Sat between the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, Waynesville is the largest city in Haywood county with a population of just under 10,000. Waynesville, located just thirty miles southwest from Asheville, serves as the seat of Haywood county and is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area, the fifth largest metropolitan area in North Carolina. With a population of just under 10,000, Waynesville offers all the luxuries and convenience of the city life while still retaining some of that small-town feel so characteristic to the United States.


Waynesville was founded in 1810 but only began to gain attention in 1884 when a railroad was built running alongside the Richland Creek. The railroad allowed easier access for trade and travel between the high mountain towns and the rest of the world, and Waynesville soon became well known for their agriculture and lumber industries as well as becoming a popular travel destination. Waynesville is also well remembered as the site of the last battle of the American Civil War, when Union soldiers retreated to the town and were surrounded by Confederates who threatened to burn the small town to the ground in order to gain access to the Union men. The conflict lasted until the next morning, when the Confederates were made aware of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender and considered the entire skirmish pointless to continue.

Lifestyle & Area Attractions

The city of Waynesville is divided into six separate burroughs with the Downtown area being the main attraction. Downtown Waynesville is home to a whole host of independent cafes, restaurants, and shops. Downtown Waynesville also acts as the theatre for many events including local art and craft shows, farmer’s markets, and the annual Harvest Apple Festival held in the fall.

The Frog Level burrough, which got its name from the frequent flooding that occurs in the area, is Waynesville’s historic district and is home to many local attractions, such as the old Frog Level Brewing Company, the Red Barn Mountain Museum and Garden, and the Whole Bloomin’ Thing Spring Festival, which takes place annually just before the final frost of the year as a celebration in hopes of a good harvest.

General Information

There are only five public schools in the city of Waynesville, three being elementary schools and the other two being a middle and high school respectively. Waynesville is not home to any institution for higher education however the city is only a forty minutes away from Asheville and the many universities that are just a few short minutes away. The close proximity to Asheville also allows for greater opportunities in terms of employment. Waynesville’s largest industry is HealthCare and Social Assistance, followed closely by Retail and Accomodation and Food Services.

Fun Facts

Waynesville is often called the “Gateway to the Smokies,” and is located near the Cataloochee Valley, which is considered one of the great beauties of the United States. The Cataloochee Valley is nestled between the 6000 foot tall Smokey Mountains and offers a wide range of activities including Wildlife Watching, where hundreds of Elk can be observed in their natural habitat, Fishing, Camping, Hiking, and Horseback Riding.


School Name Phone Students*
Bethel Elementary (828)646-3448 533
Bethel Middle (828)646-3442 280
Canton Middle (828)646-3467 568
Central Haywood High (828)627-9944 74
Clyde Elementary (828)627-2206 531
Haywood Early College (828)565-4000 182
Hazelwood Elementary (828)456-2406 555
Jonathan Valley Elementary (828)926-3207 410
Junaluska Elementary (828)456-2407 462
Meadowbrook Elementary (828)646-3445 249
North Canton Elementary (828)646-3444 368
Pisgah High (828)646-3440 980
Riverbend Elementary (828)627-6565 223
Tuscola High (828)456-2408 949
Waynesville Middle (828)456-2403 844