SPRING INTO THE SMOKIES
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.
SPRING FUN, CAPTURED BY YOU!
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!
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!
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
Mileage: 1.4-mile short loop trail that crosses the summit.
FREE HIKING MAPS
Before you hit the trails, make sure to download a map of some of our favorite hikes:
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!
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.
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!
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.
276 Chambers Farm Ln (in historic Bethel), Canton 28716
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
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
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
Fresh cut peonies & plants—herbaceous & intersectional. U Pick or we pick during bloom season. Cut flowers for special events.
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
18 Holes | Par 72
Waynesville Inn & Golf Club
18 Holes | Par 70