Stay Inside and Play On!

Stay Inside and Play On!

Jackson County is known for its beautiful outdoors, but there’s plenty of fun to be had indoors, too – especially when Mother Nature brings cool or rainy weather. To help you navigate those inside days, we’ve created this Guide to Amazing Indoor Adventures in Jackson County, NC! Catamount Jaxe – Cullowhee Can you hit the bullseye? A new addition to the Jackson County entertainment landscape, Catamount Jaxe Axe Throwing Social House offers the thrill and fun of competition. Located in Cullowhee within the Prospect residential community, Catamount Jaxe is a professionally designed venue combining the rustic charm of a lodge with the vibrant energy of a social hangout. It’s the perfect place for a date night, a group outing or a special celebration. The venue features a full bar, special trivia and karaoke nights as well as patio games (when the weather allows). “Axe-perts” are on hand to guide you through the skill of axe throwing, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. (Children age 10 and older are permitted to axe throw with a waiver signed by their parent.) So, unleash your inner lumberjack in a mountain setting and get ready for an “axe-ceptional” time! The Zachary-Tolbert House – Cashiers Learn about early settlers to the Cashiers Valley! Located on 107 S., the historic Zachary-Tolbert House is home to the most extensive collection of “plain-style” furniture in the world. The house itself — an outstanding example of a vernacular, Greek Revival residential structure — has remained largely unaltered […]

Our ‘Secret Season’ Is Whispering to You

Our ‘Secret Season’ Is Whispering to You

Jackson County, NC has a secret – one that’s well worth sharing. A visit to the area between winter and early spring offers benefits you won’t find any other time of the year. From lower lodging rates to clear mountain views to amazing dining and winter sports experiences, you’ll find it here, during our serene “Secret Season.” Here are our top suggestions for taking full advantage of it! Lower Temps = Lower Rates Let’s start with pricing. As the temperatures fall, so do the rates for lodges, hotels, cabins and cottages. Simply put, you’ll get more mountains for your money! Additionally, many properties offer seasonal specials. Consider the iconic High Hampton Resort, which offers its lowest rates of the year during January and February. Or the 20% discount when you book three nights at Hotel Cashiers, a pet-friendly mountain inn. In Whittier, close to the national park, Outland Chalet & Suites Great Smoky Mountains also offers a discounted rate for stays of three nights or more. Cozy Cabins and Cottages Speaking of lodging, let’s talk about how wonderful it feels to snuggle next to a crackling fire with views of snow-capped mountains on the other side of your window. No other time of year offers the same feelings of coziness and relaxation. Whether you prefer a log cabin, historic lodge, charming cottage or unique hotel, it’s waiting for you in Jackson County. Select a property with a hot tub, fireplace or fire pit and create that perfect mountain moment. Pick […]

Resolve to Explore the N.C. Mountains in 2024

Resolve to Explore the N.C. Mountains in 2024

Life is short. You only live once (or YOLO). No matter how you say it, the notion that time and opportunities pass quickly is not new. January offers us a brand-new year and the perfect time to make resolutions and plans. So, make it your 2024 New Year’s resolution to visit Jackson County, N.C.! To help plan the perfect getaway and cross off those “bucket list” items no matter what time of year you visit, we’ve created this Jackson County, N.C. Guide to its Must-See Sites Each Season. Winter: Clear Views to Clear Your Mind   It’s happening now. From December through early April, our mountains offer quiet solace, fewer crowds, open views – and the chance of a snow flurry or two. Without the leaves, it’s your chance to see how the mountains rise and fall. This is a great time to hike the trails that usually see more foot traffic. Pinnacle Park tops this list and comes with a special designation: the state’s only Certified Nature Forest Therapy Trail. Located in Sylva, Pinnacle offers more than 1,500 acres of unspoiled natural beauty and contrasting options for trail experiences. Looking for a challenge with a great payoff? Then, choose its seven-mile West Fork Trail that ascends more than 3,000 feet in elevation from the edge of the Plott Balsam mountain range. Here, you’ll find “the pinnacle” for which the park is named – a sharp-topped ridge perched above 5,000 feet. Its panoramic view is the exclamation point at the […]

Walking (or Hiking) in a Winter Wonderland

Walking (or Hiking) in a Winter Wonderland

As the seasons change and the temperature lowers, so do the mountain views which open  up after the leaves fall. Hikes can become winter wonderlands, with frosty mountaintops and icy cascades from area waterfalls. As the temperatures fall, so do the prices of lodges, hotels, cabins and cottages – a bonus during this “Secret Season.” While hiking, always remember the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace®: 1 – Plan ahead and prepare. 2 – Travel and camp on durable surfaces. 3 – Dispose of waste properly. 4 – Leave what you find. 5 – Minimize campfire impacts. 6 – Respect wildlife. 7 – Be considerate of other visitors. The experience of hiking to a frozen fall is not without some risk, so take precautions as you explore. Be aware of slippery rocks and trails. Remember: Take no chances, only photos for memories (from a safe distance, of course). Here are our Top 5 Waterfalls for Winter Wonder! Whitewater Falls – Sapphire, N.C. Our list starts off big and tall – 411 feet, to be exact. Iconic Whitewater Falls nestles in the Nantahala National Forest near Cashiers and Sapphire. One of the highest cascades east of the Mississippi River, it embraces its larger portion of winter weather each by creating glorious, large ice sculptures. An easy, quarter-mile hike takes you to the viewing platform. Have your camera ready! Pro Tips: Bring cash for the nominal parking fee and plan to arrive early to enjoy the amazing views without a crowd. For […]

Our Top 5 Trails to Explore during the NC Year of the Trail

Photo by anxiousmissadventures-Instagram

Our Top 5 Trails to Explore during the NC Year of the Trail

Lace up those hiking boots because in honor of 2023 being the NC Year of the Trail, we’re highlighting our top trails to explore during each season in Jackson County. WINTER – Schoolhouse Falls             Based in Panthertown Valley, this is one of our most beautiful waterfalls, and it’s definitely something to see when its frozen. While the navigation to it isn’t the easiest, nature’s beautiful display is well worth the effort. Just make sure you grab a map at one of our Visitor Centers before you hit the trail. **Why it made the list – for the mix of cascades coming down from a glorious 18-feet. SPRING – Pinnacle Park             This one has some strenuous terrain including a 7-mile trek that ascends for than 3,000 ft, but we wouldn’t include it on this list if the views at the top weren’t worth it. Go in prepared with snacks and water, and discover flowing streams, waterfalls, budding wildflowers and panoramic views along the way. **Why it made the list – because it became the first Certified Forest Therapy Trail in the state of North Carolina in 2022! SUMMER – Richland Balsam             Save this one for the summer months, because in that time you’ll smell the pleasant aroma of the spruce trees and experience surprisingly cool temperatures all along the route. With stunning views from Haywood-Jackson Overlook, this trail stretches a total of 6,410 feet and loops 1.5 miles. **Why it made the list – it holds the selfie-worthy […]

Stargazing in the NC Mountains

Starry night at Waterrock Knob

Stargazing in the NC Mountains

With breathtaking views of the constellations and sky above, stargazing in the North Carolina Mountains truly is out of this world! Due to its remote location about an hour west of Asheville, Jackson County has no pollution, meaning the fullness of a dark sky night is on display year-round.

Easy Hikes and More in Jackson County, NC

Family hiking at Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Easy Hikes and More in Jackson County, NC

Our towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva (about an hour west of downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate) have trails and activities for all skill levels – ranging from less strenuous to more adventurous. We’ve also got accessible trails and waterfalls for people with mixed mobility needs. Enjoy the mountains at your own pace as you reset and recharge in one of the most beautiful places in the country.