Winter Activities in Maggie Valley
Spend a day, a weekend, Christmas vacation, or the whole winter in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. You’ll never run out of exciting winter activities.
Christmas lights in Waynesville, here in Haywood County, are beautiful. The whole town is lit up, with all its quaint shops, street musicians and restaurants. Biltmore Estate in nearby Asheville (about 30 miles from Maggie Valley) offers a truly spectacular presentation at Christmas, with the estate lit up with thousands of twinkling lights and special tours.
Tube World and the Cataloochee Ski Area are popular during the winter with locals and tourists alike. If you’re hunting ‘real’ winter snow, you’re likely to find it in Maggie Valley during the winter, but if you don’t, take the scenic drive up to Newfound Gap and you will usually find it at this highest mountain peak.
Discover Winter in Maggie Valley
Maggie Valley Winter Fun Things To Do
Cataloochee Ski Resort
Enjoy the longest running ski season on the east coast of the United States. Maggie Valley is famous for its Cataloochee Ski Area. The ski area opens on the first or second week of November annually. Trails for snow tubing and skiing are offered, as well as lessons, a Kidz Ski & Ride Center, equipment rentals and a gift / retail shop. The Ski Area has 18 slopes and elevations as high as 5,400 feet. Live Bluegrass music is offered on Fridays at the on-site bar. An insider’s tip is to visit Cataloochee during mid-week for the smallest crowd.
Cataloochee Valley – Elk Viewing
Located at Highway 276, near the ramp onto I-40, Cataloochee Valley is a spot where the majestic North Carolina Elk often make an appearance. Once in decline, the Elk were replenished and now there are thriving herds easily visible from the road, especially at dusk and just before daylight. You may be tempted to get out of your vehicle, but remember they are wild animals and may attack. Bears, deer and other wildlife can often be seen throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Straddling North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park takes in the North Carolina counties of Haywood and Swain, as well as several Tennessee counties. The park offers a wealth of opportunities for recreation in every month of the year, from hiking to exhibits. Visit the official website to learn more.
Smoky Mountain Christmas Tree Farm
Located at 756 Hemphill Road in Waynesville, in Haywood County, Smoky Mountain Christmas Tree Farm is a ‘must’ to visit for those who love everything about the Christmas season, or just everything about Fraser Firs. Hand-sheared with love and 35 years of expertise, these Fraser Firs offer an authentic mountain Christmas experience. The smell is heavenly and the joy of hand-picking your own mountain-grown tree is priceless.
Load up the family and go snow tubing and snowmobiling at Tube World. Offering one of the most popular activities in Maggie Valley, Tube World is open during the winter. While it is affiliated with Cataloochee Ski Resort, it is located approximately four miles from the Cataloochee Ski Resort. It opens in December annually, with reservations accepted beginning November 1st.
Tweetsie Railroad and The Polar Express
Situated between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, the Tweetsie Railroad is a Wild West Theme Park and the centerpiece is a train ride through beautiful mountain terrain. The ride is a great delight for the young and the young at heart. It is normally open April through November, but the park does a few runs during the Christmas season when it transforms into the ‘Polar Express’.
Rolling Thunder River Company operates three whitewater rafting locations in western North Carolina, including Nantahala River, Ocoee River and Toccoa River. They’re open year-round and serve all skill levels.
Winter Hiking in Haywood County
Haywood County is home to more peaks over 6,000 feet than anywhere else in the eastern United States. In the spring and summer, some views are missed because of abundant foliage. But in the winter, the views are panoramic and unobstructed. Haywood County has many hiking trails that are as good to follow in the winter as in the summer. Download a PDF with maps and directions for Haywood County Hiking Trails here: