Activities Guide of Maggie Valley/Waynesville
Top Maggie Valley Drives
With the miles and miles of mountain roads around Maggie Valley, the hardest part is finding nearby fun and exciting roads, with curves, and scenic views, but that are safe as well. Our list of top Maggie Valley motorcycle rides will provide days of excitement.
Whether you’re on a two-wheeler, three-wheeler or even in your car, the rides below will provide the exciting and thrilling outdoor adventure you’re looking for.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Breathtaking views. Plenty of easy curves. No stoplights, no billboards, and no commercial vehicles. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best motorcycle drives in America. The 469-mile long National Park snakes along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There are several spots around Asheville to access the Parkway. Asheville sits in a valley, so no matter which way you go on the Parkway from town, you will climb quickly in elevation. Ride north to Craggy Gardens and Mt. Mitchell. Or, drive south through a dozen tunnels toward Mt. Pisgah and on to the Great Smoky Mountains. Due to the big changes in altitude while driving (sometimes ascending 3,000 ft. in less than an hour), be prepared for the rapidly changing weather.
It's not the drive for speed, with a 45-mph speed limit. Plus, you will encounter many slower drivers that are not in a big hurry to drive past the views. So don't be in a hurry! There are plenty of overlooks to stop. You'll need to exit the Parkway to find food, gas, and lodging. There are lots of detailed information in the Blue Ridge Parkway Guide.
A high altitude ride starting at Wolf Laurel Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of the Hwy 19 Entrance (Maggie Valley).
While there are a few overlooks along the way, the only reason to take this road is that you are going to the Smoky Mountains. The road leads to the Balsam Mountain section of the park.
Of the four overlooks on Heintooga Road, only the Mile High Overlook provides any view. Maggie Valley View, Lake Junaluska Overlook, and Horsetrough Ridge View are all completely overgrown, mainly by small brush and weeds. A day’s worth of weed whacking would solve much of the problem, but that’s probably not going to happen.
There are no picnic tables or trails at any of the above-mentioned overlooks, but there is a small picnic area just before the entrance into the Smoky Mountains.
About 90 miles from Asheville is The Dragon, a must for great motorcycle rides. Perhaps the most famous drive in the East, navigate 318 curves in 11 miles. It's also called the Tail of the Dragon. This stretch of US 129 near Fontana Dam borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and crosses the Tennessee state line. On summer weekends, the Dragon may get 15,000 motorcycles and sports cars a day. See our Dragon Guide.
Start at Hwy 209 were it intersects with Hwy 74/23 in Waynesville. A moderate ride with lots of change in elevation as it crosses from Haywood County to Madison County on your way to Hot Springs. The one-way ride will take about an hour and is not heavily traveled.
Family-Friendly Things to Do
Climb Waterrock Knob
Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Waterrock Knob offers stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Hike to the top of the 6,292-foot peak and watch the sunset before heading back to your vacation rental. The first portion of the trail is paved, which is ideal for young children. Further up, there are plenty of rocks to climb on to view Maggie Valley below. On a side trail, you can discover airplane wreckage from 1978!!!
One of the biggest multipurpose theme parks near Maggie Valley, Santa Land delivers a holiday atmosphere every day of the year. Explore the zoo and get up close and personal with various animals from all over the world, including deer, kangaroos, bears, exotic birds, and monkeys. Afterward, watch the magic show and let the kids volunteer as the assistant, then take pictures with Santa and let him know if you’ve been bad or good. Good children even get a conducting diploma. Santa Land has a roller coaster and several other rides for thrill seekers, and you’ll also find a game room with arcade games, a food venue with various carnival foods, and plenty of gift shops for souvenirs.
Smoky Mountain Jumphouse
If it’s hot or rainy and you need to find something for the kids to do, head to the Smoky Mountain Jumphouse for a day of fun. Slide down an 18-foot slide, walk across the moonwalk, or let competitive siblings race through the obstacle course. The Jumphouse is the perfect place for parties or to celebrate a birthday, and there’s even a toddler area that features barnyard animals and pint-sized inflatables.
Maggie Valley offers a couple of places to play a round of mini golf with the kids. Maggie Valley Carpet Golf has two 18-hole championship courses to try with standard obstacles, and music plays in the background to liven up your game. For another challenge, head to Fantasy Golf and Gameroom. Challenge family members to an 18-hole game of mini golf amidst waterfalls, lighthouses, and a beautiful view from the 18th hole. If you head indoors, you’ll find a game room full of arcade games, which are perfect for rainy afternoons and when you need an activity to beat the heat.
Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum
If you and the kids love automobiles, motorcycles, and anything on wheels, you’ll enjoy spending the day at the Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum. This collection of rare memorabilia features over 350 machines in excellent condition, and the collection covers over 25 different makes from early as 1900. Stop by the gift shop at the end of the day and purchase some artwork or t-shirt designs featuring your favorite exhibit.
Horseback Riding Through the Smokies
Spend a lazy day touring the Smoky Mountains on the back of a horse with family. The CRT Ranch offers rentals and guided tours that take you to a mile-high meadow where you and your family can view the valley below. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, there are several trails to explore.
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