As temperatures continue to drop, Jackson County in the Western North Carolina mountains is heating up with plenty of things to do, see and experience during a winter mountain getaway. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the clear, brisk conditions in the mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Sylva and Dillsboro, where they can get outside to get their blood pumping as they explore the area’s many outdoor activities.
Winter in Jackson County often means clear skies, allowing visitors to enjoy miles upon miles of mountain views along the many hiking trails located in the area. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a clear winner for hiking when it is not closed for snow – be sure to check the road conditions on this map. Since the Parkway is located at a higher elevation, it will often close during icy conditions.
Stop by one of the area’s many waterfalls along the way – you may be lucky enough to witness some sparkling icicles! However, take no chances when hiking around waterfalls, only take photos for memories!
Plan a day at Sapphire Valley for fun in the snow while skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing and ziplining! It is the perfect go-to ski resort for families with children or those looking for a gentler ski experience. In fact, beginners are given a priority at Sapphire with top-notch.
Sapphire Valley even has a call-ahead concierge service that will ensure all of your equipment is out and ready for you when you arrive. Have a large group? No problem! Sapphire Valley is perfect for a group getaway in the mountains. Be sure to check their hours before visiting.
Although it might sound a little crazy to get into water in the winter, fly fishing is actually another excellent cold-weather activity, especially in Jackson County. The area, which is home to the WNC Fly Fishing Trail®, is known for its excellent fly fishing waters. Since trout feed all day in colder temps and the state begins supplemental stockings of the area’s waterways in the fall, winter is the perfect time to cast a line!
If the cold isn’t your thing, warm up and pamper yourself while you’re at it at some of the region’s top spas. You can find a variety of relaxing treatments including facials, massages, body treatments, and much more at each! Of course, another excellent way to relax and stay warm is with a bit of retail therapy. Throughout Jackson County, there is a wealth of antique shops, pottery studios, art galleries, local boutiques and more that are sure to please every shopper.
After a long day exploring all that the area has to offer, visitors can warm up at Jackson County’s plentiful and delicious restaurants. From cups of hot cocoa to warm chilis and soups, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Eat Like a Local Itinerary for ideas on where to grab a bite.
When traveling to Jackson County during winter, be sure to check weather and road conditions before your trip as these can change often. In fact, the area receives an average of nine inches of snow, with one to two big snows, per year.
Taking a winter getaway to Jackson County offers many benefits, including lower lodging rates and fewer crowds. Plus, many cozy, warm lodging options offer fireplaces to snuggle up by. To start planning your winter escape take a look at our Winter Getaway Itinerary and request a free copy of our visitor guide.
Feature photo of Whitewater Falls by Courtney Paris Robinson, licensed to JCTDA