Things to do, places to go

There are an abundance of things to do in our area. Below are some articles that talk about area trails, swimming holes, tubing and waterfalls. Don't miss the links below the articles that will lead you to more information on area attractions!

Popular hiking spots

Here's a website that talks about some nice hiking trails  

Of all of these listed on that web page, Water Rock Knob would be the closest. It is on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is a good place to stop to take a pit stop and admire the breathtaking views. There is a ranger's station here with a small shop, and also fun (but somewhat

steep) trail. 


For a beautiful day trip on a clear day, consider hiking Graveyard Fields, Devil's Courthouse and Skinny Dip Falls. They are all along the same area of the Blue Ridge Parkway. You would just need to bring food and drinks for the day as there are no businesses around there. These are all about an hour away from the House of Joy, but still in Haywood County. The drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to reach this area is quite spectacular.


Cataloochee Valley (not to be confused with Cataloochee Ranch or ski area) offers several hiking trails, and is also a great place to stream fish. It is very close to us as the crow flies, but takes about an hour to get to because of its narrow, winding road. Cataloochee is part of the Great Smoky National Park, and is a great place to view elk and deer, as well as to visit historical homesites


Some of these destinations are occasionally closed for various reasons. It is always a good idea to make a call before starting out on a long drive, to make sure they will be accessible.

local Swimming Holes and river tubing


The closest and most popular swimming hole in our area is Sunburst swimming hole, which is about 40 minutes away. It is talked about in this article:  Click on Sunburst Swimming Hole for directions.


The other two swimming spots that article talks about are Graveyard Fields Falls and Skinny Dip Falls, which are off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, about an hour away from us. They would be spots that would offer hiking and swimming all in one. The best ways to get onto the Parkway from us are either by US 19 at Soco Gap (through Maggie Valley and up the mountain on Soco Rd), or by US 23/74 at Balsam (this is the highway that takes off from Russ Avenue in Waynesville and heads southwest towards Sylva).


Another swimming hole that's about 45 minutes away (just over the Tennessee line) is Midnight Hole, which is quite beautiful. There's about a mile and a half hike up along Big Creek to get to it.


One of our absolute favorite tubing rivers is Deep Creek in Bryson City, about an hour away. There are places along the road just before you get there to rent tubes. Part of Deep Creek is a pretty wild ride and may not be good for younger children, but there's also a nice section that is much calmer. Be sure to rent life vests for the kids while you are picking up your tubes. There is a swimming hole there too, as well as trails and waterfalls.


Another great place for river tubing is in Cherokee, which is about 45 minutes away.


Sliding Rock isn't a swim area, but it's a lot of fun. Wear your cutoffs for a fast slide down a giant rock face. About an hour away. There is a small fee to slide.



The closest big waterfall to us is Soco Falls, only about 25 minutes away, up the mountain from Maggie Valley. It's a steep hike and partial climb to get down to it, so it is not accessible to everyone. Be aware when driving there that it is easy to miss because the parking lot is not marked. Follow the direction on this website:

There are more area waterfalls listed at this site:


The area around Mountain Top offers a wide range of things to do.  Everything from tranquil hot air balloon flights to invigorating zip line tours through the tree tops. Just be sure to check for any closings before you go.



Outdoor Adventures


National Parks

  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park - The Greak Smoky Mountains 520,000 acres are protected under a national park status, preserving its woodland mountain treasures for all the generations to come - more
  • Nantahala National Forest - more
  • Pisgah National Forest - more
  • Nature center - THe WNC Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals native to the sourthern Applalachian region. Located in Ashville - more


Nearby Appalachian Towns

  • Historic downtown Waynesville - Shopping and eating, about 25 minutes away. The closest grocery stores are on Russ Avenue in Waynesville. - more
  • Maggie Valley - Only 15 minutes away. - more
  • Cherokee - The headquarters for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Cherokee is also a main entrance to the Great Smoky National Park. It is about 45 minutes away, if you head through Maggie Valley and over the mountain on Soco Road. - more
  • Ashville - Our closest city (about 45 minutes drive from MTE). Ashville has a friendly atmosphere, wealth of your-round outdoor activities, rich history, and lively local arts and music scene. - more
  • Dillsboro - Downtown Dillsboro is lined with quaint shops and restaurants. It is about 40 minutes away. - more



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Local Caterers

Absolutely Yummy Catering -

Kaninis -

Wicked Smoke BBQ -

Sagebrush -

Snappy's Italian Restaurant -



Art and History

  • Art Galleries - more
  • Local historically preserved sites - more
  • Biltmore House - more