BRYSON CITY AND SWAIN COUNTY
Bryson City, rich in natural beauty, is a quiet country town
located in Swain County in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.
It has a beautiful natural setting with long range mountain vistas, trout
streams, mountain lakes, rushing rivers, waterfalls, lush forests, and a
profusion of beautiful native plants and flowers. Swain County is home to the
largest portion of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has long been a
popular vacation destination.
Bryson City was created in a county that today is home to
the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which contains more than a half million
scenic acres and stretches over 88 square miles. It contains some of the
highest peaks in the East, many towering over 6,000 feet in elevation. It is
one of the largest wilderness areas in the Eastern United States, and is the
most visited of America's National Parks. Swain county contains over 21,000
acres of U.S. Forest Service land that includes the Nantahala National Forest.
The 469 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway originates on 700 acres in Swain County
and follows the crests of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Smokies in North
Carolina to the Shenandoah in Virginia. Four of North Carolina's most scenic
rivers flow through Swain County, including the Nantahala, the Oconoluftee, the
Tuckaseigee and the Little Tennessee. Swain County is home to a large portion
of the 10,230 acre, 30 mile long Fontana Lake with its 238 miles of unspoiled
Bryson City and Swain County have become an "Outdoor
Adventure Capital" to outdoor adventure enthusiasts from all over the world.
The clean cold rushing waters of the Nantahala River provides fun and exciting
whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing to happy paddlers in the Nantahala
National Forest. The other rivers provide milder whitewater and scenic nature
float trips. Fontana Lake provides great fishing, skiing, swimming & water
sports. Tsali Recreation Area provides many miles of highly acclaimed, and top
rated bike paths and horseback riding paths on U.S. Forest Service land
surrounding Fontana Lake. There are numerous hiking trails, including the
Appalachian Trail, as well as many trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National
Park, and the Nantahala National Forest. Thousands of gemstone enthusiasts come
to Swain County for outdoor gemstone mining adventures every season. In
addition, Swain County hosts the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad that provides
scenic tours to visitors all year long.
Today, downtown Bryson City has a delightful mix of retail
shops, restaurants and a variety of other businesses to provide shopping,
dining and other services. Visitors can walk along Bryson City's historic
streets, browse in a wide variety of retail shops, sample local cuisine in the
cafes & diners, and enjoy the charm and friendly hospitality of a small
mountain town that has welcomed visitors to this beautiful part of the Smoky
Mountains for years.
Bryson City is an easy 15 minute drive east of the Nantahala
River Gorge on U.S. Hwy 19/74.