Waynesville, North Carolina

Waynesville, North Carolina is a great destination for outdoor adventurers! With its lush forested areas and steep mountain peaks, it’s a perfect place to explore and create lifelong memories. Visitors can savor the fresh mountain air and admire the beautiful views while they take in the best nature has to offer. From gentle walks to more physically challenging expeditions, Waynesville offers something for all types of outdoor activity. Whether you’re looking for a serene escape or exciting exploration, Waynesville is an ideal spot for an unforgettable experience.

Top Spots in and near Waynesville

  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Abandoned Cessna 414A at Waterrock Knob (Removed)

    3.7
    1.72 mi / 430 ft gain
    NOTE: The wreckage has now been removed. Please see the press release on NPS.gov for more details.  Ever hiked to an abandoned plane in the middle of the woods? Yeah me neither until I heard of this gem. This is an AWESOME day hike for anyone looking to get outside for a few hours and see some ...
    Read more
  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Waterrock Knob Trail

    5.0
    1 mi / 407 ft gain
    The trail begins paved and quickly climbs up into a heavily forested area. Once at a 1/4 of a mile in, you will come to a nice overlook that will give you your first real good view of the surrounding mountains. The trail then continues on, though now unpaved, with great views off to your left as ...
    Read more
  • Maggie Valley, North Carolina

    Soco Falls

    5.0
    0.09 mi / 0 ft gain
    This double waterfall is located a mile and half off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Cherokee Indian Reservation. From the parking area, it's a short walk down a well-established trail to the viewing area of the falls. For an even closer view of the falls, you can follow a roped, steep path dow...
    Read more
  • Maggie Valley, United States

    Hemphill Bald

    Hemphill Bald is a quintessential Smoky Mountains vantage point and this moderate loop trail leading to it takes you through beautiful forest and rolling hills. This area is incredible in all seasons - wildflowers in the spring, colorful leaves in the fall, and with bare trees in the winter, the ...
    Read more
  • Canton, North Carolina

    Photograph Sunburst Falls

    This waterfall is right off the side of the road on NC 215. NC 215 is straight off of the blue ridge parkway and is just north of Brevard. The waterfall has to main parts one that is above the road and one that is below. The part below the road is the most scenic and the easiest to walk too. The ...
    Read more
  • Waynesville, North Carolina

    Explore Cataloochee Valley

    5.0
    History, solitude and wildlife abound in this quiet corner of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but getting here is not easy. Take the scenic route via Cove Creek Road from Cosby, TN. Drive 40 miles along the twisting, gravel road to Cataloochee, NC. The scenery along the way is outstanding, b...
    Read more
  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Pinnacle in Pinnacle Park

    5.0
    5.98 mi / 2142 ft gain
    Heading out from the parking area, head north on this challenging hike. For the majority of the hike, you'll have a pretty steady uphill charge. There are some flat parts between climbs, so be sure to catch your breath and get some water in during these times. Once you reach the fork, where you'...
    Read more
  • Canton, North Carolina

    Sam Knob and Flat Laurel Creek Loop

    4.9
    3.84 mi / 807 ft gain
    This is one of my favorite quick "getaway" loops in the Pisgah Ranger District. Turn onto Black Balsam Knob Road (Mile Marker 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway) go until you reach a dead end and park at the parking lot. You'll see the Sam Knob trail to the right of the public bathrooms. From there, i...
    Read more
  • Canton, North Carolina

    Tennent Mountain

    5.0
    3 mi / 285 ft gain
    Park at the Lot at the end of Black Balsam road, and start your morning in the dark, down the old dirt road at the end of the lot. Take this road until you get to Ivestor Gap and make a right onto the Art Loeb, try and time it so the sun is just about to rise here. Hike or trail run The Art Loeb ...
    Read more
  • Canton, North Carolina

    Shining Rock via Shining Creek Trail

    4.3
    8.69 mi / 2569 ft gain
    There are several ways to access the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, but go for the main trail head off of Hwy 276. The trail is split by the Pigeon River, providing a seemingly infinite combinations of trails and routes, keeping in mind that this area intersects often with the well known Art Lobe ...
    Read more
  • Canton, North Carolina

    Hike Big East Fork Shining Rock Loop

    4.0
    14 mi
    We began this trip by camping overnight in Graveyard Fields. Those camp sites are .5 miles from the car, so we kept our food there over night. Bear activity has increased, so it's strongly advised to bring a bear canister and be wise about food storage. We woke up early the next morning made bre...
    Read more
  • Canton, North Carolina

    Hike to Bubling Spring Falls

    0.1 mi / 50 ft gain
    The road to get to this waterfall is right off of NC 215 which comes right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and is only about 3 miles away from parkway. The parking area is very small and does not offer many parking spots but since it is not that popular of an area parking is usually not a problem. ...
    Read more
  • Haywood County, North Carolina

    Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail

    5.0
    1.56 mi / 305 ft gain
    The parking area for Black Balsam Knob is at mile marker 420.2 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's free to hike here. Take the Art Loeb Trail a half mile until you reach the knob. Along the way you will be walking almost entirely on the bald which is a very pleasant experience. You feel like you're ...
    Read more
  • Balsam Grove, North Carolina

    Devil's Courthouse

    4.7
    0.85 mi / 246 ft gain
    The Devil's Courthouse Overlook and Trail can be one of the best places to see the entire Blue Ridge countryside. Even though it is a short hike, there is a fairly steep incline halfway through, so be prepared to huff and puff a little. It takes anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes depending upon your ...
    Read more
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs Highway 506, North Carolina

    Barrett Knob Fire Tower

    5.0
    1.21 mi / 400 ft gain
    Your hike will start at the base of the Blue Ridge Parkway just a few miles from the start in Cherokee. The trail starts right off of the parkway in a very small easy to miss dirt road. There is a small area to park that then you start your hike up the dirt road right after the gate. The hike to ...
    Read more
  • Canton, North Carolina

    Climb Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower

    4.5
    1.5 mi
    This is an extremely easy trail with a minimal incline. The tower, built in 1941, standing 70 feet above the summit, can be nerve wracking, even for those who aren't scared of heights.  However, most feel it's worth the view. Expect to see fellow hikers. On pretty days there can be a few people w...
    Read more

Camping and Lodging in Waynesville

Cataloochee Campground
Cataloochee, North Carolina

Cataloochee Campground

Balsam Mountain Campground
Cherokee, North Carolina

Balsam Mountain Campground

Cataloochee Horse Camp
Waynesville, North Carolina

Cataloochee Horse Camp

Cataloochee Group Camp
Waynesville, North Carolina

Cataloochee Group Camp

Asheville West KOA Holiday
Candler, North Carolina

Asheville West KOA Holiday

Mount Pisgah Campground
408 Blue Ridge Parkway

Mount Pisgah Campground

Guides, Insights and Stories from Waynesville

The 5 Best Fall Hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The 5 Best Fall Hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Christian Murillo

 5 Awesome Trail to Town Adventures Near Asheville, NC

5 Awesome Trail to Town Adventures Near Asheville, NC

Erin McGrady

Part II: Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway Near Asheville - South

Part II: Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway Near Asheville - South

Erin McGrady

Part I: Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville - North

Part I: Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville - North

Erin McGrady

6 Urban Parks in Asheville, North Carolina

6 Urban Parks in Asheville, North Carolina

Erin McGrady