Thank you for your interest in Haywood County. Visit NC Smokies values you and your passion for these Smoky Mountains that we love. While we understand that this may impact your travel plans, we want to keep you updated with this live blog monitoring the situation to keep your health and safety top of mind and remind people to travel responsibly. Our Visitor Center is closed to walk in traffic at this time but we can still assist you over the phone 800-334-9036 and through our social channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We are continuing to communicate with state officials and our local partners on COVID-19’s impact locally.
Updated March 27, 2020 / 1:08 p.m. EST
Lake Junaluska is open to the public but please respect the social distancing practice of keeping 6ft between people and walking clockwise around the lake.
Golf Courses in the county remain open, do not golf if you have been sick, have a compromised immune system or will be around others that are immune compromised.
We encourage you to plan your Summer travel to our destination should you need to postpone plans in respect to flattening the curve. We will look forward to seeing you soon.
Updated March 24, 2020 / 3:19 p.m. EST
** Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Close. As a public health precaution, effective March 23, all park campgrounds, picnic areas, and restrooms will close for the safety of staff and visitors. Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove Visitor Centers remain closed until further notice.
During the closure period, visitors can experience the park using digital tools including social media platforms and website where near real-time views can be seen via park webcams. Park rangers can still help answer questions via email or phone during business hours at (865) 436-1291, (828) 506-8620, or [email protected]
** Blue Ridge Parkway has closed the Southern 14 mile section, Milepost 455 to 469, until further notice.
Updated March 21, 2020 / 10:15 a.m. EST
Haywood County Specific Updates
Some stores and restaurants have opted to close for the suggested 15 day social distancing period. This changes by the hour. It is best to check on their respective Facebook Pages and websites for the latest updates and menus. Call ahead to place your order.
Updated March 17, 2020 / 2:29 p.m. EST
Please considering supporting local Haywood County Restaurants that are now offering Take Out & Curbside Service.
DoorDash is offering free food delivery from many of these places.
Updated March 16, 2020 / 11:28 a.m. EST
When traveling, visitors should be prepared to take precautions relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Most travel is considered to be safe for most of the population by national, state, and local guidelines, but certain groups need to be extra cautious, including those over 65 and those with compromised immune systems. North Carolina officials recommend traveling in groups less than 10.
Haywood County Specific Updates
Our hotels, restaurants, and businesses are open for business. They have increased disinfecting and social distancing measures to help ensure the safety of our visitors and employees. These enhanced measures are some of the most stringent in the industry, and we are working with all businesses, attractions, restaurants and others county-wide to make sure they are implementing these current sanitation and best health practices.
Haywood County Schools – closed for the next 2 weeks
Cataloochee Ski Area – closed for the remainder of the season
The Swag – delayed opening to May 1
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino – closing Wednesday morning at 6:00am for the remainder of March
Waynesville Recreation Center – closed for the next 2 weeks
Hart Theater – closed until further notice
Smoky Mountain Sk8way – closed until further notice
Maggie Valley Puzzle Rooms – closed until further notice
Folkmoot – events postponed until mid May
Dave’s Wheel’s Through Time Museum – Delayed opening until April 9th
Shelton House Museum – Postponed opening to May 1st
Maggie Valley Puzzle Room – Closed until further notice
Things to Do
Haywood County is fortunate to be home to a variety of outdoor assets with social distancing built in to enjoy the cool, crisp, and clean mountain air, including:
- Blue Ridge Parkway (great for wide open views from the comfort of your car)
- Lake Junaluska (a scenic mostly flat walk with stunning mountain views)
- Waterrock Knob (a fantastic place to enjoy a picnic or takeout from one of our local restaurants)
- Max Patch (360 views from a mountain bald, plenty of room to distance yourself from other hikers)
- Any one of our other trails
We will be vigilantly monitoring the changes locally and statewide and keeping this live blog updated with the latest information and ideas for things to do. Please also visit our other blogs for outdoor ideas to explore.