Western North Carolina's mountains, streams and lakes set the stage for an abundance of vacation activities. You'll find a comprehensive directory of Things To Do and Places To Go on the Bryson City website GreatSmokies.com. Here are some of the most popular —
Great Smoky Mountains National Park — The GSMNP is the nation's most-visited national park. The most popular areas are along US 441 between Cherokee, Gatlinburg, and Cades Cove — an easy half-day trip from Bryson City. Be sure to visit the Park's Oconaluftee Visitor Center just north of Cherokee.
Deep Creek — Just five minutes north of Bryson City, the Deep Creek Recreation Area is one of the most popular sections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with hiking trails, trout fishing, waterfalls, and whitewater tubing.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad operates scenic rail excursions through the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina. Departing from the historic Bryson City Depot, trips go into the Nantahala River Gorge or to nearby Dillsboro. Themed trips include Moonshine Car, BBQ & Brew, Pumpkin Patch Express, Wizard of Oz, Wine & Dine Events, and Polar Express. Steam and diesel trains. More info
Mountain Biking — Bryson City is centrally located to ride sixteen great trails in the mountains, including the world-renowned Tsali Recreation Area. Whether you are a beginner, an adventure racer or somewhere in between, off-road bicycling in far western North Carolina offers something for everyone. PDF of Area Trails.
Whitewater Rafting — Four rivers offer whitewater fun for all ages in the Smokies. The most popular is the scenic Nantahala luring more than 200,000 paddlers to its waters every year. A perfect combination of exciting whitewater and placid pools, the Nantahala is a great introduction to the sport of whitewater paddling
Cherokee Indian Reservation — No visit to the Smoky Mountains would be complete without a trip to Cherokee, where traditional arts and crafts and Native American culture are respected and preserved for coming generations.
Fishing is big in Swain County. So big, in fact, that it has its own website – GreatSmokiesFishing.com. This comprehensive guide to fishing in the NC Smokies features a map and descriptions of twenty-six fishing destinations — mountain trout streams, creeks, rivers and two large lakes. These waters offer more than 17 sporting species from trout to bass to Muskie. A 2.2-mile stretch of Delayed Harvest Trout Waters runs through downtown Bryson City.
Stand-up Paddleboarding is available on Fontana Lake and on the Tuckasegee River in downtown Bryson City. More information
Motorcycling – The Deals Gap Dragon (US 129), with 318 curves in 11 miles, is America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road.