There is nothing fresher than springtime in the North Carolina Smokies. As the mountains awake from their winter slumber and eagerly welcome the first blossoms of spring color, you will find the ideal seasonal getaway in the picturesque towns of Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Canton, Clyde, and Lake Junaluska. Fondly referred to as “the other color season,” the area comes alive with the early blossoms of spring-like daffodils, dogwoods and cherry blossoms.

Warmer days and mild evenings offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy a plethora of outdoor adventures and unique local hotspots amidst the scenic backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you’re looking for that special “off the beaten path” hiking excursion or an epicurean adventure, the North Carolina Smokies are serving up the freshest springtime experiences around.



📍 Black Balsam Knob

Graveyard Fields

Graveyard Fields offers a great display of wildflowers common to the Blue Ridge Parkway, like rhododendron, larkspur, foamflower, jack-in-the-pulpit, evening primrose, bellflower, and many more. Graveyard Fields features many blackberry and blueberry bushes, too. Park rules allow one gallon of blueberries per person per day. This area is very popular, so head out early to catch the blueberries while you can!

Milepost 418.8
Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate
Mileage: 3.2 miles

Sam’s Summit Loop

The hike is composed of six different trails that form a loop and can be broken down into individual shorter hikes. Here, you can find features like the cascading Flat Laurel Creek Falls, incredible 360 views from the top of Sam’s Knob of Cold Mountain, Richland Balsam, and Black Balsam, and even an opportunity to stroll through the dense quiet of a native spruce plantation. This a perfect hike!

Hwy 215
Difficulty: Easy-Difficult
Mileage: 0.6-2.25

Max Patch

Hike a piece of the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch, one of North Carolina’s most popular Appalachian Trail hikes, on a grassy, bald mountain, rising 4,629 feet that’s covered in wildflowers. Catch a gorgeous sunrise, sunset, or afternoon picnic on this moderate two-mile loop with stunning 360-degree views. Hike through miles of wildflowers, wild blueberries, blackberries, and wispy, tall grasses.

I-40 Harmen Den Exit
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Mileage: 1.4-mile short loop trail that crosses the summit.


Before you hit the trails, make sure to download a map of some of our favorite hikes:

Blackrock Mountain

Sam’s Summit


Elk in Spring

Calving Season: Late Spring

Most calves are born in late May through June. The cows hide their calves in the high grass. For safety and to avoid disturbing the calves, visitors should stay out of fields. Cows can be aggressive in protecting their young. By late June, visitors can often see calves up and moving with the herd. Get our elk watching guide here!

Black Bears

Newborn Cubs Emerge

One to four cubs are born during the mother’s winter sleep, usually in late January or early February. Bears weigh eight ounces at birth. Females with newly born cubs usually emerge from their winter dens in late March or early April. Commonly born in pairs, the cubs will remain with the mother for about eighteen months or until she mates again.

Bird Watchers

Devil’s Courthouse & Black Balsam

This area offers superb high-elevation birding, with excellent opportunities for some of the more sought-after species in North Carolina, including Peregrine Falcon, Alder Flycatcher, and Northern Saw-whet Owl. There are easy to moderate high-elevation hiking trails at Black Balsam and a short, more strenuous hike to the top of the rocky outcrop at Devil’s Courthouse. Check out our bird-watching guide here!



Daffodil, Dogwood, Painted Trillium, Phacelia, Pink Lady Slipper, Yellow Lady Slipper, Pinkshell Azalea, Redbud, Tulip


Crab Apple, Dogwood, Flame Azalea, Japonica, Mountain Laurel, Mountain Magnolia, Pinkshell Azalea, Trailing Arbutus, Painted Trillium, Violet, Wild Cherry


Fire Pinks, Flame Azalea, Gray’s Lily, Ox-Eyed Daisy, Purple Rhododendron, White Rhododendron, Turkeybeard




From sprawling picturesque farms to family-owned and operated homesteads, bring the whole family for a U PICK adventure!

Call ahead because U PICK’s are seasonal.

Genesis Gardens

276 Chambers Farm Ln (in historic Bethel), Canton 28716
(828) 356-4783

Haywood’s only commercial flower farm. 45+ varieties of flowers. U Pick, wedding flowers, and plant starts available.

Frog Holler Organiks

234 Tommy Boyd Road, Waynesville 28785
(828) 356-7652

Open most Sat, March-May, 10:00-2:00 or by appointment. U-Pick flowers and elderberries.

The Ten Acre Garden

158 Chambers Farm Ln (in historic Bethel), Canton 28716
(828) 235-9667

Apr 15-Oct 15, 10-6. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and seasonal blooms. U Pick, for sale on farm.

Wildcat Ridge Farm

3553 Panther Creek Rd, Clyde 28721
(828) 627-6751

Fresh cut peonies & plants—herbaceous & intersectional. U Pick or we pick during bloom season. Cut flowers for special events.



Guided Tours

Want to see an elk at sunrise or learn to fly fish in the local rivers and streams? Guided tours are a great way to learn about and experience the wildlife here.

Cataloochee Valley Tours – Waynesville
Maggie Valley Fly Shop – Maggie Valley
Tuckaseegee Fly Shop – Waynesville
WNC Shuttle – Waynesville


Slingshot & UTV Rentals

Zip through the Smokies in a Slingshot or UTV! The Blue Ridge Parkway, Hwy 215, Hwy 209, or any motor touring route are great places to explore. Drivers must be 21 or older.

Cataloochee UTV Adventure Rentals – Waynesville
Scenic Tours & Rentals – Maggie Valley
Slinging in the Smokies – Maggie Valley
Smoky Mountain Slingshot Rentals – Waynesville



It’s Time to Tee Off

As the weather warms up and the flowers start to bloom, there’s no better time to hit the links and enjoy a round of golf amidst the stunning natural beauty of Haywood County. From seasoned pros to beginners, there’s a course for every level of golfer, each offering its own unique challenges and scenic views. So grab your clubs and get ready to tee off in Haywood County this spring!

Lake Junaluska Golf Course
18 Holes | Par 68

Laurel Ridge Country Club
18 Holes | Par 72

Maggie valley Club
18 Holes | Par 72

Springdale Golf
18 Holes | Par 72

Waynesville Inn & Golf Club
18 Holes | Par 70