Bryson City, North Carolina
Located 25 minutes west of Sylva, North Carolina, and 75 minutes west of Asheville, North Carolina, Bryson City is the county seat of Swain County and North Carolina's gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is known for hiking, whitewater rafting, biking and the rich historical context surrounding the formation of the national park. Swain County and Bryson City have been referred to as basecamp for the Smokies and are in close proximity to Cherokee, North Carolina, to the east and Fontana Lake to the west.
Swain Community Hospital, established in 1950, is a 48-bed critical access hospital serving Swain, Graham, and Macon counties. Emergency medicine, which serves approximately 12,000 patients each year, and primary care are supported by on-site ancillary services such as imaging, laboratory, and physical and occupational therapy. A variety of specialty services, including pulmonology, gastroenterology, urology, orthopaedics and sports medicine, are also offered.
Additional services include a hospital-managed pain clinic on-site to serve patients. Located inside the hospital is a family medical practice staffed by three physicians and a mid-level provider. The practice sees adults and children five days a week.
Swain Community Hospital is affiliated with various regional organizations through clinical and community partnerships that benefit the health of the region.
Bryson City is the county seat of Swain County, which has a population of 14,500. Bryson City borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and provides several entrances to the park in addition to a multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities. Landmarks surrounding Bryson City include the Cherokee Indian Reservation, Nantahala River/Nantahala Gorge, Fontana Lake and Fontana Dam. A picturesque and memorable downtown features one-of-a-kind shopping and dining experiences as well as the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Southwestern Community College, which has been ranked among the top community colleges nationally, has a campus in Swain County, just west of Bryson City.
As a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Swain County features miles of hiking and biking trails as well as nearby campsites and horseback riding opportunities. Rivers surrounding the area include the Nantahala, Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee, all of which provide recreational and fishing options. Bryson City is known for whitewater rafting and offers a variety of outfitters providing guided rafting, kayaking and canoeing trips. The Tsali Recreation Area trail system has some of the best bike trails in the region.