Outdoor Recreation

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 Hendersonville.

  • Nature Trails
  • Dog Parks
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area
  • Camping
  • Open Weather Permitting
  • Check web site for road conditions and closings

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

1800 Little River Rd
Flat Rock, NC 28731
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. Tour the home for a small fee, and learn about 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.

  • Open year-round. closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day
  • Admission charged for house tour

Cradle of Forestry in America

11250 Pisgah Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828-877-3130
 
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Open through October

The Cradle of Forestry in America is a 6,500-acre Historic Site within the Pisgah National Forest, set aside by Congress to commemorate the beginning of forestry conservation in the United States. Outdoor activities include two guided trails, which lead back in time to seven historical buildings, including a 1915 Climax locomotive and an old sawmill.

  • Reservations or Fees
  • Nature Trails
  • Dog Parks
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area

You can call the Cradle of Forestry during their normal business hours at 828-877-3130, or when they are closed, please call the Pisgah Ranger Station at 828-877-3265.

Dana Park

2879 Upward Road
Flat Rock, NC
828-697-4884
 
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  • Reservations or Fees
  • Athletic Field
  • Basketball Court
  • Playground
  • Picnic Area/Pavilion
  • Public Restrooms
  • Walking Path

Open Year Round

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

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

 
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Great Smoky Mountain National Park covers seven counties in North Carolina, with the northern fringe of the Smokies in Tennessee. The 520,000-acre park is one of the largest wilderness areas in the Eastern United States, covering more than 88 square miles. The park contains some of the highest peaks in the East, with elevations in excess of 6,000 feet. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, campgrounds, nature trails, trout fishing and several visitor centers.

  • Bicycle Trails
  • Reservations or Fees
  • Nature Trails
  • Dog Parks
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area
  • Camping

Open Year Round

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

Jackson Park

4th Ave E.
Hendersonville , NC
(828) 697-4884
 
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Jackson Park is the largest municipal-owned park in Western North Carolina, covering 220 acres.

  • Bicycle Trails
  • Reservations or Fees
  • Nature Trails
  • Dog Parks
  • Athletic Field
  • Basketball Court
  • Playground
  • Tennis
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area

Open Year Round

Jump Off Rock

4433 Laurel Park Highway
Laurel Park, NC 28739
828-693-4840
 
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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.

There are three hiking trials at Jump Off Rock, varying in length and difficulty. Blue Trail – easy trail, takes about 8 minutes, Yellow Trail – moderate trail, takes around 15 minutes & Red Trail – is the most difficult and the longest. See the sign at the entrance to the walkway leading to Jump Off Rock.

  • Nature Trails
  • Hiking
  • Scenic Overlook
  • Open Year Round

Lake Julian Park & Recreation Area

406 Overlook Rd Ext
Arden, NC 28704
828-684-0376
 
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Lake Julian Park is a family recreational facility located on the banks of 300-acre Lake Julian in Arden, off of Long Shoals Road. The park offers picnicking, boating, fishing, a playground, outdoor games and special events.

  • Reservations or Fees
  • Nature Trails
  • Playground
  • Boating, Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Picnic Area
  • Open Year-round

Lake Lure Beach, Marina & Water Park

2724 Memorial Hwy
Lake Lure, NC 28746
828-625-1373
 
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The Lake Lure 27 miles of shoreline was selected by National Geographic as one of the Ten Most Spectacular man-made lakes in the World. The lake offers a marina, boat tours and a sandy beach. Located 14 miles east of Hendersonville

  • Reservation or Fees
  • Dog Parks
  • Swimming
  • Basketball Court
  • Playground
  • Tennis
  • Boating, Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Picnic Area
  • Open May – September

Lazy Otter Outfitters

10 Banner Farm Rd.
Mills River, NC 28759
828-756-1386
 
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Lazy Otter headquarters is located at the end of Horse Shoe bend along French Broad River. Lazy Otter offers commercial-quality tubes with back rests, a cup holder and handles, a variety of kayaks, and canoes. Reservations are suggested.

Oklawaha Greenway Trail

Connects: Jackson, Patton, Berkley, Sullivan & William H. King Parks
Hendersonville, NC
 
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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.

Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education & Fish Hatchery

1401 Fish Hatchery Rd
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828-877-4423
 
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Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is located in Pisgah National Forest. The Center’s indoor and outdoor attractions include: aquariums, hands-on exhibits, garden display, special programs, viewing and feeding of the hatchery trout. Free admission.

Open year-round:
December – March: Open Monday – Friday 8 am – 4:45 pm
April – November: Open Monday – Saturday 8 am – 4:45 pm

Pisgah National Forest

1600 Pisgah Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC
(828) 877-3265
 
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The Pisgah National Forest 501,691 acres stretches across the eastern edge of Western North Carolina’s mountains. The Forest offers hiking trails, fishing, camping, picnic sites, and spectacular waterfalls. The attractions include Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, Pisgah Forest State Fish Hatchery, Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, The Cradle of Forestry and the North Mills River Recreational Area.

Sliding Rock – Pisgah National Forest

7851 Pisgah Highway
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
(828) 885-7625
 
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  • Parking fees during summer season (Memorial Day – Labor Day), and on weekends until end of October
  • Restrooms available when park is staffed (see above)
  • Located 7.6 miles from the junction of US Highways 64 and 276
  • 60-foot smooth rock face natural water slide that leads down into a 7-foot deep pool
  • Lifeguard on duty May – September, as well as Saturdays & Sundays until the end of October from 10am – 6pm
  • Personal Flotation Devices available when park is staffed ($5)

See website for rules and regulations!

Snow Skiing

hendersonville, NC
800-438-7500
 
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Two slopes are within an hour’s drive of Hendersonville. Check availability and snow conditions in advance st skicentral.com, onthesnow.com or goskinc.com

The Park at Flat Rock

55 Highland Lake Golf Dr.
Flat Rock , NC
(828) 697-8100
 
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  • Reservations or Fees
  • Nature Trails
  • Playground
  • Picnic Area
  • Dates Open – Year Round

Check out the Village of Flat Rock’s website here (for info on volunteering or reserving the park) or the Flat Rock Park Foundation’s website here (for info on what’s going on in the park or for the history of the park).

Western North Carolina Nature Center

75 Gashes Creek Rd
Asheville , NC
828-298-5600
 
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The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region’s rich biodiversity. The property is comprised of 42 acres of plants and animals native to the region. Open 7 days per week, year-round with indoor and outdoor exhibits, and many educational and events throughout the year. Located 21 miles from Hendersonville.

Facilities include:

  • Reservations or Fees
  • Nature Trails
  • Picnic Area

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

578 Valley View Circle
Mars Hill, NC 28754
828-689-4111
 
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Wolf Ridge Ski Resort offers skiing, snowboarding, lessons, tubing and lodging, and is located just 5 miles off I-26 and 50 minutes north of Hendersonville.

Check their website for info on pricing, mountain conditions and availability.