Waynesville/Maggie Valley, NC
Tucked into the rising Blue Ridge Mountains about 25 miles from Downtown Asheville are two quaint, neighboring towns called Waynesville, NC and Maggie Valley, NC. Their traditional crafts and laid back attitudes serve as reminders for locals and visitors alike to slow down and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Popular family resort towns, Waynesville and Maggie Valley offer their visitors an old-fashioned feel with all the access to modern amenities to which we are accustomed. For those looking for a true Southern Appalachian experience, the Waynesville/Maggie Valley area is the perfect choice.
Things to Do:
Thousands of miles of trails and streams make the forests of Western North Carolina some of the most breathtakingly beautiful in the country. Hiking these mountains can be life-changing - the views, the wildlife, the hidden treasures deep in the woods - all of these aspects come together to create pure magic. No matter the season, hiking here is a rewarding endeavor and the trails in the Waynesville/Maggie Valley area are considered to be some of the most stunning. We've highlighted a few of our favorite area hikes below.
Soco Falls is a stunning double waterfall located on the edge of the Cherokee Indian Reservation, just outside of Maggie Valley. A short walk from US Highway 19 leads visitors to a viewing platform where the majesty of the falls will take your breath away. To get to this gorgeous site from Maggie Valley, drive past the Blue Ridge Parkway crossing 1.5 miles. Before reaching the waterfall, you'll see a small blue sign that reads "Soco Falls 1/2 mile ahead". There will be a small roadside parking area on the left and the trail starts at the break in the guard rail.
Waterrock Knob is considered a must stop when driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located just 18 miles from the end of the parkway at Milepost 451.2, it is the last hiking trail along the parkway before entering into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Considered one of the best places in the North Carolina mountains to view a sunrise or a sunset. The trailhead is right next to the parking area and a short 1.2 mile roundtrip hike will take you to the summit. It is a steep climb, but worth the effort!
Hemphill Bald is a 13.6 mile loop trail that is rated as moderate. The views from the bald are breathtaking and expansive. Though the hike up is strenuous at times, the end result is worth every drop of sweat that it takes to get there. To get to this hike from Maggie Valley, head west on Soco Road toward Memory Lane. After .6 miles, turn right onto Fie Top Road. Travel 2.9 miles, then turn left onto Ski Lodge Road. Travel another .6 miles, then make a slight left onto Double Gap Road. The trail head is just ahead.
Back to Top
Waynesville, Maggie Valley, and the surrounding small towns are some of the most family friendly and welcoming towns in all of Western North Carolina - which is saying quite a bit considering how seriously North Carolinians take the concept of southern hospitality! Activities like white water rafting, ziplining, and mountain biking get a lot of press (for good reason, those activities are at the heart of Western North Carolina), but for those who would rather have an easy going but down right good time, we've highlighted a few of our favorite Waynesville/Maggie Valley activities.
Fantasy Golf and Gameroom
A family business located in the heart of Maggie Valley, NC, Fantasy Golf and Game Room is an 18 hole masterpiece that features waterfalls, a lighthouse, and some breathtaking views from the 18th hole tower. An excellent outing for families, couples, or friends look for a wholesomely good time, the Game Room will make you laugh with delight.
Tube World is open from mid-December through the first of March (weather permitting). It is a blast back to simpler times when a sled ride through the winter landscape was the greatest joy there ever was. Perfect fun for all ages, Tube World is a fantastic day trip that will leave you feeling in love with life! It is conveniently located just four miles from Maggie Valley and just across the way from Ghost Town in the Sky.
Maggie Valley Rock Shop
Maggie Valley Rock Shop is a favorite among locals. The old stone building on Soco Road that houses the shop is a beautiful relic of years past and within its doors, visitors will find treasures pulled right from the earth. Gemstones, minerals, fossils, hand made jewelry, sculpture and more are yours to discover in this family owned shop nested in the the Great Smoky Mountains.
Back to Top
Some of the best Motorcycling can be had in Western North Carolina! Our scenic drives are world renowned and this fact, coupled with our long warm seasons, makes this corner of the state a motorcycle lover's dream! We have a special guide devoted to our favorite drives in the area, but we've highlighted a few extra special Maggie Valley routes below.
The Land of the Waterfalls Loop Ride is a full day trip of beautiful sights and great times. A total of 175 miles (about five hours of riding time) loops around the Smoky Mountains and covers some of the best sites in the area. The loop begins near the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and features rugged mountain scenes, long range views, and crashing rivers.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an area treasure. Whether your driving the parkway, riding it, biking it, or camping on it, it offers a kind of magic rarely found. The most frequently used access point from Maggie Valley, NC is the entrance at Soco Gap. From this point, you can go south to the ends of the Parkway and find easy access to the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Heading north opens up the entire length of the Parkway. We recommend planning for some sunset views from any number of pull-offs along the way.
Ghost Town in the Sky
Ghost Town in the Sky is a Western theme park situated at the peak of Buck Mountain in Maggie Valley, NC. Built in the early 1960's, it became a popular destination for many during a time when John Wayne and Roy Rogers ruled the silver screen and the most admired heroes were those who traversed the Wild West.
For those visiting the area, Ghost Town in the Sky is a must see. No matter the age, elements of Ghost Town will speak to you in a profoundly entertaining way.
Fishing is a big part of our Western North Carolina culture. Some of the very best fishing in the country can be had in our pristine mountain rivers. Rainbow Trout, Bass, and Brook Trout thrive in our icy streams and anglers come from all over the nation to fish these rivers. For a more complete guide to fishing in the area, visit our Carolina Mornings Guide to Fishing in WNC. Some of the very best locations in the Waynesville/Maggie Valley area have been highlighted below.
Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Program
The Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Program is a cooperative effort between the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and our local governments to promote trout fishing as a heritage tourism activity. Access to designated Mountain Heritage Trout Waters is made easier through the program and any resident or non-resident of the area has the opportunity to purchase a 3-day license for $5.00.
Many anglers who have fished the Tuckaseegee River have said that it reminds them of fishing a Western River. Though the surrounding scenery is uniquely that of Western North Carolina, the water itself is reminiscent of those icy western waters. Numerous rock ledges crossing the river create deep pockets with plenty of riffles - perfect places to fish for trout.
West Fork of the Pigeon River
The West Fork of the Pigeon River begins off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County. It is a local favorite and boasts over 5,000 fish per mile! In higher elevations, wild Brookies abound. Lower elevations are home to wild browns. Fishing the Pigeon River is a must do for anglers visiting the area - most find that the surround flora and fauna are quite stunning and make for a perfectly serene backdrop.
Festivals are especially common here in Western North Carolina. With such astounding beauty and rich history, it only makes sense that we would jump on any opportunity we can find to celebrate! Each town has it's own annual celebrations, and neither Waynesville nor Maggie Valley are any different. Though many festivals spring up at different times throughout the year, there are two annual events that have become enormously popular with visitors and locals alike. We've highlighted them below.
Folk Moot is a nonprofit organization that seeks to elevate and celebrate the vibrancy of different cultures. By bringing together many and varied cultures, it creates within the community a sense of global belonging - through a rich exchange of cultural traditions, it reminds us that we belong to something much larger than what we see in our every day lives.
The Folk Moot Festival is held every year during the last two weeks of July. With the help of the many donations collected throughout the year, the festival is able to bring together international folk dancers and musicians from around the world to perform together in Western North Carolina. Love, laughter, and fun are in abundance at this incredible event.
Mountain Street Dances
Every other Friday from late June to Early August, the town of Waynesville, NC becomes alive with music, dance, and laughter. The street in front of the county courthouse closes down, the streets are emptied of cars and trucks and replaced with excited locals and visitors alike. The streets are covered with a corn meal dusting, dancing shoes are donned, and all are encouraged to join in the fun.
This corner of North Carolina has such a rich and vibrant history standing behind its many and varied communities. Dozens of museums around Western North Carolina support that history, and in Waynesville and Maggie Valley there are two that stand out above others. Drawing in thousands of visitors every year, the museums highlighted below are fantastic outings for those visiting the area.
Wheels Through Time Museum
Home to the world's premier collection of rare and historic American Vintage Motorcycles, Wheels Through Time Museum is a fascinating glimpse into America's vast history of rare, classic motorcycles. Currently, over 30 marques are on display - including Harley-Davidson, Excelsior, Henderson, and many more. Founded in 1993, he Wheels Through Time Museum has become and a vitally important component in preserving American motorcycle history.
Shelton House: Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts
The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts seeks to preserve the vast and important history of craft in the Southern Appalachian region. Both Native American and North Carolina heritage artisans are featured in the museum and each piece of treasure has its own unique and rich story to tell. Visitors will journey through both the historic Shelton House and the barn on property to see these historical gems displayed much in the way they would have been when they were made, used, and cherished.
Where to Stay
We have a website dedicated to our properties in the Eastern Smoky Mountains. Check out our Cabins of the Carolina Smokies page for more info!