The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area starting January 2 at 10:00pm through January 3 mid-day. Conditions could be hazardous so plan ahead and stay safe. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Updates – LIVE BLOG


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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 open and 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.

North Carolina as a state is committed to upholding the safest environments for our visitors. We, Visit NC Smokies, along with several local businesses have taken the #CountOnMeNC pledge to follow all guidelines and increased regulations for cleaning practices. You should feel safe when you stop by our Visitor Center located in Maggie Valley.

Updated September 2, 2020 / 8:54 a.m. EST

Governor Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will take a modest step forward moving into Phase 2.5 starting this Friday, September 4th at 5pm. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus, Cooper said.

  • Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the current limit of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.
  • Playgrounds may open.
  • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity.
  • Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity.
  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed.
  • Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.

Updated August 5, 2020 / 4:49 p.m. EST

Following the Governor Cooper’s announcement today, North Carolina is to remain in Phase II until September 11th at this time. Masks continue to be required in public spaces.

Updated July 17, 2020 / 10:24 a.m. EST

NC is to remain in Phase II for another 3 weeks. Masks continue to be required in public spaces. Our Visitor Center is open to travelers, please wear a mask and respect social distancing from others. We are thoroughly cleaning between visitors, staff are wearing masks and we may ask you to wait outside while we perform necessary cleaning measures. Travel safe!

Looking for outdoor hikes? Check out our Easy Hikes or Moderate Hikes blogs to get you started.

Updated June 24, 2020 / 4:45 p.m. EST

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread. Executive Order 147 can be read here.

When visiting the NC Smokies please be prepared to bring your own mask if possible to wear while visiting stores and attractions. Many places provide disposable masks for your use. Outdoor dining and limited capacity indoor dining is still available, current restaurant list below. Businesses will face fines if not under compliance and our local businesses already have enough on their plates so please help us out by making their compliance easier!

Updated June 11, 2020 / 3:07 p.m. EST

The Blue Ridge Parkway is excited to once again be providing access to multiple picnic area and restroom facilities in both Virginia and North Carolina. Beginning June 13, 2020, the Blue Ridge Parkway will reopen access to Picnic Areas, including restroom facilities, at the following locations in Haywood County:

• Graveyard Fields Trailhead, Milepost 418.8
• Waterrock Knob Visitor Center, Milepost 451.2

Updated May 28, 2020 / 3:52 p.m. EST

Cataloochee Ranch is under new ownership and they are currently working on changes and improvements to the property.  Consequently, they are not allowing the public to hike on the property since it is privately owned and under construction.   Please be respectful of this request and do not hike at Cataloochee Ranch.

There are plenty of outdoor places and hikes to explore on the Blue Ridge Parkway that is now open, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Lake Junaluska, and more.

Updated May 21, 2020 / 3:00 p.m. EST

Phase II from  NC Governor Roy Cooper:

Haywood County Closures/Postponements
Hart Theater – closed
Smoky Mountain Sk8way – closed
Maggie Valley Puzzle Rooms – closed
Folkmoot – events postponed
Dale’s Wheel’s Through Time Museum – Opens June 27th
Shelton House Museum – closed

Updated May 20, 2020 / 11:28 a.m. EST

When traveling, visitors should be prepared to take precautions relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19). There are no NC travel restrictions, but certain groups need to be extra cautious, including those over 65 and those with compromised immune systems. You now longer need to self quarantine for 14 days upon entering the county. North Carolina officials recommend traveling in groups less than 10. Our Visitor Center is open 10a – 4p Mon-Sat and we recommend you wear a mask as our employees are as well, capacity is limited to 6.

COVID-19 Resources: 

CDC Information for Travelers
DHEC Information
US Travel Association

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:

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