There are so many beautiful waterfalls in the mountains of Western North Carolina! Me and Dad love having waterfall adventures here:
- Hooker Falls - this has been our go-to waterfall for many years. A short hike and lot of fun. There is also a place where you can go behind the waterfall and a place where you can jump off of the waterfall, but not recommended.
- Looking Glass Falls - easy to get to and a great swimming hole. See our video there.
- Triple Falls - no swimming, but a great place to hike, and plus you can see where a part of the Hunger Games was filmed.
- Catawba Falls - a nice hike that is over a mile with so many small waterfalls on the way. See our hiking video to the falls.
- 2-5 hours
There are many great places to go cycling in the mountains of Western North Carolina! We love biking around the mountains. Here are some great spots;
- Lake Powhatan - this lake is surrounded by a biking trail but part of it is through the woods so you need to walk it first to get familiar with the terrain. There are also many other dirt trails going up in the woods, but requires more experience.
- Carrier Park - this is a great place to bike around the track and it also connect to the greenway!
- Bent Creek - there are many biking trails along this creek, but always be careful and wear your safety gear.
- Asheville Greenways - make sure you check out more options on the City of Asheville website!
- 1-4 hours
Sports & Recreation
There are many great sports and recreation activities to do in the mountains of Western North Carolina! Several organizations offer team activities, but here are some other things that you can do:
- Basketball, Volleyball, Cycling, and Roller Skating at Carrier Park
- Bowling in West Asheville or East Asheville
- Disc Golf, Volleyball, and Soccer at the Buncombe County Sports Park
- Tennis, Basketball, and Swimming at Malvern Hills Park
- 1-4 hours
There are many great places to go camping in the mountains of Western North Carolina! We love to camp and even took a camping trip to the beach not too long ago. Here are some spots to check out:
- Catawba Falls Campground - we went camping here right before we went hiking to see the waterfall at Catawba Falls. Such a great spot with RV sites, cabins, and tent sites.
- Lake Powhatan - a great place to camp with so many outdoor activities to do.
- KOA Candler - another great camping spot on the west side of town.
- KOA Swannanoa - Nana loved going to this spot because they have a pool!
- 1-2 days
There are many ways to contribute to the communities in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We love to help where we can and this is a good experience for kids to learn how to be a part of the community. Some of these activities may be aligned with Asheville Greenworks, ABCCM, Hearts With Hands or another great organization in the area. Or sometimes we can just plan together and do something on our own. Gigi spent a few hours cleaning up the river the goes along the dog park in Swannanoa last year.
- 1-5 hours
There are many great playgrounds in the mountains of Western North Carolina that are so much fun. We have pretty much stopped at all of them, from the small one at All Souls Episcopal, to Carrier Park. Here are a few that you should check out:
- Lake Julian Park - we have been going here since Gigi was just a year old, and now they have a new playground too!
- Carrier Park - we have been having fun in the park for ages and now they just added a bunch of greenways so this is a great place to cycle as well.
- All Souls Episcopal Church - there is this tiny playground right in Biltmore Village that is usually open. We have always stopped by there for at least a few minutes and made an experience out of it.
- Robert Lake Park in Montreat NC - when we lived in Black Mountain, we loved visiting this great park!
- Roy Pope Memorial Park in Woodfin NC - a nice playground right near the Woodfin Police Department.
- Lake Louise Park in Weaverville NC - since my Nana lived in Weaverville, we always visited this park. A great spot and lots of fun.
- Buncombe County Sports Park - we love going to this park, to the playground, playing volleyball or soccer, and a nice walking trail as well.
- 1-3 hours
There are many great lakes in the mountains of Western North Carolina that are so much fun.
- Lake Lure - North Carolina
- Lake Louise - Weaverville North Carolina
- Lake Julian - South Asheville / Skyland
- Lake Powhatan - West Asheville
- Lake James - Nebo NC
- Lake Tomahawk - Black Mountain
- Fontana Lake - North Carolina
- 2-5 hours
There are several great beaches in the mountains of Western North Carolina that are so much fun. Here's a great list to get you started on your next adventure:
- Lake Powhatan - me and Dad visit this lake beach regularly. They have swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, a waterfall, and lots of nature.
- Lake Lure - this beach is one of a kind when it comes to mountain beaches. They have a small waterpark and a small town area around the lake. We also bumped into some people fishing with their feet for fresh water clams at the deep end of the swimming area.
- Lake James - we love traveling to this lake to meet friends for the day. It's a great mountain beach with lots of water spots including SUP boards, boats, and more.
- Lake Fontana - in the finger-lakes section of this lake, there is a beach. If you rent a pontoon boat like we did, you can find a bunch of small beach areas along the lakeside.
- Wildcat Lake - we have not been here yet, but it is on our list!
- Lake Glenville - this is another mountain beach that we have not experienced, but we are heading that way soon!
- 2-5 hours
Hiking in the mountains of Western North Carolina is so much fun. And it's not just all about getting a workout, but that is great too! Hiking together as a parent / child team brings so many good times forth. The talk while you walk. The questions your child asks. The nature that you get to experience together. The energy that the mountains seem to give to each of us. We love to go hiking regularly, so if that is your thing and you are looking to team up with us, let's make a plan! Here are some great hikes that you can take on your own:
- 2-5 hours
The are so many great spots to go boating in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We recently went to Fontana Lake and it was so wonderful. Here's a list of lakes and rivers that you can go boating on in Asheville and beyond.
- Lake Fontana -
- Lake James -
- Lake Julian -
- Lake Lure -
- 1-6 hours