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Sylva, North Carolina
Located 50 minutes west of Asheville, North Carolina, Sylva is the county seat of Jackson County. It features a beautiful region filled with mountain trails and waterfalls as well as a unique Main Street district anchored by hometown shops and restaurants. The Sylva area is home to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, which recently attained an all-time high enrollment of 10,000 students, and Southwestern Community College which has earned national rankings as one of the best community colleges.
Harris Regional Hospital, established in 1925, is an 86-bed acute and specialty care facility serving the western North Carolina counties of Jackson, Swain, Graham, and Macon as well as parts of North Georgia. The hospital offers two dozen medical specialties, and its major service lines include women’s care, orthopaedics, general surgery, cardiology and emergency medicine. The hospital serves as a medical hub for patients from around the region with more than half of the hospital’s patients coming from outside Jackson County. In addition, Harris Regional Hospital operates an urgent care in Sylva and an outpatient facility in Franklin, North Carolina. The hospital is also affiliated with various regional organizations through clinical and community partnerships that benefit the health of the region. Harris Regional Hospital is fully accredited by The Joint Commission.
Jackson County was founded in 1851 and named for Andrew Jackson, President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Sylva became the county seat in 1913. The county’s population tops 40,000, according to the 2010 Census, and has experienced a 22 percent increase in population since the mid-2000s. Sylva is nestled among the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains with elevations ranging from 2,000 feet to more than 6,000 feet and features a quaint and thriving downtown. The Sylva area is 50 miles from Asheville, 110 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee, 50 miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and 150 miles from Atlanta, Georgia. It is also convenient to upstate South Carolina and less than three hours from North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte.
Sylva and the surrounding towns of Dillsboro, Cullowhee and Cashiers are known for their proximity to nature and the array of outdoor activities that are readily accessible. The Tuckasegee River provides opportunities for beginner and family whitewater rafting and is considered one of western North Carolina’s best trout streams. The landscape is highlighted by waterfalls, rocky peaks and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, providing opportunities for hiking and biking throughout the region. There are active wellness initiatives in Jackson County including opportunities to join group exercise events and healthy eating and lifestyle programs in partnership with the hospital and community organizations. The county features updated recreational parks and venues for physical activities and sports.