There’s a lot to look forward to when you’re in North Carolina. No matter what the season is, there’s always something special that awaits you in the state. But among all of the seasons that the state experiences, summer is one of the locals and tourists’ favorite.
During the summer season, the state is frequented by both locals and tourists because of the beautiful North Carolina beaches that it boasts of. But this state has more to offer than its gorgeous beaches. In summer, the state is also famous for its natural slide called the Sliding Rock. Located in the heart of Pisgah National Forest, this place is one of the best places to cool off from the summer heat, especially if you’re looking for some freshwater adventure. And if you’re looking for your next summer destination, we highly recommend this place. But before you go, here are some pieces of info we gathered that we think might help you enjoy your visit even more.
- 1 Planning a Trip to Sliding Rock NC
- 2 Sliding Rock NC Tips
- 3 More Activities Near Sliding Rock NC
- 4 More Attractions Near Sliding Rock
- 5 Places to Stay in North Carolina
Planning a Trip to Sliding Rock NC
Aside from beaches, North Carolina also has other spots to help you cool down from the summer heat. One of which is the Sliding Rock NC. For starters, it’s 60-foot tall waterfall. But what makes it different from the other waterfalls we’ve grown familiar to is that you can slide on it. And the best part of it is that even kids can try it out too. But because of its popularity, we highly suggest that you plan your trip well first. In this way, you can get to maximize your visit. First off the list, let’s get to know when the best time to visit this place.
Sliding Rock NC Hours
Like any most waterfalls, you can visit Sliding Rock almost any time of the year. However, lifeguards on duty aren’t always available. Between April 4 and May 7, the site has no lifeguard on duty during weekends. From May 22 to September 30, lifeguards are also not on duty, as well as on the weekends between October 1 and 31. Hence, if you’re not confident about your swimming skills, we suggest avoiding these dates.
Sliding Rock also closes when the water gets dangerously high, as well as when there is lightning detected in the area due to summer storms.
Now that you know the dates to when should you go, let’s take a look at how you can plan your travel budget too.
Sliding Rock NC Rates
If you decide to give this waterfall a visit, remember, not all good things come for free. Sliding Rock is also one of it. But there’s no need to fret much as the cost to enter this recreational area won’t require you to break the bank. Apparently, it only costs $3 per person (from four years old to adult) when the staff members are on duty. You can either pay it with cash or through credit card). And if you get to visit it during “off’ hours, you won’t need to pay for anything but donations are encouraged. However, during this time, restrooms are closed.
Getting to Sliding Rock NC
Getting to Sliding Rock isn’t easy when you use GPS because it can get you lost in the waterfall’s area. Cellphone services are also limited. But don’t panic; we suggest that you use our suggested route instead. If you’re from Asheville, drive I-26 East to Exit 40 for Highway 280. Then, take a right to Highway 280 West and go 16 miles toward Brevard. Once you enter Brevard, make sure to keep an eye for a big shopping center on the right side of the street. Then, just past the center, turn right onto US Highway 276 North to enter the Pisgah National Forest. Then, drive for 7.6 miles to a parking area on the left. From the Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 412, take US 276 South which is about 7.5 miles.
But these aren’t the only things you need to take note of. We listed more tips so you can easily get around the area and enjoy every second of your visit more.
Sliding Rock NC Tips
- Sliding Rock has several observation areas. Here, you can just watch the sliders have fun under the sun enjoying the waters. Check first if this activity is for you or just watch the sliders if you don’t want to get wet, don’t forget to check this area too.
- If you plan to visit during off days, we still suggest that you bring cash or card with you.
- At the end of the slide, an eight-foot deep pool awaits you. Hence, make sure you know how to swim.
- But don’t worry if you don’t know how to swim. The site has personal flotation device available and you can rent them.
- Children who are under seven years old aren’t allowed to slide alone. Make sure that adults accompany them.
- The place is not like a swimming pool, though, that is made of smooth tiles to walk on. Since the place is all-natural and you’re sliding on the rock, it is recommended that you wear water shoes.
- Because it is one of the famous go-to sites in North Carolina, especially during summer, the parking area often gets filled up and closes periodically during weekends. If you’re bringing your own car with you, make sure that you avoid visiting during peak hours, which is from 12 to 4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. We also suggest that you carefully plan your visit in July as the parking area during this moth also easily gets filled even on weekdays.
- We also suggest that you slide only in a sitting position to protect your head from bumping on the rocks.
- Even if it’s an area filled with freshwater, don’t forget to bring your own drinkable water so you’ll still be hydrated during hot summer days.
- And because it’s located in a forested area, don’t expect that there’s WiFi or even mobile phone reception. But even without these, we’re sure that you will enjoy it.
- If you plan to bring packed food and drinks, note that alcoholic drinks are not allowed.
- However, picnicking is not allowed in the parking lot as this can cause congestion. If you want to have a picnic, you can do that at the Pink beds nearby. It’s four miles away but it’s worth the drive.
- There is also a café nearby, the Cradle of Forestry Café, where you can grab some snacks. Just turn left from the Sliding Rock and go four miles. Or, you can turn right and drive for eight miles to Brevard for more food options, including deserts and craft beers.
- Sliding Rock is also a place that welcomes pets. However, your furry friends must stay on a leash and remember that they aren’t allowed to slide.
More Activities Near Sliding Rock NC
In case you crave for more outdoor adventure, don’t worry, enjoying Sliding Rock is just one of the many activities in Pisgah National Forest, where Sliding Rock is located. The forest where it is located has more activities to offer than sliding on the said waterfall. One of which is biking. The site actually has plenty of bike trails for you to enjoy if you love biking. In fact, you can bike around 300 trails available.
If you want more a more thrilling activity, you can also try out rock climbing, rappelling, ice climbing, as well as mountaineering. The park has plenty of area for you to try these activities out.
Pisgah national Forest, where the Sliding Rock is located, is also home to the Davidson River. And this river, apparently is one of the best destination in the Southeast for fly fishing. Thus, if you want to try out your fishing skills, you can also go fly-fishing here.
In the same site where Sliding Rock is located, you can also enjoy horseback riding. This is because the site also has several horse trails and forest roads perfect for such activity.
If you want a more relaxed activity, Pisgah National Forest also has an activity for you. Since it’s a forest area, you can also enjoy a good view of nature here. Apart from beautiful sceneries, this place is also home to various plant species as well as wildlife.
And if you want to stay longer in the area, the national forest also has camping sites and cabins to offer.
If you crave for more adventure, don’t worry as Sliding Rock is also a stone throw away from different waterfalls and hiking sites. Check them out here.
More Attractions Near Sliding Rock
1Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass falls is also one of the well-known waterfalls in North Carolina. This is probably because of the easier access that it provides. As a matter of fact, this place can also be accessed by visitors with walking and mobility challenges. This also boasts of incredible site, especially when it is winter season. During the colder days of the year, the water freezes on its sides and when it does, it glistens in the sunlight like a looking glass, hence the name. It’s one of the most Instagram worthy places in North Carolina, especially during the afternoon or on a cloudy day.
2Moore Cove Falls
Speaking of the Looking Glass cave, once you visit it, don’t forget that there is another waterfalls nearby called Moore Cove falls. What makes it worth visiting is that it is one of the few waterfalls that you can walk from behind. It’s one of the waterfalls in the US that you shouldn’t miss too. However, there is no sign on the highway that will lead you to the Moore Cove Falls. Hence, you might not find it. But there is an information board located by the parking area that will give you directions on how to get to the waterfalls. Also, note that the place is frequented by many locals and tourists, especially during weekends and summer days. Thus, we suggest that you try to get there as early as you can if you want to avoid the crowd and get a good parking spot.
Another thing to love about the place is that the hike is relatively easy with just a few steep steps that are only mostly at the beginning of the hiking trail. Also, you will be treated with a nice view of a lush hardwood forest with carpets of fern and rosebay rhododendron.
Brevard is also home to many numerous waterfalls. In fact, it is named as North Carolina’s Land of Waterfalls and areas where you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and more outdoor activities. But aside from the waterfalls that it houses, it is also home to a main street filled with local shops, galleries and restaurants. Thus, if you want to see more of what the state has to offer, we highly recommend that you include this on your travel itinerary too
In addition to that, Brevard also has a gazebo in its stately courthouse sitting on its square. Here, you also get to enjoy community concerts, as well as other events, if you perfectly time your visit. Some of the most awaited events and festivals in Brevard are The White Squirrel Festival, Halloween fest, and the Twilight Tour.
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Places to Stay in North Carolina
Sliding Rock NC, including the attractions in the Pisgah National Forest along can be a bit tiring to explore. Because of that, it would be better to stay a night or two to fully explore and enjoy the national forest, as well as the attraction near it. If you plan to stay longer, don’t worry, we got your back. We listed some of the unique accommodations in South Carolina that we’re sure you will love too.
Omni Grove Park Inn
If you have more budget, one of the hotels we recommend is the Omni grove park Inn. It’s one of the most popular and luxurious places to stay when you’re in North Carolina. Here, you will be impressed by its rustic antique and elegant décor that fits perfectly with the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains nearby providing a beautiful backdrop. The best part of it, and probably a feature that makes it all the more unique, is its luxurious ambient spa that resembles natural caves and waterfalls that will truly relax and pamper you. Even the Obamas once stayed here for a weekend. That said, we’re sure you will love it here as well.
Frying Pan Tower
On the outside, you’ll already know that the Frying Pan Tower is a unique spot to spend the night when you’re in North Carolina. This is because it initially served as a US Coast Guard light station. It was only in 2010 that it was restored to preserve the look and feel of the original 1964 building and made as a bed and breakfast hotel. But it’s not the only thing that makes it unique. Apparently, this place is situated approximately 30 miles from bald Head Island. Plus, it is only accessible by a boat or a helicopter. That said, expect that you will be surrounded by water. Conquer your fears or test your courage in this unique hotel.
As kids, many of us loved tree houses. Here, we can play pretend and other games that spark our imagination. And if you want to reminisce about your childhood or try sleeping in a tree house (if you didn’t get it enjoy it during your childhood days), the treehouse Vineyards is for you if you’re looking for a unique place to stay in North Carolina. Here, as its name suggests, you have tree houses to sleep in. But you can also rent it for a date night or if you want to sip wine in privacy. Aside from its design, the place also has a winery where you can taste wines made from the first American grape called the muscadine, which is also native to the region. It’s the perfect place to reminisce your childhood days while sipping wine and relaxing.
Dillsboro Inn Riverfront Suites
If you’re a fan of the movie The Hobbit, you’ll definitely love The Hobbit House. Nestled deep into the mountains, which makes the theme all the more realistic, this place provides a unique place to stay that doubles as an Instagram worthy attraction as well. The best part of it is that pets are allowed. Hence, the whole family will enjoy it.
Just its exterior will make your jaw drop. In fact, this place already got featured in many movies, including the Last of the Mohicans, Richie Rich, and Forrest Gump. Giving off some Châteauesque-style, this place was initially built for George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895. But today, this place now serves as an accommodation welcoming guests looking for a beautiful place to stay in North Carolina. This historic place also boasts of in-house shops, restaurants, and outdoor adventures. People of all ages will surely enjoy this place. It’s one of the most beautiful places in North Carolina that will not just give you a comfortable place to stay but will also make you Instagram feed stunning.
Sky Ridge Yurts
This accommodation is actually based on a traditional Mongolian tent, which makes it unique. However, it has a twist. Instead of the run-of-the-mill type of vibe that requires you to sleep in mere sleeping bags and bug nets, this place lets its guests to cozy up in a room with a big bed complete with a heat and air conditioning. The best part of it is that it is surrounded by unparalleled mountain views. On top of that, it is just a few minutes away from the Nantahala River, a place where you can also take your whole family for whitewater rafting, fishing, and tubing in case you want to explore more of North Carolina.
Treetop Soaking Cabana
Located at Lakeview at Fontana, this place is also one of the accommodations that you need to consider. Aside from its comfortable rooms, this accommodation also lets you enjoy an open-air treetop cabana (as its name suggests) featuring an oversized stand-alone tub. Here, you can soak in in a bath with a selection of aromatic salts and enjoy a spectacular view of the Fontana Lake and the Smoky Mountains. And have we mentioned that the tub is large enough to accommodate two persons? Thus, you can also try it out with your significant other.
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Summer is really more fun in North Carolina because of its beaches and other water attractions and activities. especially when you’re in Sliding Rock NC, you’ll surely have a lot of fun because of the unique experience that it can give plus the jaw-dropping attractions near it.
But regardless of what the season is, we’re sure that North Carolina always has something to look forward to whether it’s your first time visiting the state or not. And the best part of it is that it has different places and activities to offer for people of all ages. It’s definitely one of the best summer destinations, especially for the whole family.