Canton, NC

Smoky Mtn Towns in Western North Carolina

Explore Canton, NC in Haywood County

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Welcome to Canton, North Carolina, a hidden gem nestled in the Smoky Mountains, just 20 miles west of Asheville! The Pigeon River gracefully flows through the heart of this historic mill town, fueling its rich history and growth while providing endless adventure for those seeking the thrill of the outdoors. Canton’s Main Street, a proud addition to the National Register of Historic Places, beckons with its delightful array of delicious food, local shopping, and abundant activities.

This charming mountain town boasts some of the most iconic hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway, including the renowned Shining Rock and Graveyard Fields trails. Just a short drive from Main Street, you’ll find the captivating Lake Logan and its 260-acre Smoky Mountain sanctuary. Canton comes alive yearly with the Southeast’s longest-running Labor Day celebration, adding to the town’s vibrant spirit. The historic Colonial Theater, nestled in the Main Street district, eagerly awaits to delight visitors with its charm and allure. And let’s not forget the Pigeon River, playing host to a plethora of fun outdoor adventures, from fishing and kayaking to canoeing and tubing, offering something for every adventure seeker.

Explore with us and discover why Canton is affectionately called “where the mountains kiss the sky.” Embrace the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, immerse yourself in the town’s history and culture, and create cherished memories in Canton, a true mountain paradise!

This visitor guide will showcase why Canton should be at the top of your vacation destination list.

Why Choose Canton:

Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, Canton offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and warm Southern hospitality. Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities, exploring local history, or simply relaxing in a charming mountain town, Canton has it all.

Popular Sites:

  • Pigeon River: Explore the tranquil Pigeon River, perfect for kayaking, tubing, and fishing, as it flows through the heart of Canton.
    Champion Credit Union Aquatics Center: Beat the summer heat at this state-of-the-art aquatic center, featuring pools, water slides, and family-friendly fun.

Outdoor Activities:

  • Hiking: Canton provides access to scenic trails, including the famous Cold Mountain trail and the nearby Shining Rock Wilderness area.
  • Biking: Hop on your bike and cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway or challenge yourself on the exhilarating trails of Pisgah National Forest.
  • Fishing: Cast your line in the Pigeon River or nearby lakes for excellent trout and bass fishing opportunities.

Annual Seasonal Events:

  • Canton Labor Day Festival: Celebrate Labor Day weekend with live music, arts and crafts, delicious food, and family-friendly activities.
  • Canton Christmas Parade: Embrace the holiday spirit with this festive parade, featuring colorful floats, Santa Claus, and twinkling lights.

Canton’s Four Seasons and History:

Canton experiences all four distinct seasons. Spring brings blooming wildflowers and pleasant temperatures, ideal for outdoor excursions. Summer invites you to explore the waterways, hike the trails, and enjoy warm evenings with friends and family. Fall transforms the landscape into a breathtaking palette of vibrant colors, attracting leaf-peepers from near and far. Winter blankets the town with a peaceful ambiance, creating opportunities for cozy indoor activities and nearby winter sports.

History of the Town:

Canton, originally known for its paper mills and manufacturing, has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. Today, the town retains its unique character and small-town charm, inviting visitors to explore its historic buildings, downtown area, and local culture.

Distance from Other Towns:

  • Canton to Asheville, NC: Approximately 20 miles (about a 30-minute drive)
  • Canton to Waynesville, NC: Approximately 10 miles (about a 20-minute drive)
  • Canton to Maggie Valley, NC: Approximately 15 miles (about a 25-minute drive)

Plan your serene getaway to Canton, where natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and Southern hospitality await! Explore the provided websites for more information on specific events, attractions, and things to do during your visit. Experience the magic of the Great Smoky Mountains and create cherished memories in Canton!


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