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Haywood County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 54,033. Its county seat is Waynesville6, the largest town in the county

Lenoir, NC in Caldwell County of Western North Carolina
Town of Waynesville, NC


The county was formed in 1808 from the western part of Buncombe County. It was named for John Haywood, Treasurer of North Carolina from 1787 to 1827.

In 1828 the western part of Haywood County became Macon County. In 1851 parts of Haywood County and Macon County were combined to form Jackson County.

Law and government

Haywood County is a member of the regional Southwestern Commission council of governments.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 555 square miles of which 554 square miles is land and 1 square mile is water.

The Pigeon River originates in Haywood County. It is the only county in North Carolina that all water flows out while none flows in.

Notable peaks in the county include Cold Mountain, at 6,030 feet, Mt. Sterling, at 5,835 feet, and Richland Balsam, at 6,410 feet in elevation. Haywood county is believed to be the highest county by mean elevation east of the rocky mountains with a mean elevation of 3600 feet. Avery county, NC approx. 50 miles NE also makes a similar claim, But as where Haywood county is nearly twice the size of Avery county, Haywood edges out slightly due to much more high elevation land area.

Sections of Pisgah National Forest are in the far northeastern and southern parts of the county. A portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in the northwestern section of the county, north of Maggie Valley.


The county is divided into fifteen townships: Beaverdam, Bethel, Cataloochee, Cecil, Clyde, Crabtree, Cruso, East Fork, Fines Creek, Iron Duff, Ivy Hill, Jonathan Creek, Pigeon, Waynesville, and White Oak.

Cities & Towns

  • Canton
  • Clyde
  • Lake Junaluska
  • Maggie Valley
  • Waynesville
  • West Canton

Township Locations of Haywood County of Western North Carolina


As of the census of 2010, there were 59,036 people, 24,875 households residing in the county out of which 5.2% had children under the age of 5, 20.0% had children under the age of 18 and 20.7% were over the age of 65. The average persons per household was 2.37. The population density was 106 per square mile. There were 32,619 housing units at an average density of 59 per square mile.

  • White persons - 95.5%
  • Black persons - 1.1%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native persons - 0.5%
  • Asian persons - 0.4%
  • Persons reporting two or more races - 1.1%
  • Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 3.4%

The median income for a household in the county was $40,380. The per capita income for the county was $23,514. About 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line.

Popular Culture

Cold Mountain, located within the Pisgah National Forest was made famous by the novel Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. A major motion picture based on the novel was distributed by Miramax Films in 2003

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