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National Parks Archive HOME » THINGS TO DO IN THE NC SMOKY MOUNTAINS » OUTDOORS ADVENTURES IN THE NC SMOKIES » NATIONAL PARKS

Haywood County sits at the western edge of the state, with the Blue Ridge Parkway running along its southwestern border. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pisgah National Forest are located in the northern section of the county, making any of our five mountain towns the most convenient place to stay when you want to get outdoors in the mountains of North Carolina!

The easiest place to access the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway is any of the four access points we have here in Haywood County. See a full list of access points and some of the “don’t miss” stops along the way.elk-brochure-cover

Did you know that North Carolina is home to the largest portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Haywood County is proud to be home of some of the National Park’s most renowned residents, the elk in Cataloochee Valley. A remote area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cataloochee is home to the restored elk population that was reintroduced to the area in 2001. The initial 52 elk that were originally released have now grown to a herd of more than 100, and the best time to see the elk is approximately two hours before sunset. For more information, download our brochure:

Elk in the NC Smokies Brochure