Explore North Carolina


Outdoor Activities Near Brookside
If you love the outdoors, you may be overwhelmed with the options near our Waynesville bed and breakfast. The Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. And much of the area is preserved for your enjoyment. Fourteen of the mountains in Haywood County are over 6,000 feet in elevation, the most of any county in the East! The famous Cold Mountain is nearby. The Blue Ridge Parkway meanders through our county along 46 miles of the highest ridges in the Appalachians.

Birding is the fastest growing outdoor activity in America. We draw hundreds of species to the inn with multiple bird feeders around the property. In addition, thousands more species can be observed in the wild at the Smoky Mountain National Park or driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Here are some of our guest’s favorite outdoor activities and where to enjoy them:
Whitewater Rafting
Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
For some great whitewater rafting, drive just 35 miles from our bed and breakfast to Nantahala Outdoor Center to take a fun ride down the Nantahala River on a raft or kayak. Nestled in a steep gorge, the Nantahala River shimmers through its mild but exciting rapids. The Nantahala offers eight miles of practice on easy Class II rapids before splashing through the exciting Class III whitewater of Nantahala Falls. This river is one of America’s most popular whitewater runs. You can sign up for a fully guided trip. Or if you are experience, you can rent a raft for your own trip. At NOC, you will find a great Outfitter’s store, general store, changing rooms, picnic tables, bike shop and four restaurants.

Zip Line Tours
Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Navitat Zipline Canopy Adventure – An unprecedented mountaintop zipline adventure! Nowhere else will you find ziplines this long, this high, and this fast integrated into a truly spectacular wilderness setting.


Nantahala Zip Lines – NOC offers five aerial and zip line adventures with something for every one and every budget.


Our signature course is NOC’s Mountaintop Zip Line Tour. There are many zip line canopy tours, but there are none like the Mountaintop. The Mountaintop is perched on the rim of the Nantahala Gorge, over 500 feet above the Nantahala River below, featuring 360-degree views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala Gorge.


While most zip line tours glide from tree to tree in forest canopies, the Mountaintop flies from ridgeline to ridgeline, culminating in the longest zipline in the region, a dramatic half-mile mega zip.


For the less adventurous, try NOC’s Zip Line Adventure Park or “ZLAP.” Located adjacent to NOC’s Nantahala rafting operation, the ZLAP features 16 aerial adventure elements, from beginner to advanced, along with an exciting 600-foot dual zipline. Riders can weigh as little as 60 pounds.


Both activities are easily combined with a Nantahala rafting trip for a day of adventure. For groups, we also offer our Alpine Tower and Wesser Ridge Tree Climb. If you’re over at the Ocoee, combine an Ocoee rafting trip with a zip line adventure park at Ocoee Retreat Center.

Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Looking for a guided tour of the mountains and waterfalls around our area? Check out Asheville Adventures:


Welcome to Asheville Adventures! Let us help you explore the mountains of Western North Carolina with our private hiking tours!


We offer guided hikes around Asheville. We have two types of hiking tours:

Mountaintop Tours and Waterfall Tours.

You choose what you want and we make it happen. All of our tours are private tours and completely customizable. Allow us to make this the greatest experience possible.


Winter Hiking


Just because the thermometer has dropped doesn’t mean you have to spend your time indoors. Many enjoy hiking in the brisk, mountain air with more clothing layers and less bugs! Check out this link to see your mountain hiking options during the winter months:




Winter Waterfalls


Nothing can compare to the beauty of a waterfall in the winter time. The frozen formations can be breathtaking and you won’t have to deal with the crowds to see them. See the following link from romanticasheville.com for some of the best winter waterfall locations:




Downtown Waynesville Cardio Trail: Walk the international way. Tour 6.2 miles of the downtown Waynesville area. A 10K walking route is designated for international volkssporting. More info at Mast General Store.


Max Patch Mountain (4,629 feet): Exit 7 off Interstate 40; easy 300-foot climb. Beautiful grassy bald with great views. Hiking: follow U.S. Forest Service trail to Max Patch Bald summit. Return via Appalachian Trail (right on AT) to road, or leave shuttle car at USFS parking area and continue driving on Max Patch Road for 3.6 miles to Lemon Gap on state line to park. Follow AT south for 6.0 miles to summit of Max Patch Mountain and down USFS trail to shuttle car.


Black Balsam Knob: A must hike for sweeping views of the mountain is at Black Balsam Knob (6,214 ft elevation) along the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 420.2) It includes some of the most spectacular mountain balds in the Southern Appalachians, including Black Balsam, Sam Knob, and Tennent Mountain. These treeless mountaintops in the Pisgah National Forest draw people from afar due to their views and alpine-like appearance. You can hike almost three miles without dropping back into the trees. This is almost unheard of in this region. To reach the summit of Black Balsam Knob, look for the “Black Balsam” sign near milepost 420 on the Parkway, just south of Graveyard Fields and north of Devil’s Courthouse. Drive about 8/10 of a mile down the road and look for the trail on the right. Park along the road. Walk about 1/2 mile through the forest to reach the open, grassy and rocky mountain meadows. Cross Sam’s Knob and continue to Black Balsam (about a mile).


Crabtree Bald (5,320 feet): Take N.C. 209 North six miles; take a right onto SR 1503 near Crabtree-Ironduff Old School; go two miles; turn left on Bald Creek Road (SR 1505); go 3.1 miles; park where Indian Branch crosses road. Cross pasture gate on left; walk up path to ridge line—identified by antenna on top of bald.


Graveyard Fields: This beautiful area on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 418) is located 4.5 miles north on the Blue Ridge Parkway from the junction of N.C. 215. This high-elevation, flat mountain valley is perhaps the most popular hiking destination in Western North Carolina—and certainly one of the most unique, The Yellowstone Prong of the Pigeon River flows throw Graveyard Fields, and the trail offers many opportunities to enjoy the waters, including three beautiful waterfalls. (See more waterfall hikes.)


Devil’s Courthouse: Located at milepost 422.4 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Devil’s Courthouse has a short but strenuous 1/2-mile trail to its peak with panoramic views. The mostly paved trail starts from the overlook beside the mountain. According to the sign at the overlook: The bare rock profile named Devil’s Courthouse is sinister in appearance and legend.


Waterrock Knob: An ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation. Exhibits, book sales, and a 1/2-mile trail leading to the summit of Waterrock Knob are located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 451.2.

Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Lake Junaluska Trail:

Walk the 2.5-mile loop around the lake (photo at right), stopping to rest in gazebos. This is the easiest trail on the list and includes beautiful landscaping, a Butterfly Garden, benches and a waterfall. It’s just a few miles from our bed and breakfast.


Cataloochee Divide Trail (5,540 feet): Cove Creek Road off U.S. 276 North. Strenuous 14-mile, 1,500-foot climb to Hemphill Bald—an open pasture with beautiful vistas. You may opt to station shuttle car termination at Paul’s Gap trail, reducing walking distance to 11.5 miles. Hiking: Take trail on left (SW); follow well-defined trail to Hemphill Bald (7 miles) or beyond.


Chimney Rock: The natural fulfillment of your trip to the North Carolina mountains. Take a deep breath of refreshing mountain air, become invigorated by our hiking trails, and let your cares fade away in the cool mist of Hickory Nut Falls. This is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and spend time with family and friends. Only minutes from Lake Lure, Chimney Rock offers the best of the mountains in one place – spectacular 75-mile views, hiking trails for all ages, a 404-foot waterfall, a variety of events and more. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is proud to be part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and is located just 25 miles southeast of Asheville, NC and 20 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Cold Mountain:

Hike to the top of the famous Cold Mountain, namesake to the best-selling novel and movie. It’s a strenuous 10.6 mile roundtrip with a big elevation gain, so it will take you most of a day. See more details for this hike.


Looking Glass Rock: Some of you have seen Looking Glass Rock from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 417. The stone face in Pisgah National Forest looks impossible to hike, and you sometimes see professional rock climbers on this impressive peak. Good news! If you drive around to the other side of Looking Glass Rock in the Brevard area, you will find a very walkable trail to the top to enjoy the great views, looking back toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Looking Glass Rock Trail is a perfect for a winter hike (but watch for ice on top of rock face). The Looking Glass Rock Trail climbs about 1,700 feet in just over three miles (6.5 miles roundtrip, allow 4-5 hours). The many switchbacks along the way help make for a long, but only moderately difficult climb. The views from the top are well worth the effort. The trail is well blazed in yellow and easy to follow. Take U.S. 276 South toward Brevard. About 10 miles past the Blue Ridge Parkway, look for a sign for Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and the State Fish Hatchery. Turn here and go to the parking area for Looking Glass Rock.


Pisgah National Forest: This is a mecca for vacationers, naturalists and adventurers, offering a wide range of options for your recreating pleasure. Just to mention a few, there’s hiking and backpacking, fishing, biking, horseback riding, swimming, rock climbing, car touring, waterfalls, wildlife, historical areas, and a variety of special programs. Read more about Pisgah National Forest.


Cradle Of Forestry: Continuing a legacy of forest conservation history, the Cradle of Forestry offers a snap shot of life at America’s first school of Forestry along the Biltmore Campus Trail. You can also take a picturesque walk along the Forest Festival Trail complete with a restored 1915 logging locomotive, or take a ride with firefighters aboard a helicopter on their way to a roaring fire in the wilds of Idaho in the Forest Discovery Center Exhibit Hall.


Come explore the sights and sounds, check out the events and activities, and plan your adventure at the birthplace of Forest Conservation in America – the Cradle of Forestry.


Also see: Great Smoky Mountains


Click to Download Haywood County Hiking Guide:


Download PDF

Skiing and Winter Activities
Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Skiing and other winter fun is just up the road from our bed and breakfast. Hit the slopes, on skis or snowboard, at Cataloochee Ski Area. Slide down the powder-covered hill at Tube World.


Cataloochee Ski Area: Consistently one of the earliest resorts in the Southeast to open the ski season and the latest to close, thanks to its technologically advanced snowmaking capability, Cataloochee Ski Area is a winter playground. With 14 slopes and trails, Cataloochee Ski Area offers mountains of fun for everyone, from skiers to snowboarders, from novices to veterans. Beginners can get a feel for things on a couple of smooth, gentle slopes (classes and private lessons are also available), while the more adventurous can head to the ramps, rails and boxes at the Cat Cage Terrain Park. For those with a need for speed, there’s plenty of steepness on this mountain. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, the surrounding views are magical. When you need a break or have taken the skis off for the day, check out the lodge, where you can warm up by the double-sided fireplace, enjoy some good food and drink, and perhaps even listen to a live band.

Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Tube World: Ride the crest of the latest wave in outdoor winter fun. Tube World now brings this exciting fun-packed family experience to Maggie Valley. With Cataloochee’s famous snowmaking expertise, the five-run snow tube park is sure to be a must for visitors and locals alike. Sit back and enjoy the moving carpet lift to the top and then get ready for the slide of your life. Conveniently located across from Ghost Town on Highway 19 in Maggie Valley.

Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Rushing streams, sparkling rivers, rippled ponds, and serene lakes are plentiful in Haywood County. And a unique feature of the water here is that it all originates here. No water flows into the county. Filled with native mountain trout, the creeks, streams, rivers, and ponds are ideal for fly fishing. So grab your tackle box, get ready to cast your fly rod and enjoy the pleasures and peacefulness of fishing in our mountain waters.


Soco Gap Trout Ponds: Everything is supplied. No limit on the amount of fish caught. Rainbow trout available. Call for current hours and pricing. 828-926-3635. 43 Rena Drive, Maggie Valley, NC 28751.


Sorrell’s Creek Trout Farm: Visit the Cold Mountain Trout Company’s Fishing Park. Full of quality trout. No license required and no limit. Picnic areas (and grills for the fresh catch) alongside the catch-out ponds. Equipment available for rent. 828-648-9903. 443 Sorrells Creek Road, Canton, NC 28716.


Fishing Rules & Regulations: Individuals 16 and older are required to have a valid fishing license, $20 per year for North Carolina residents. Non-residents may purchase a 10-day license for $10 or an annual license for $30. Trout stamps, an additional $10, are required to fish on any state-supported streams. On the Cherokee Indian Reservation, no license is required, only a $7 daily tribal permit. For more information on rules and regulations, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Beginning July 1, 2008, residents and visitors alike will have a new (and cheaper!) way to enjoy trout fishing in Haywood County. As part of the state’s Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Program, to be established and implemented by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Maggie Valley and Waynesville have been designated as two of only a handful of Mountain Heritage Trout Cities. Three-day fishing licenses will be available from authorized locations for only $5. This entitles the license holder to fish in Mountain Heritage Trout Waters (Jonathan Creek in Maggie Valley and Richland Creek in Waynesville) for three consecutive days. Specific areas of Jonathan and Richland creeks with public access will be designated for those with the three-day license. This special 3-day license can be purchased at the Maggie Valley chamber of Commerce located at 2961 Soco Road or online at http://fishinglicense.org or by telephone Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5pm at 888-248-6834.


Fishing Guide Services Fly Fishing The Smokies – Waynesville North Carolina’s Best Fly Fishing Outfitter and Guide Service! We offer private all inclusive Guided Fly Fishing trips daily out of Maggie Valley and Waynesville. Since 1999 we have guided anglers on some of the most beautiful Trout Streams in all of North Carolina. We guide the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Mountains, the Tuckasegee River, the Little Tennessee River, WNC Fly Fishing Trail, and Cherokee Fly Fishing Only Trophy Trout waters. Discover the majestic streams and mountains with the Smokies’ most experienced Outfitter and Guides.

Mountain Biking
Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
The popular Tsali Recreation Area has long been a top destination for mountain biking in Western North Carolina, and even the entire eastern US. It’s about 35 miles from our bed and breakfast inn. Containing nearly 40 miles of trails in a system with four excellent loops, it has been rated as one of the top 10 places to ride in the USA. The area is located on a hilly peninsula reaching into beautiful Fontana Lake, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. The four long main trails at Tsali wind along the lake shore and onto the wooded, steep interior ridges. There are several connector trails, gravel roads and extension trails that give a few more options for rides besides the main loops. Three designated overlooks along the trails provide sweeping views of Fontana Lake with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the other side. The trails are fast, hardpacked singletrack, and they’re extremely well designed and well used. Trails alternate use between mountain bikers and horseback riders on different days; two will always be open to mountain biking. There is a $2.00 trail use fee for one day. From Bryson City, NC, follow US 19/74 (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) to intersection with NC 28 north. Follow NC 28 north (a 4-lane highway) about 3 miles to the top of the hill and a sign for the Tsali Recreation Area; turn right. Follow the paved road to the campground and trailhead parking lot; park in the lot signed “Bikers Park and Pay Here.” To rent bikes, check with Nantahala Outdoor Center (they have some good trails too).

Horseback Riding
Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Time to saddle up. One of the most popular activities in our area, horseback riding is an ideal method of traversing the mountains. From hourly rides to all-day trips offered by a host of stables, this is a great way to spend some quality time with family and friends, enjoying some spectacular scenary all the while. Whether traveling on a forested trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or through an open field atop a bald, you’ll love Horseback Riding through this Appalachian paradise.

Take a guided ride:


Cataloochee Ranch: Enjoy hosts of wildflowers, mile-high vistas, lush forests, or the cool quietness of rhododendron tunnels as you ride through Cataloochee Ranch or the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Half- and all-day rides. April through November. Reservations required. 828-926-1401. 800-868-1401. 119 Ranch Drive, Maggie Valley, NC 28751.


Queen’s Farm Riding Stables: Guided mountain tours. Convenient location between Maggie Valley and Waynesville. 828-926-0718. 2180 Dellwood Road, Waynesville, NC 28786.


Panther Creek Outfitters: Horseback rides of all kinds! Hourly rides, half day rides, full day rides, fishing trips & hunting trips. Open all year round. Call 828-627-1913 for reservations and directions.


After a day of enjoy the outdoors in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, return to our luxury Waynesville bed and breakfast near Asheville to relax!

Hot Air Balloon Rides
Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn
Asheville Hot Air Balloons


Curious how to spend your vacation or free time in Western North Carolina? Asheville Hot air balloons has your ticket! Hot air ballooning is a once in a lifetime experience to float above it all and experience one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world, the Pisgah National Forest. Hot air ballooning is truly the premier outdoor attraction and one of the most incredible things to do in Asheville, NC!

Swimming Venues
Outdoors, Brookside Mountain Mist Inn


Sunburst Swimming hole is a natural mountain water swimming hole, so the water is crisp, clear, fresh and cold. Sunburst has two primary swimming areas.


One has a large rock that you can jump off and plunge into the deep cool waters. There is even a rope here you can use.


The second area is more beach like, with a shallows that slowly transitions into deeper waters for swimming.For more information and driving directions from our Inn, go to the following website link:


Sunburst Swimming Hole


This fantastic swimming venue is only 8 miles from our Inn and takes a mere 15 minutes to get to by means of some beautiful mountain roads.




Sliding rock is an all natural, 60′ waterfall that you can slide down and then plunge into a 8′ pool at the bottom. During busy times, the line to slide extends the entire length of the 60′ boulder, along the metal fence shown in the photo above. People wait their turn to get into their favorite spot and then slide through the 50-60 degree water. The water is cold, but refreshing. More than 11,000 gallons of water flow over sliding rock each minute to propel you down the slide and into the pool. Sliding Rock is incredibly popular, and can often be very busy during the summer months, especially on weekends.


For more information and driving directions, go to the following website link:


Sliding Rock NC

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