cataloochee and watch elk graze a short distance away. You'll see plenty of other wildlife too! The experimental release of elk into Great Smoky Mountains National Park began in February 2001 with the importation of 25 elk, In 2002, the park imported another 27 animals. All elk are radio collared and are monitored. By 2014, the number grew to 140+. The best time of day to see elk is the last hour before sunset and at sunrise. Bring your camera, binoculars and lawn chairs and enjoy the show!
Creative Culinary Communites... Boasting wineries and breweries, a beautiful countryside and a strong culinary scene, Asheville and nearby Waynesville are creative culinary communities and often referred to as “Foodtopia”. Wine tastings, food adventures and events, and a list of award-winning restaurants too numerous to list, Haywood and Buncombe Counties are ideal getaways for foodies and guaranteed to delight your palate. Asheville's top chefs have traveled the world to learn their craft, but they all know a secret- the best ingredients are found right here at home. Many of the city's best restaurants have paired with local farmers to bring the freshest fruits and vegetables directly from the farm to the table.
Nantahala Outdoor Center Whether you are a beginner or an extreme sports enthusiast, there's a river or creek nearby that NOC has an outpost at! Recognized as “one of the best outfitters on earth” by National Geographic Adventure, call them for:
• Guided rafting trips on seven southeastern rivers
• Guided hikes in Blue Ridge Mountains
• Guided fly-fishing and kayak fishing trips
• Zip lines and canopy tours
• Kayaking lessons and tours
• Mountain bike rentals
• Asheville biking, hiking and paddling information
Zip line & Canopy Tours
If you want some excitement on your next visit to the Smokies, try your hand at a Zip Line Tour AKA Canopy tour. You'll get a bird's eye view of the mountains and gorges! Soar through forest canopies across ridgetops deep in the forest or experience the sensation of flight in an urban setting with city views. Either way you will see a whole new dimension of woodland habitats from a brand new perspective! Where can you embark on such an adventure? Check out these outdoor adventure centers on
The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad starts in Bryson City and takes you through beautiful western North Carolina into river gorges, across lush valleys and through tunnels carved out of mountains. Travel in style in a 1940s-era bar, lounge and dinner car. First Class passengers receive an all-inclusive lunch served by the car's private attendant and a refillable souvenir tumbler. Book the outdoor car and pack a picnic lunch. Excursions are offered year-round and many kid-friendly events are held throughout the year like Thomas the Train week, Peanut's Great Pumpkin Express, and the Polar Express - All Aboard for a great time!
Smoky Mountain Jet Boats
Come for a scenic, historic and thrilling jet boat ride on lake Fontana - view the Smokies or go hike in the Smoky Mountain National Park near Forney Creek, one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length.. Suitable for all ages - see as much scenery as you would like on the Great Smoky Mountain Rail road. Call for reservations and receive a discount (24 hours in advance). We have a 1/2 day hiking jet boat combo in the GSMN Park or an hour long jet boat ride. See big waterfalls and magnificent scenery. http://needmore.com/jetboats/
Farmer's Markets in Waynesville & Asheville
Western North Carolina Farmer's Markets are a treat for the senses! One of the Asheville locations is on a thirty-six-acre site with a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains. The market is open all year round, and seven days a week. The retail area features displays of high quality fruits and vegetables, mountain crafts, jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, and dozens of other farm fresh items. Jesse Israel & Sons Garden and Nursery Center feature top quality plants, trees, and shrubs. You will enjoy strolling through their colorful facility that includes a greenhouse full of tropical plants, ponds full of water plants, bonsai, and a forty-foot waterfall. www.ncagr.gov/markets/facilities/markets/asheville/
Waynesville Skate Park For years local skaters had dreamed of having a place of their own in Waynesville. By integrating landscaping and using modern plaza style design, Waynesville wanted to make the town's skate plaza esthetically attractive, yet functional for skaters, pedestrians, and anyone else who would like to enjoy the scenery. Even if you don’t skate, stop by and watch the skateboarders and in-line skaters. *The Skate Park is unattended and participants skate at their own risk. Pads and Helmets are REQUIRED .The Town assumes no liability for injury. Hours of Operation Mon. - Sun. Dawn to Dusk
Mountain Biking at Tsali Rec. Area
Mountain Biking in Western NC is awesome, but Tsali is absolutely the most popular and boasting the most technical trails in Western NC. It has been rated as one of the top 10 places to ride in the USA. The area is located on a hilly peninsula reaching into beautiful Fontana Lake, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. The four long main trails at Tsali wind along the lake shore and onto the wooded, steep interior ridges. There are several connector trails, gravel roads and extension trails that give a few more options for rides besides the main loops. Three designated overlooks along the trails provide sweeping views of Fontana Lake with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the other side. The trails are fast, hardpacked singletrack, and they're extremely well designed and well used. Trails alternate use between mountain bikers and horseback riders on different days; two will always be open to mountain biking. There is a $2.00 trail use fee for one day.
Birding North Carolina has much to offer! The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains are home to many different species and can provide a real challenge for avid birders. In terms of birding Smoky Mountains trails are some of the richest and most exciting you’ll find on the entire east coast.The Smoky Mountain region is the site of regular migrations of both landbirds and raptors. You can find everything from warblers and flycatchers to hawks. There are some species of warblers and flycatchers that are rarely seen anywhere else in the state except for this rocky terrain. More than 240 species of birds have been found in the park. Sixty species are year-round residents. Nearly 120 species breed in the park, including 52 species from the neo-tropics. Many other species use the park as an important stopover and foraging area during their semiannual migration. http://nc.audubon.org/
Whether you're looking for thrill-seeking outdoor adventure
or just a leisurely activity in the beautiful outdoors -
Waynesville's convenient location makes it easy to accomplish both!
Surrounded by the Smoky Mountain National Park, Pisgah National Forest,
Nantahala National Forest, and the Blue Ridge Parkway,
there's never a shortage of outdoor activities year-round!
Scenic Roads & Byways... Western North Carolina offers three of the best touring roads in the US. The most widely known is the Tail of the Dragon with 318 curves in 11 miles. Motorcycle riders and sports car enthusiasts from around the world come to test their skills on the one-of-a-kind mountain road. The Cherohala Skyway passes through National Forest land crossing from North Carolina into Tennessee. The 36 mile scenic highway with mile-high vistas is gaining in popularity with the motoring crowd. The recent interests in moonshining is drawing people to the Moonshiner 28 which runs 105 miles from the Tail of the Dragon to Walhala South Carolina. Twisting roads, waterfalls and back country shopping are it’s major features.
Fly fishing... The trout streams in the Blue Ridge , Appalachian , & Great Smoky mountains of North Carolina from Cherokee to Asheville to Boone host the best fishing streams there are in North Carolina. Some are easily accessed while others require a hike. Slickrock Creek is home to big brown trout and native trout in the headwaters. Snowbird Creek is stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout. Native brook trout can be found in the higher elevations. There are several creeks on Fontana Lake that are only accessible by boat. The nearby Nantahala River is also a popular fishing venue. Be sure to review the regulations for taking trout in these waters.
Mountain Tubing Can Be an Easy Float or a Wild, Whitewater Ride!!
Western North Carolina has two great tubing runs and both are near Bryson City. Both Deep Creek and the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee have crystal clear water that originates in springs bubbling up and filtering through the ferns and moss in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tubing companies generally operate from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Cost to rent tubes is just a few dollars, be sure to splurge and get the ones with the backrest on them for $6!
Winter Sports at Cataloochee Resort... Just 20 minutes from the house to the slopes, Cataloochee Resort in Maggie Valley lets skiers and snowboarders enjoy the winding trails and terrain for all abilities. The Cat Cage Terrain Park has jumps and bumps for snowboarders and skiers. Tube World's snow tubing brings back memories of childhood sled rides and great times! Kids of all ages enjoy tubing and it's perfect for a family or group outing. Plus, you never have to walk back up the hill – simply step on our carpet lift and let it do the work. They apply the same snowmaking science and grooming at the snow tubing park as they do at the Ski Area, so you can always count on a quality sliding surface. You can also rent snowboards, skis and helmets. http://cataloochee.com/
Land of the Waterfalls There are waterfalls for viewing within ten minutes of the Woody Lane home, and nearby Transylvania County, which is blessed with an abundance of waterfalls, and bills itself as the "Land of Waterfalls."
Twenty-one named falls lie within the lush forests of that county, luring hikers, mountain bikers, anglers, horseback riders, and nature lovers. Download a Waterfall Guide from their website.
Horseback Riding may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Asheville area activities. Sure, there are the spectacular mountain views, long hiking trails, vibrant cultural scene and whitewater. So why not add horseback riding to the list? Equestrians return year after year to ride the beautiful trails and roads in the forests and parks of western North Carolina. Horseback Riding at the Biltmore Estate Biltmore has 8,000 acres that include horseback riding trails through peaceful meadows and shady hardwood forests. Saddle up and catch a Western-style guided trail ride (for adults and children over 6 years old) to see one of the only views of the Biltmore House's western façade. Extended and private guided rides are available. Another option is a 45-minuted guided carriage ride, where children 5 and less than one years of age ride free with a ticketed adult. http://www.cataloocheeranch.com/
Gather the kids and dogs and go for a stroll around the lake and enjoy the peaceful mountain setting. Along the way you will enjoy the beauty of the Rose Walk, the tranquility of the Frances Asbury Trail as well as our spectacular butterfly garden and waterfall.
Come prepared to feed the geese and ducks!
Kids can also enjoy the Children's program during the summer. If you're staying on the grounds, relax poolside and enjoy the beautiful views from their aquatic center, which also includes canoe and paddleboat rentals for further exploration of our 200-acre lake.
Decorate your home like a B&B with antiques from one of Waynesville's or Asheville's many shops. Antique shops in Asheville range from a 6,000-square-foot antiques emporium to unique boutique antique shops specializing in art, estate jewelry and imported European antique furniture.
There is no shortage on unique and memorable shopping in the Waynesville/Asheville areas either. Shops range from classy to quaint and quirky and everything in between.
Art galleries are evrywhere and many of the artists and artisans live in the area.
The Grove Arcade, pictured at left, is an architectural wonder built in the 1920s with eclectic boutiques, dining for every palate, craft exhibits and local artists' galleries. The beautifully restored building offers live music, tours and the outdoor portico market pictured at left. www.grovearcade.com
Charlotte's Motor Speedway, about 2 1/2 hours from Waynesville , is home to all things cars! The ZMax Dragway, the Super Speedway,the Dirt Track, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and Childress, Petty and other team shops, to name a few. Three big races take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America 500. Speed-seeking race fans can sign up for the NASCAR Racing Experience, where you can go 160 mph in racecars that have been driven by NASCAR greats like Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon. You'll want to get a rush of adrenaline at Victory Lane Karting, which has an indoor track where you can reach 45 mph. And with so many race team's making the Charlotte region their home, there are plenty of race shops to visit.
Mt. LeConte & Alum Cave Trail For THE best day hike in the Great Smokies, hike 13-mile roundtrip with interesting geological features and stunning views along the way to the 6,593-foot summit of Mount LeConte (third highest peak in the Smokies). Sure, there are trails in the Smokies that are far longer, that gain more elevation, or have steeper climbs, but the Alum Cave Trail is unmatched in its combination of interesting geological features, history, high adventure and stunning views. Allow all day for this hike, since you'll climb 2,853 feet in elevation on Alum Cave Trail or plan a stay at the incredible LeConte Lodge high atop Mt. LeConte. It is the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States. It is situated on an open glade just below the summit of Mt. LeConte at an elevation of about 6400 feet. The Lodge serves as a grandstand for the entire Park and commands spectacular views of the Smokies. It is accessible only by hiking and is the only place in the Smoky Mountains where a visitor can sleep overnight in a snug permanent structure. There are no roads that lead to the Lodge. There are five hiking trails that lead to the Lodge ranging in length from 5.5 miles up to 8 miles. The Lodge offers an atmosphere of quiet simplicity where people find relaxation and renewed energy in the cool, majestic solitude at the top of the Smokies. Guests are housed in hand built rough hewn log cabins with propane heat, kerosene lanterns, clean linens and warm Hudson Bay wool blankets. Hearty meals are served family style in the dining room.
Tired of walking? See the best of Asheville from aboard a vintage trolley. Enjoy a fully narrated tour covering all major points of interest in Asheville including The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Historic Biltmore Village, the downtown shopping and restaurant district, the Asheville Art Museum and art gallery district and much more. Step off the trolley at any of the convenient stops to shop, dine or sightsee, then re-board and continue the tour. Two tours are offered seven days a week.
Drive to the Peak of the Parkway – Dine at The Pisgah Inn!
From the 5,000 foot elevation at Mt. Pisgah, marvel at the forest-clad mountain peaks, the mist filled coves, and the slopes of fragrant balsams, rhododendrons, mountain laurel and flame azalea.
Hike the many trails through a virgin land where deer, bear and other forest creatures play. The vista from the dining room, or your own private porch, affords today's modern man a feeling of quiet peace and reawakening to the delicate beauty that is unspoiled land.
Take a splash into one of the local Swimming Holes!
When you want to learn about swimming holes, you go to the experts. The crew at Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine (BRO), who get paid to mountain bike, raft, hike and paddle in places most of us don't even know exist, provide the following adventurer insider list of top swimming holes in Western North Carolina each year.
Love a good Pub Crawl, but don't want to waste time walking between the pubs? Book a tour on the Amazing PubCycle – a hops powered pedaler! Jump on the wicked-cool 13-person pedal powered (motor assisted) vehicle like no other. Imagine riding your bike (sideways), hanging out at your favorite pub (on wheels), and the entertainment tantilizes all of your senses.