Sylva, North Carolina

Sylva, North Carolina is a great destination for outdoor adventures! From scenic hikes to must-visit attractions, there's something for everyone. For the hikers, the area offers plenty of trails to explore, including the popular Tuckasegee River Trail and the Cullowhee Mountain Trail. For those looking for a more leisurely experience, the area also offers several parks and gardens, such as the Jackson County Park and the Balsam Mountain Preserve. For a truly unique experience, visitors can explore the area's many caves, such as the Bearwallow Mountain Cave and the Big Witch Cave. For a more traditional activity, visitors can take a stroll through the downtown area to explore the many shops and restaurants. No matter what type of activity you're looking for, Sylva, North Carolina has something to offer!

Top Spots in and near Sylva

  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Pinnacle in Pinnacle Park

    5.0
    5.98 mi / 2142 ft gain
    Heading out from the parking area, head north on this challenging hike. For the majority of the hike, you'll have a pretty steady uphill charge. There are some flat parts between climbs, so be sure to catch your breath and get some water in during these times. Once you reach the fork, where you'...
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  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Hike to Cowee Bald Fire Tower

    4.4 mi / 400 ft gain
    The Cowee Bald Fire Tower is located in the Nantahala National Forest near Bryson City North Carolina. To get there you can either drive almost all the way to the top about .2 miles from the top but to get there you will need to have a 4WD or a higher clearance vehicle to cross a small stream. Ho...
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  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Waterrock Knob Trail

    5.0
    1 mi / 407 ft gain
    The trail begins paved and quickly climbs up into a heavily forested area. Once at a 1/4 of a mile in, you will come to a nice overlook that will give you your first real good view of the surrounding mountains. The trail then continues on, though now unpaved, with great views off to your left as ...
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  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Abandoned Cessna 414A at Waterrock Knob (Removed)

    3.7
    1.72 mi / 430 ft gain
    NOTE: The wreckage has now been removed. Please see the press release on NPS.gov for more details.  Ever hiked to an abandoned plane in the middle of the woods? Yeah me neither until I heard of this gem. This is an AWESOME day hike for anyone looking to get outside for a few hours and see some ...
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  • Cullowhee, North Carolina

    Exploring two legendary Cherokee sites: Judaculla Rock and Devil's Courthouse, North Carolina

    5.0
    0.9 mi / 258 ft gain
    Judaculla was an ancient Cherokee spirit being and giant. He ruled in western North Carolina in the traditional Cherokee homeland. Once while chasing some hunters, when he jumped to the ground, his hand hit a rock. You can still see the print on Judaculla Rock. It is the most elaborate piece of r...
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  • Maggie Valley, North Carolina

    Soco Falls

    5.0
    0.09 mi / 0 ft gain
    This double waterfall is located a mile and half off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Cherokee Indian Reservation. From the parking area, it's a short walk down a well-established trail to the viewing area of the falls. For an even closer view of the falls, you can follow a roped, steep path dow...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Hike to Alarka Falls

    5.0
    1 mi / 100 ft gain
    To visit the falls, take US-74 west from Bryson City to exit 64 . Take a left at the exit and drive on Alarka Road for about 10 miles. Follow the road all the way to the end where you will find a turnaround. Don't make the mistake of following the forest service road (it is gated), as it is not ...
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  • Cherokee, North Carolina

    Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Southern Terminus

    5.0
    The pinpoint for this particular entrance starts just outside of Cherokee, North Carolina, following the Parkway North. They say the Blue Ridge Parkway is more than just a road, it's a beautiful journey. Start this journey and you will quickly find this to be true. This 469 mile gateway connects...
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  • Bureau of Indian Affairs Highway 506, North Carolina

    Barrett Knob Fire Tower

    5.0
    1.21 mi / 400 ft gain
    Your hike will start at the base of the Blue Ridge Parkway just a few miles from the start in Cherokee. The trail starts right off of the parkway in a very small easy to miss dirt road. There is a small area to park that then you start your hike up the dirt road right after the gate. The hike to ...
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  • Tuckasegee, North Carolina

    Paddling The Slab and Eternity Hole

    5.0
    The Slab and Eternity hole, located on the East Fork of the Tuckasegee River, are two of Western, NC's best play spots for kayakers of all levels. Paddle down only yards from the public boat launch to The Slab where you can perfect your surfing in kayak, SUP, or whatever boat you float. A few hun...
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  • Cherokee, North Carolina

    Mingo Falls

    4.2
    0.22 mi / 148 ft gain
    Although it is not much of a hike at just 0.3 miles, it is accessible to people of all fitness levels.  A climb up a series of stairs leads you to a trail overlooking Mingo creek.  You will then find a 20 foot wide bridge which serves as the viewing platform of the falls.   If you care to advent...
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  • Tuckasegee, North Carolina

    Hike to Cedar Cliff Rock

    2.4 mi / 830 ft gain
    Cedar Cliff Rock is one of those local places that exemplifies the Blue Ridge mountains oh-so-well. From the top you can see the Tuckaseegee River along with both Cedar Cliff and Bear Creek Reservoirs. While there are a few homes in between, much of the view is untouched, allowing a big mountain ...
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  • Cullowhee, North Carolina

    Hike to High Falls

    3.5
    1.5 mi / 600 ft gain
    This is an awesome hike if you're up for a challenge! The hike in isn't bad at all and the trail itself isn't super long but the climb back out will be a little more difficult due to the rock steps and lengthy uphill. This hike starts from a parking lot, just across the road from Lake Glenville a...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Deep Creek to Clingmans Dome Loop

    32.82 mi / 7400 ft gain
    This is a ~36 mile loop that goes up Clingman's Dome (the tallest point in Tennessee). Pretty challenging, not for the novice backpacker. Park at Deep Creek campground in Bryson City, NC. We did it as a 3-day, 2-night camping at sites 53 and 61. As it is a loop it could easily be done in reverse....
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls

    4.5
    1.76 mi
    From the Deep Creek Trailhead, you can hike to both waterfalls heading up the Deep Creek Trail. You will come across Tom Branch Falls quickly, after 0.2 miles. Once you've had your fill of Tom Branch, head further along the Deep Creek Trail for another 0.5 miles. Turn right on the Indian Creek Tr...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Hike the Juney Whank Falls Loop

    4.0
    0.65 mi / 150 ft gain
    Starting at the Deep Creek Trailhead, take a short walk until the trail meets up with Juney Whank Falls Trail. From here, hang a left and head onto the Juney Whank Falls Trail. Once you've reached the falls, continue the loop to get back to the trailhead.  The falls are said to be named after Mr...
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Camping and Lodging in Sylva

Cheoah Point Cabin 2
Bryson City, North Carolina

Cheoah Point Cabin 2

Cheoah Point Cabin 1
Bryson City, North Carolina

Cheoah Point Cabin 1

Cherokee / Great Smokies KOA Holiday
Cherokee, North Carolina

Cherokee / Great Smokies KOA Holiday

Tow String Horse Camp
Cherokee, North Carolina

Tow String Horse Camp

Deep Creek Group Camp
Bryson City, North Carolina

Deep Creek Group Camp

Deep Creek Picnic Pavilion
Bryson City, North Carolina

Deep Creek Picnic Pavilion

Guides, Insights and Stories from Sylva

The 5 Best Fall Hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The 5 Best Fall Hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Christian Murillo

6 Inspiring Photos from the Smoky Mountains

6 Inspiring Photos from the Smoky Mountains

Nick Spicer

Indulge in Adventure at this Base Camp Near the Great Smoky Mountains

Indulge in Adventure at this Base Camp Near the Great Smoky Mountains

The Outbound Collective

20 Must-Do Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

20 Must-Do Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Outbound Collective

The Smokies Are Still Alive!

The Smokies Are Still Alive!

Merritt McKinney