WNC Travel Guide

WNC Fly Fishing Trail
 

WNC Fly Fishing Trail

All of Western North Carolina is renowned for its fly fishing, and its reputation continues to grow. Jackson County has developed the first official, mapped fly fishing trail, and that has been emulated by Swain County. And of course there are plenty of outfitters and guides ready to take visitors to the best fishing holes in the mountains.

Below are just a few of the stops on Jackson County’s Fly Fishing Trail. For more information, visit www.flyfishingtrail.com.

Scott Creek

• The Stretch: Roughly 10 miles from headwaters near Balsam down to Sylva

• Access Point(s): Parking and access available via several pull-off areas along U.S. 23/74

• Type of Water: Hatchery supported

• Noteworthy: Stretch also includes North Fork Scott Creek and Buff Creek, which are very scenic

Caney Fork

• The Stretch: Roughly 10 miles from East Laporte Park to headwaters at fork of Mull Creek and Piney Mountain Creek

• Access Point(s): Access via Caney Fork Road (SR 1737), avoid posted land

• Type of Water: Undesignated

• Noteworthy: Respect private landowners

Tanasee Creek

• The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from Tanasee Creek bridge up to headwaters

• Access Point(s): Parking and access available at bridge on Tanasee Creek Road (SR 1762)

• Type of Water: Wild Trout

• Noteworthy: Very scenic stretch in the Nantahala National Forest

Panthertown Creek

• The Stretch: Entire stream, roughly 3 miles

• Access Point(s):  Parking and access at end of Breedlove Rd (SR 1121), with 2-mile walk to creek

• Type of Water: Catch and release single hook artificial lure

• Noteworthy: Located in Panthertown Valley, which is known as the “Yosemite of the East” because of its bowl shape and rocky bluffs

Raven Fork

• The Stretch: Starts at Blue Ridge Parkway bridge near Cherokee and goes north for 2.2 miles

• Access Point(s): Parking and access via several pull-off areas along Big Cove Road; paths run along stream

• Type of Water: Catch and release fly fishing only

• Noteworthy: Cherokee Trophy Water; Cherokee annual permit and daily permit required

Whitewater River

• The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from N.C. 107 down to the South Carolina state line

• Access Point(s): Parking and access along N.C. 107, a few miles south of Cashiers

• Type of Water: Wild Trout

• Noteworthy: Flows into Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi

West Fork Tuckasegee River

• The Stretch: From small reservoir at Thorpe Power House upstream several hundred yards

• Access Point(s): Parking and access available both sides of N.C. 107 near Thorpe Power House

• Type of Water: Hatchery supported

• Noteworthy: Although hatchery supported, this has nice concentration of stream-raised fish

Tuckasegee River

(East Laporte Park to N.C. 107 Bridge)

• The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from park to bridge

• Access Point(s): Parking and access available at East Laporte Park and pull-off areas along Old Cullowhee Road

• Type of Water: Hatchery supported

• Noteworthy: East Laporte Park has picnic tables and public restrooms

Savannah Creek

• The Stretch: About 10 miles from headwaters in Pumpkintown into Tuckasegee River

• Access Point(s): Parking and access available via several pull-offs along U.S. 23/441

• Type of Water: Hatchery supported

• Noteworthy: Access limited the closer you get to the Tuckasegee River

Tuckasegee River

(NC 107 Bridge to Dillsboro park)

• The Stretch: Roughly 4-5 mile stretch from bridge to the riverside park in Dillsboro

• Access Point(s): Parking and access available via numerous pull-offs along North River Road

• Type of Water: Delayed harvest

• Noteworthy: Best place to achieve the Tuckasegee Slam (catch all three species in one spot)

Greens Creek

• The Stretch: About 3-4 miles from Macon County line to Savannah Creek

• Access Point(s): Various places along Greens Creek Road (SR 1370)

• Type of Water: Wild Trout, undesignated, hatchery supported

• Noteworthy: Portion of the creek flows through the Nantahala National Forest

Tuckasegee River

(in Dillsboro)

• The Stretch: About 1 mile from Dillsboro park through town

• Access Point(s): Various places between park and Best Western River Escape Inn

• Type of Water: Hatchery supported

• Noteworthy: Includes two lodging options: Best Western River Escape Inn and Dillsboro Inn

Lower Tuckasegee River

(Barker’s Creek Bridge to Whittier)

• The Stretch: Roughly 8-10 miles from bridge to Whittier

• Access Point(s): Parking and access via pull-offs and businesses along U.S. 19/74 freeway

• Type of Water: Hatchery supported, undesignated

• Noteworthy: The stretch is also home to smallmouth bass

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Performance Venues
 

Performance Venues

Live music is an important part of the heritage of Western North Carolina. Here’s a listing of venues that regularly have bands in the region.

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Mountain biking
 

Mountain biking

This is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the Smokies, one easily witnessed by all the vehicles with mountain bikes strapped to the back or top. Pretty straightforward as to why so may partake of this sport: the Smokies contain some of the best bike trails anywhere. Here are the popular spots:

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Blue Ridge Parkway serves up the best of the mountains

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road that winds for 469 miles from the southern end of Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive in Virginia to U.S. 441 at Oconaluftee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee.

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Soco Falls. Courtesy Swain TDA
 

The spiritual appeal of waterfalls

Whether one is an avid outdoorsman or an occasional hiker, there is something special about making a gorgeous waterfall the destination for a hike.

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Golf courses
 

Golf courses

In this mountain region, there are a handful of top-notch public courses, including the Sequoyah National in Cherokee (designed by Robert Trent Jones II) and the historic 27 holes at Waynesville Inn, Golf Resort and Spa. In the Cashiers area of Jackson County, the scenic High Hampton Inn is regarded as one of the most picturesque courses in the country. Other courses include:

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Four rides for two wheels
 

Four rides for two wheels

Blue Ridge Parkway

The famed scenic motorway winds through the best scenery the mountains have to offer, studded with overlooks to stop and soak in the views. The section of the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Smoky Mountains boasts the highest elevation and most panoramic ridgelines of the 469-mile route. 

 

Tail of the Dragon

No doubt one of the most famous motorcycle routes in the world, the Tail of the Dragon offers 318 curves in 11 miles. There are plenty of great rides on roads off U.S. 129 so its best to plan your trip before you go. A great resource is tailofthedragon.com. The route is ranked No. 3 in the nation by American Motorcyclist magazine.

 

Cherohala Skyway

Long corners and endless vistas make this sky-high road and enthusiasts dream.

Serving up 60 miles of scenic mountain cruising, the Skyway climbs to 5,400 feet from Robbinsville to Tellico Plains, Tenn. But be prepared. There are no restrooms or gas stations along the 36-mile Skyway.

 

Newfound Gap

U.S. 441 twists and winds its way from the Oconaluftee River Valley up and over a 5,000 foot divide in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering long-range views, forested tunnels and rushing rivers. The scenic route is studded with points of interest, including the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, Mingus Mill, picnic areas or Clingmans Dome.

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an amazing array of mini-ecosystems within its borders — from peaks over 6,000 feet to low valleys, from moist densely forested coves to dry meadows. A walk from mountain base to peak compares with traveling 1,250 miles north. Several resident plants and animals live only in the Smokies.

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Breweries west of Asheville
 

Breweries west of Asheville

Andrews

• Hoppy Trout Brewing Company — 828.835.2111 www.hoppytroutbrewing.com

• Snowbird Mountains Brewery — 678.419.3035 www.snowbirdmountainsbrewery.com

Bryson City

• Mountain Layers Brewing — www.mtnlayersbeer.com

• Nantahala Brewing — 828.488.2337 www.nantahalabrewing.com

Canton

• BearWaters Brewing — 828.246.0602 www.bwbrewing.com

Cashiers

• Whiteside Brewing — 828.743.6000 www.whitesidebrewing.com

Cherokee

• Native Brews Tap & Grill — 828.497.2739 www.native-brews.com

Dillsboro

• Innovation Brewing — 828.586.9678 www.innovation-brewing.com

Franklin

• Currahee Brewing — 828.634.0078 www.curraheebrew.com

• Lazy Hiker Brewing — 828.342.5133 www.lazyhikerbrewing.com

Hayesville

• Haynesville Brewing — 828.835.6010

• Nocturnal Brewing — 828.305.7337 www.nocturnalbrewing.com

Highlands

• Satulah Mountain Brewing — 828.482.9794 www.satulahmountainbrewing.com

Maggie Valley

• BearWaters Brewing — 828.944.0009 • www.bearwatersbrewing.com

Murphy

• Valley River Brewery — 828.837.2337 www.valleyriverbreweries.com

Sapphire

• Sapphire Valley Brewing — 828.743.0220 www.sapphirebrewingcompany.com

Sylva

• Balsam Falls Brewing — 828.631.1987 www.facebook.com/balsamfallsbrewing

• Innovation Brewing — 828.586.9678 www.innovation-brewing.com

• Lazy Hiker Brewing — 828.349.2337 • www.lazyhikerbrewing.com

• Nantahala Brewing (Outpost) — 828.641.9797 www.nantahalabrewing.com

Waynesville

• 7 Clans Brewing — 828.454.5664 www.7clansbrewing.com

• Boojum Brewing — 828.944.0888 www.boojumbrewing.com

• Frog Level Brewing — 828.454.5664 www.froglevelbrewing.com 

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