Family Activities | Visitors Information Center | Jump Off Rock | Town of Laurel Park | Hendersonville, NC

Family Activities

Apple Quest

Main Street
Hendersonville, NC
 
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Apple Quest is a permanent scavenger hunt created by Henderson County Girl Scout Troop 1886.  Apple Quest is a fun free activity for families to explore downtown year-round. Stop by the Visitor Center, 201 S. Main St, to pick-up a brochure.

Apple Valley Model Railroad Museum

650 Maple Ave
Hendersonville, NC
(828) 890-8246.
 
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The first steam engine puffed up the Saluda Grade to the Hendersonville Depot in 1879. The steam engine needed a “help engine” attached to the rear of the train at Melrose for additional power to push the train up the Saluda Mountain Grade, the steepest main-line standard gauge railroad in the United States. The Carolina Special ran between Charleston, South Carolina and Cincinnati, Ohio from 1911 until 1968. The restored Depot houses a HO scale railroad layout that is highly detailed and is prototypical of Hendersonville, Saluda, Asheville, and Western North Carolina.  The Deport features historical artifacts, a Southern Railway cabooser and a special children’s exhibit where they can operate a Thomas the Tank train in a scenic layout. See the 10ft x 80 ft Garden “G” scale layout.

ArtScape

Main Street, Side Streets, & Seventh Avenue
Hendersonville, NC
(828) 693-8504
 
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The ArtScape Banners are works of art decorating the light posts of the Downtown area. The artwork is selected annually through a jury process and then reproduced on banners. Artscape maybe found on Hendersonville’s Main Street, Seventh Avenue, and side streets.  The public art display offers a creative and unique twist on an outdoor gallery experience. Stop by the Visitor Center at 201 South Main Street to pick up an Artscape brochure.

Bearfootin’ Public Art Walk

Main Street
Hendersonville, NC
(828) 233.3216
 
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Bearfootin’ Public Art Walk  is a whimsical, playful, and much loved Bears of Historic Downtown Hendersonville. Experience a ‘Bear Hunt’; follow the Bear Map to located the highly decorated Bears on the sidewalks of Main Street from May – October. The Bearfootin program is supported by area businesses and individuals with 50% of the proceeds of each bear sold going to a non-profit organization which is highlighted on the bear, the other 50% goes to the Bearfootin Program. A public auction of the Bears takes place in the fall.

A brochure to guide you to all of the Bears is available at the Visitor Center, 201 South Main Street.

Biltmore Estates

1 Lodge Street
Asheville , NC
800-411-3812
 
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Biltmore is the largest privately owned home in America situated on 8,000 acres. It was built by George Vanderbilt and was completed in 1895. Vanderbilt’s 250-room mansion is modeled after a French château. TheEstate encompasses the house, landscaped gardens, walking trails, woodlands, restaurants, shops, inn, and an award-winning winery. Located 15 miles north of miles north of Hendersonville.

Blue Ridge Parkway

 
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Blue Ridge Parkway follows the mountain ridges from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. The Parkway’s 469 toll-free miles combines natural beauty, mountain forests, wildlife, wildflowers and magnificent views. . Located 15 miles north of y Hendersonville.

  • Nature Trails
  • Dog Parks
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area
  • Camping

Open Weather Permitting

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

1800 Little River Rd
Flat Rock, NC
(828) 693-4178
 
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Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is where Carl Sandburg, American poet, historian, author, and lecturer spent the final 22 years of his long and productive life at his estate, Connemara. The home, originally built in 1838, displays the Sandburg’s furnishing as they lived at Connemara from 1945-1968, including Carl Sandburg’s collection of 12,000 books. A tour of the home shares Sandburg’s life as a writer, journalist, folk singer, social activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and biographer. Visit the barn and descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s champion dairy goat herd and hike over five miles of trails. Access to trails, grounds, barns and public areas is free

Cherokee Indian Reservation

 
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Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina, where Cherokee Indians have lived for centuries, is located on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 56,000 acre Reservation is still linked to ancient customs, culture, history, and traditions. Witnessthe history of the Cherokee at the outdoor drama, “Unto These Hills,” the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Oconaluftee Indian Village.

DuPont State Recreational Forest

High Falls parking lot, 1300 Staton Rd,
Cedar Mountain, NC
(828) 877-6527
 
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DuPont State Recreational Forest encompasses 10,268 acres in Henderson and Transylvania counties that include waterfalls and 80 miles of roads and trails wandering through mountainous terrain. Open to the public for hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and horseback riding. Fishing is allowed with a valid NC fishing license. Hunting is by special permit only. Many scenes from the 2012 hit movie, The Hunger Games and the 1992 film, The Last of the Mohicans were shot in DuPont State Recreational Forest. The Hunger Games were filmed entirely in North Carolina. Download the Hunger Games film locations. dupont-hunger-games-shots.pdf

  • Bicycle Trails
  • Nature Trails
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area

Open Year Round

Hands On! – A Child’s Gallery

318 N. Main Street
Hendersonville, NC
(828) 697-8333
 
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Hands On! – A Child’s Gallery is a children’s museum located on Main Street in Hendersonville – it’s the place where LEARNING comes into PLAY.  Hands On! provides educational exhibits that stimulate the imagination and motivate learning. It is an affordable, educational and fun way to spend the day with your children, grandchildren, and students ages 1 – 10. Hands On! is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00am – 5:00pm (check the website for special summer hours). 

Henderson County Heritage Museum

1 Historic Courthouse Square #4
Hendersonville, NC
(828) 694-1619
 
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Henderson County Heritage Museum is housed in the Historic Henderson County Courthouse on Main Street. It offers public displays, artifacts, lectures, collections, archives, libraries, demonstrations, a replica of a turn of the century county store and other similar exhibitions relating to the history, culture, heritage of Henderson County. The museum celebrates veterans of all wars, and has an Civil War Display.

Historic Downtown Hendersonville

 
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Historic Downtown Hendersonville was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in March of 1988. The serpentine street features planter boxes brimming with, benches, seasonal flowers and trees. Downtown boasts a wide array of shopping, antique stores, galleries, museums, an aquarium and a variety of restaurants. Downtown offers free Wi-Fi for everyone to enjoy. Downtown hosts many activities including the NC Apple Festival held during Labor Day weekend, as well as, art shows, an antique show, car shows, and parades throughout the year. For additional information call the Main Street Program.

Historic Johnson Farm

3346 Haywood Road
Hendersonville, NC
(828) 891-6585
 
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Historic Johnson Farm is a fine example of a late 19th and early 20th century farm & tourist retreat. The entire structure was handmade from bricks that were fired on site from French Broad River mud. Over the years many outbuildings were constructed, including a tool shed/blacksmith shop, barn, boarding house, and a cottage.

Historic Train Depot

650 Maple Ave.
Hendersonville, NC
828-890-8246
 
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The Depot house an HO scale railroad layout that is a prtotypical of Hendersonville, Saluda, Asheville and Western NC. It also features historical artifacts, a Southern Railway cabooese and a Thomas the Tank train in a sceinc layout that children can operate

Holmes Educational State Forest

1299 Crab Creek Road
Hendersonville, NC
(828) 692-0100
 
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Holmes Educational State Forest offers a series of well-marked trails, accented by exhibits and displays depicting ecology of a managed forest. Picnic sites with tables and a spacious picnic shelter (with grills) are also available. Located about 8 1/2 miles from downtown Hendersonville.

  • Nature Trails
  • Playground
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area

Open March – November

Jump Off Rock

Laurel Park Highway
Hendersonville, NC
 
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Jump Off Rock is a scenic overlook, which provides a panoramic view of rolling pastures, the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges.  Jump Off Rock also holds an Indian legend that has been passed down for many, many years. Over 300 years ago a young Cherokee Indian maiden received word that her young Indian Chief had been killed in battle, so she climbed to the edge of the rock and jumped off.  Indian legend has it that on moonlit nights you can see the ghost of the maiden on Jump Off Rock. Jump Off is located about 5 miles from downtown at the end of Laurel Park Hwy.  The park is open daily, sunrise to sunset. No admission charge.

  • Hiking Trials
  • Scenic Overlook
  • Open Year Round

North Carolina Arboretum

100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
Asheville , NC
(828) 665-2492
 
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North Carolina Arboretum is a member of the University of North Carolina System and spans 434 acres. The Arboretum offers gardens, horticultural exhibits, education center, hiking, biking, and nature trails are a few of the attractions available to the public. Located 15 miles north of Hendersonville.

North Mills River Recreational Area in Pisgah National Forest

 
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North Mills River Recreational Area is located in Henderson County, just 13 miles from Downtown Hendersonville and offers picnic sites, campsites, river fishing & tubing. The forest offers hiking and mountain biking trails, several of which are near the campground.

Tubing (bring your own tube), picnic areas, camping, fishing, hiking, bicycle & horse riding trails

North River Farm Tours

3333 North Mills River Rd.
Mills River, NC
828-890-5316
 
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Guided tours of a real working farm, activities include a picnic by the river, fishing, you pick produce, guided tube floats, tent caming, corn maze and guided horseback rides. Tours offered May – October by appointment.

Pisgah Forest Gem Mine & Gifts

507 N. Main St
Hendersonville, NC
828-367-8330
 
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over 60 feet of indoor mining sluice, exclusive Black Light Mining- Find special gems and minerals that glow in the black lights, gemstone cutting while you wait on select days, Open year round. Two locations to visit, 507 N. Main St., Hendersonville; and 3338 Asheville Hwy., Pisgah Forest.

Serpentarium Magic

8488 Boylston Hwy.
Mills River, NC
(828) 776-HISS
 
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Serpentarium Magic offers educational tours with over 200 snakes, a two-headed Corn Snake as well as albino collection of snakes, turtles, toads and frogs. Plus, lots of other unique interactive exhibits.

St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church

1895 Greenville Hwy. (Hwy. 225 South)
Flat Rock, NC
(828) 693-9783
 
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St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. St. John in the Wilderness was built as a private chapel in 1833, on the grounds of Charles and Susan Barings’ home, Mountain Lodge. The church was deeded to the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina in 1936. Many well-known members of southern aristocracy have family plots in the churchyard; those names include: Christopher Memminger, first secretary of the Confederate treasury; Rev. John Drayton, developer of the world-famous Magnolia Gardens of Charleston; members of the families of three signers of the Declaration of Independence; Major General Edward P. King, Jr., of the United States Army who led the defense of the Bataan Peninsula in the Battle of Bataan against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II.

Sycamore Farms NC

764 S. Mills River Rd.
Mills River, NC 28759
828-388-1708
 
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Farm tours are back! If you would to see the Shetlands face to face, be sure to set up your farm tour today! A tour is a great way to learn about these sweet animals. There are so many fascinating facts about Shetland Sheep. You will Learn about their wool, what they eat, the countless things that you can create with their fleece, and all about their personalities! So, what are you waiting for? Book a farm tour today! Families, school groups, church groups, etc. are all welcome! See you soon at Sycamore Farms NC!

Cost includes tour and sample of wool for parties of 5 paying guests or more. $5 per person, ages 3 and under are free. Parties of 4 or less $25 per group.

Tour Times: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Saturday

The Gorge Zipline

166 Honey Bee Drive
Saluda, NC 28773
855-749-2500
 
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The Gorge is perched on the rim of the Green River Gorge, the steepest & fastest canopy tour in the USA, 11 ziplines and a sky bridge with breathtaking 90-mile panoramic view, 166 Honey Bee Dr., Saluda, NC

 

The Oklawaha Greenway Trail

 
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The Oklawaha Greenway Trail stretches 3.25 miles, connecting Jackson Park, Patton Park, Berkley Park, Sullivan Park, & William H. King Memorial Park.  It is a relatively flat paved trail and is handicap accessible. The Greenway is a 10-foot-wide asphalt path for cyclists and pedestrians. Mileage signs have been installed every quarter of a mile along the trail to help trail users know how far they have traveled and how much farther it is to their destination. Benches, water fountains, and three bicycle FixIt Stations are available along the trail. Blue light phones have been installed along the greenway using grant money from the state Department of Transportation. http://www.friendsofoklawaha.org/Oklawaha/index.php

The Old Homeplace

4060 North Mills River Rd.
Mills River, NC
828-891-7704
 
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The Old Homeplace features a large dance floor, live entertainment in a family atmosphere with no alcohol or smoking. The bands play country music and some bluegrass for a toe tapping evening. Fridays & Saturdays  7:00pm – 10:30pm

Tryon International Equestrian Center

25 International Blvd.
Mill Springs, NC
(828) 863-1000
 
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The Tryon International Equestrian Center is a 1,400-acre destination equestrian lifestyle destination, hosting international-level equestrian competitions across numerous classes. The venue provides outstanding facilities for hunter/jumper, dressage, and eventing competitions. Located 30 miles from Hendersonville. The 2018 edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ will be held in Mill Spring, NC, over thirteen days from September 11-23rd, 2018 at Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Western North Carolina Agricultural Center

1301 Fanning Bridge Rd
Fletcher, NC
(828) 687-1414
 
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Western North Carolina Agricultural Center offers several exhibit halls featuring equestrian shows, dog shows, rodeos, car shows, just to name a few. The Ag Center is home to the Mountain State Fair, a ten day celebration of mountain living featuring exhibits, animals, a midway and food. Located 11 miles from downtown Hendersonville.

YMCA

64 W.
Hendersonville, NC
828-692-5774
 
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Organized activities, day camp, indoor pool, tennis, basketball, gym, fitness studio, weight room, youth center