About Swain County
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Geographically, the county is spectacular. Much of it lies within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including its highest peak, Clingmans Dome. Four scenic rivers, the Nantahala, the Tuckasegee, the Oconaluftee and the Little Tennessee flow through the county and form the sprawling Lake Fontana, west of Bryson City, the county seat.
The county also encompasses much of the Cherokee Indian Reservation, with its own independent government.
Formed in 1871 from parts of Jackson County and Macon County, the county was named for David L. Swain, governor of North Carolina from 1832 to 1835. The estimated population in 2010 was 13,981. This was an increase of 7.8% from the 2000 census.