Jackson County, It’s a Natural

With its teeming populations of rainbow, brook and brown trout, Jackson County is a world-class fishing destination and the home of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, a map of 15 prime spots to reel in trout. First-time fly fishers can take guided tours on the well-stocked waters of the Tuckasegee River with guides like Alex Bell, right, owner of AB’s Fly Fishing Guide Service.
With its teeming populations of rainbow, brook and brown trout, Jackson County is a world-class fishing destination and the home of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, a map of 15 prime spots to reel in trout. First-time fly fishers can take guided tours on the well-stocked waters of the Tuckasegee River with guides like Alex Bell, right, owner of AB’s Fly Fishing Guide Service.
The view from the High Hampton Inn & Country Club in Cashiers includes the picturesque Rock Mountain and Hampton Lake. Opened in 1922, the historic inn offers mountain golf, tennis, spa services, hiking and a 35-acre private mountain lake for swimming, boating and fishing.
The view from the High Hampton Inn & Country Club in Cashiers includes the picturesque Rock Mountain and Hampton Lake. Opened in 1922, the historic inn offers mountain golf, tennis, spa services, hiking and a 35-acre private mountain lake for swimming, boating and fishing.
Shrimp, crab and ricotta-spinach dip with basil-garlic crackers tempt the palate at The Library Kitchen and Bar in Sapphire Valley, an hour’s drive from Sylva. The upscale restaurant serves locally-sourced meals that are influenced by flavors and cooking techniques from around the world.
Shrimp, crab and ricotta-spinach dip with basil-garlic crackers tempt the palate at The Library Kitchen and Bar in Sapphire Valley, an hour’s drive from Sylva. The upscale restaurant serves locally-sourced meals that are influenced by flavors and cooking techniques from around the world.
Sylva is known for its eclectic restaurants, breweries, shops and the historic Jackson County Courthouse, which was constructed in 1914 on a hill at the end of Main Street. The remodeled building now serves as the county’s public library complex. Visitors can climb the 107 steps to the front entrance or drive to the top in order to see the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Sylva is known for its eclectic restaurants, breweries, shops and the historic Jackson County Courthouse, which was constructed in 1914 on a hill at the end of Main Street. The remodeled building now serves as the county’s public library complex. Visitors can climb the 107 steps to the front entrance or drive to the top in order to see the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
A statue of a Confederate soldier overlooks Sylva’s Main Street. The downtown was the backdrop for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” a 2017 film starring Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand.
A statue of a Confederate soldier overlooks Sylva’s Main Street. The downtown was the backdrop for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” a 2017 film starring Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand.
Friends and families gather to dance and enjoy live music at Concerts on the Creek, a free music series held every Friday night, Memorial Day through Labor Day, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
Friends and families gather to dance and enjoy live music at Concerts on the Creek, a free music series held every Friday night, Memorial Day through Labor Day, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
The checkered floor and antique bar stools of a bygone era are part of the charm that brings patrons to Guadalupe Café in downtown Sylva. Formerly a drug store, this farm-to-table eatery serves Caribbean-inspired cuisine, wines from Spain and Latin America, and craft beers from across the nation and right down the street.
The checkered floor and antique bar stools of a bygone era are part of the charm that brings patrons to Guadalupe Café in downtown Sylva. Formerly a drug store, this farm-to-table eatery serves Caribbean-inspired cuisine, wines from Spain and Latin America, and craft beers from across the nation and right down the street.
The lure of trout baits fly fisherman Tim Morrow of La Grange, N.C., who casts at Schoolhouse Falls near Cashiers. The area, Panthertown Valley, is home to breathtaking mountain vistas, world-class trout streams, eight major waterfalls, 30 miles of hiking trails and 6,300 acres of Nantahala National Forest wilderness.
The lure of trout baits fly fisherman Tim Morrow of La Grange, N.C., who casts at Schoolhouse Falls near Cashiers. The area, Panthertown Valley, is home to breathtaking mountain vistas, world-class trout streams, eight major waterfalls, 30 miles of hiking trails and 6,300 acres of Nantahala National Forest wilderness.
Sylva local Don Turton enjoys a pint on a covered patio overlooking Scott Creek at Innovation Brewing. Sylva’s Main Street hosts four breweries in an easily walkable, scenic one-mile stretch called the Ale Trail.
Sylva local Don Turton enjoys a pint on a covered patio overlooking Scott Creek at Innovation Brewing. Sylva’s Main Street hosts four breweries in an easily walkable, scenic one-mile stretch called the Ale Trail.
Bartender Kevin Morden pours a pint at Innovation Brewing, a local hangout in downtown Sylva known for its 30-plus hand-crafted ales, live weekend music and on-premises food truck.
Bartender Kevin Morden pours a pint at Innovation Brewing, a local hangout in downtown Sylva known for its 30-plus hand-crafted ales, live weekend music and on-premises food truck.
Ernest and Elizabeth Edgar of Auburn, Ala., celebrate their 53rd anniversary dinner at the High Hampton Inn — the same place they celebrated their honeymoon in 1964. The Edgars say little has changed at the inn in all of those years, including the Southern hospitality and three buffet-style meals a day. “They used to require that you wear a tie to dinner,” Ernest says. “But you know times have changed some.”
Ernest and Elizabeth Edgar of Auburn, Ala., celebrate their 53rd anniversary dinner at the High Hampton Inn — the same place they celebrated their honeymoon in 1964. The Edgars say little has changed at the inn in all of those years, including the Southern hospitality and three buffet-style meals a day. “They used to require that you wear a tie to dinner,” Ernest says. “But you know times have changed some.”
Atlanta resident Dayvee Sutton poses with some llamas at the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, where guests of all ages can hike with a pack of llamas on a mountain lake trail.
Atlanta resident Dayvee Sutton poses with some llamas at the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, where guests of all ages can hike with a pack of llamas on a mountain lake trail.
An old-fashioned gas pump in front of the log cabin of Haywood Smokehouse in Dillsboro harkens to Jackson County’s past. Traditional Southern meals are served up at Haywood.
An old-fashioned gas pump in front of the log cabin of Haywood Smokehouse in Dillsboro harkens to Jackson County’s past. Traditional Southern meals are served up at Haywood.
Jackson County is home to a thriving arts community, especially pottery. A bear jug by Bob Withrow of Brasstown, N.C., takes center stage during Pots on the Green. The two-day festival in June is one of 80 events held annually at the Village Green, a 13-acre park in Cashiers. In November, nearby Dillsboro hosts the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival.
Jackson County is home to a thriving arts community, especially pottery. A bear jug by Bob Withrow of Brasstown, N.C., takes center stage during Pots on the Green. The two-day festival in June is one of 80 events held annually at the Village Green, a 13-acre park in Cashiers. In November, nearby Dillsboro hosts the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival.
A hike at Waterrock Knob is fairly steep and challenging, but the panoramic view at the top is breathtaking. At 6,292 feet, Waterrock Knob is the second highest summit in Jackson County and is the pinnacle of the Plott Balsam range. With views of Maggie Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Plott Balsams, the spot is a popular destination for tourists and amateur hikers.
A hike at Waterrock Knob is fairly steep and challenging, but the panoramic view at the top is breathtaking. At 6,292 feet, Waterrock Knob is the second highest summit in Jackson County and is the pinnacle of the Plott Balsam range. With views of Maggie Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Plott Balsams, the spot is a popular destination for tourists and amateur hikers.
Siblings Trey and Leah Francisco (ages 6 and 4) of Walhalla, S.C., play in a swimming hole at Silver Run Falls, just south of Cashiers.
Siblings Trey and Leah Francisco (ages 6 and 4) of Walhalla, S.C., play in a swimming hole at Silver Run Falls, just south of Cashiers.
The Cowee Quilters of Franklin, N.C., from left, Cathy Bisdiof, Gail Osborne and Frankabelle Scuggs, share their love of quilting and socializing at the Mountain Artisans Fine Art & Craft Show at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center in Cullowhee, N.C..
The Cowee Quilters of Franklin, N.C., from left, Cathy Bisdiof, Gail Osborne and Frankabelle Scuggs, share their love of quilting and socializing at the Mountain Artisans Fine Art & Craft Show at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center in Cullowhee, N.C..
Dustin Williams, with Smoky Mountain River Adventures, carries an inflatable kayak at the popular whitewater rafting and kayaking company in Whittier, N.C. The outfit offers a variety of rafting trips for beginning and intermediate paddlers on the Tuckaseegee River.
Dustin Williams, with Smoky Mountain River Adventures, carries an inflatable kayak at the popular whitewater rafting and kayaking company in Whittier, N.C. The outfit offers a variety of rafting trips for beginning and intermediate paddlers on the Tuckaseegee River.

Fishing for a way to cut your tether to technology?

Leave the phone and the email behind, and embrace nature’s majesty in western North Carolina. The roar of a cascading waterfall, the view from a mountain summit, or a nostalgic journey through picturesque towns can rejuvenate the soul and refresh the spirit.

Located in the midst of the Great Smoky Mountains, Jackson County is famous for its unspoiled natural beauty. Home to the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, the county boasts 4,600 miles of streams. Outdoor enthusiasts can also find rafting, hiking, camping, golfing and skiing within a few miles of each other.

Visitors can experience the charm of friendly mountain towns such as Sylva, Dillsboro and Cashiers. Their rich Appalachian traditions are on display at art exhibits and craft fairs. Other cultural attractions include seasonal festivals, outdoor concerts, fine dining and boutique shopping.

Only 50 miles from Asheville and just hours from Cary, Jackson County offers city-dwellers a convenient escape to the mountains — and a convenient excuse to disconnect and relax.

When you go

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