Hiking, Biking, Swimming, and Other Things

Summer has arrived in Hendersonville! The kids are out of school, vacations are coming, and the long lazy days of summer become the new normal. Thinking back to the youthful days of the past, before swimming pools and waterparks, nothing filled the day better than a trip to a favorite swimming hole. Hendersonville is filled with those great swimming holes that bring back memories and create new memories for the family. Looking at the area around Hendersonville, below are some of the local favorites that will soon become your favorite!

Sliding Rock

Pisgah National Forest

Brevard, NC

Sliding Rock officially listed as a waterfall with a 60-foot cascade of water down a rock face. The water slides down the rock face into the plunge pool at the base. Not only can you take in the view of the waterfall, but you can also climb the waterfall and slide down the gentle slope of the falls into the pool at the bottom. The water runs cool and clear from the mountains and is refreshing on those hot summer days. Sliding Rock has been a favorite swimming hole for the generations and welcomes your family.

There are restrooms and changing facilities in the recreation area. Lifeguards are present on some days, especially holidays and weekends. Life jackets and water shoes are recommended as the rock can be slippery. If you don’t have water shoes, an old pair of tennis shoes work just as well. Kids have to be of a certain size to slide the falls.

Safety is the key to a great day at Sliding Rock!

Hooker Falls

Dupont State Forest

Another local favorite! The falls are about 12-foot wide and tumble about 15-feet into a gentle pool that is terrific for swimming on a hot Hendersonville day. The pool is wide with a relatively calm current that makes it family safe. The Little River runs cool and clear with a rocky bottom that allows everyone to see the bottom and examine the rocks. The riverbank provides plenty of places to sit, watch the kids play in the water, picnic, and enjoy the water. 

There are restrooms and changing facilities are located in the parking area. Swim shoes and life jackets are recommended for kids. There are no lifeguards on duty at Hooker Falls. Be watchful of your family and the kids of other families. Hooker Falls is the only safe swimming are in Dupont Forest.

If you haven’t been to Hooker Falls and wish to get a glimpse of the falls, watch The Last of the Mohicans. The scene where the go over the falls in their canoes was filmed at Hooker Falls!

Dogs are allowed in the area on leashes. As always, be sure to clean-up after your dog to ensure a clean and healthy environment for everyone enjoying Hooker Falls.

Sycamore Flats

Pisgah National Forest

Brevard, NC

A family with kids dream! Sycamore Flats Recreation Area with easy access off Highway 276, provides a calming spot to enjoy the Davidson River. Showcasing the natural trees and flowers of the mountains, the river winds its way through Sycamore Falls. The river is not too fast nor deep, making it a wonderful place for the kids to wade and splash around, and explore the river bottom to find rock they take home. Parents can watch the kids from the riverbank or explore the river themselves. It is a great place to spend the day, picnic, let the kids play in the water, and relax. 

There are picnic areas with grills, restrooms, and changing areas available along with plenty of parking. There are large open fields for the kids to run and play after lunch before heading back into the river on the search for more rocks. 

The river is deep enough that the occasional tuber may pass by. Life Jackets and swim shoes are recommended as there are no lifeguards on duty. As always, a watchful eye on your kids and the kids of others appreciated.

Dogs are welcome on leashes. Be mindful and clean up after your pet.