Optional page title

Optional page description text area...

image1 image2 image3 image4

Big Cities

Big cities with plenty of action and things to do.

Outdoor Adventure

Bike riding trails, horse trails, ATV trails we have it all

Our Heritage

Visit our heritage sites, there is always something going on.

Natural Wonders

From the sea to the mountains, our natural wonders abound.

themed object


Bookmark and Share
get in touch

Header Content Region

Insert text, image or banner ads here, or just delete this text and leave this area blank!

Bike Trails

Enjoy our bike trails. Catawba Falls Campground is a great home base.

Special Events

3.2% of visitors came for Special events and festivals

Visit NC

Visiting relatives and Family Reunion accounted for 25.5% of visitors.


Swain County

backReturn to Mountains


Geographically, the county is spectacular. Much of it lies within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including its highest peak, Clingmans Dome. Four scenic rivers, the Nantahala, the Tuckasegee, the Oconaluftee and the Little Tennessee flow through the county and form the sprawling Lake Fontana, west of Bryson City, the county seat.

The county also encompasses much of the Cherokee Indian Reservation, with its own independent government.

Formed in 1871 from parts of Jackson County and Macon County, the county was named for David L. Swain, governor of North Carolina from 1832 to 1835. The estimated population in 2010 was 13,981. This was an increase of 7.8% from the 2000 census.

Bryson City in Swain County is a quiet country town in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, an unspoiled retreat rich with outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, whitewater river sports, camping, golf and a scenic railroad. An ideal central location to enjoy all that the Smokies have to offer.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Hwy 441 & Drama Road, Cherokee, NC 28719 | Phone: 828-497-3481
The Cherokee Indian Museum has an extensive artifact collection.

Nantahala River Gem Mine
12121 Hwy. 19 West, Bryson City, NC 28713 | Phone: 828-488-7238
Nantahala River Gem Mine material comes from the local area and from a variety of mines around the world.

Nantahala Village Riding Stables
9400 Highway 19/74 West, Bryson City, NC 28713 | Phone: 828-488-8600
Nantahala Village Riding Stables offers guided trips in the Nantahala National Forest overlooking Fontana Lake & the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Oconaluftee Indian Village at the Cherokee Historical Association
564 Tsali Blvd. (HWY 441), Cherokee, NC 28719 | Phone: 828-497-2111
Oconaluftee Indian Village is a recreated Cherokee Village of the 1750s. Tours by Cherokee guides present history, crafts, early homes and mountain forest demonstrations of beadwork, pottery, and blowguns in a beautiful forest setting.

PaddleFish Basecamp
59 Depot Street, Bryson City, NC 28713 | Phone 828-488-8797
PaddleFish Basecamp provides sea kayaking tours, hiking excursions, and multi-day expeditions in the Great Smoky Mountains. Two hour, half-day, full-day and multi-day trips are available. No experience is necessary. All ages welcome.

Santa’s Land Fun Park and Zoo
571 Wolftown Road, Cherokee, NC 28719 | Phone: 828-497-9191
Visit with Santa and his elves, browse the gift shops and exhibits, and see the domestic and exotic animals in the zoo. Santa’s Land also has rides, picnic facilities, and dining.

Smoky Mountain Jet Boats
22 Needmore Road, Bryson City, NC 28713 | Phone: 888 900-9091
Smoky Mountain Jet Boats provides exhilarating, scenic rides on Fontana Lake. Jet Boat rides can be combined with a guided hike.

Unto These Hills at the Cherokee Historical Association
564 Tsali Blvd. (HWY 441), Cherokee, NC 28719 | Phone: 828-497-2111
Unto These Hills is a drama that tells the history of the Cherokee people from about 1540 through their forced removal from this area in the late 1830′s.


Campgrounds and Cottages

Cottages within the area.


Timberlake Campground, 3270 Conleys Creek Rd, Whittier, NC 28789, 828-497-7320. 
Tumbling Waters Campground
Camp Inn
Ela Campground
Hide Away Campground
Kirkland Creek Campground
Smoky Mountain Meadow Campground
Smoky Mountain Campground
Deep Creek Camping
Lost Mine Campground
Almond Boat and RV Park
Ridge Top Campground




back to top