With Labor Day approaching, so too draws nigh summer’s end. But before that happens, why not squeeze in one last mountain getaway to escape the heat of the “dog days” of summer? Here you can take advantage of those cool traditions that make Ashville so special…chill with a frosty mug of beer at one of the area’s breweries, hike to one of the hundreds of nearby waterfalls or, better yet, take a dip in one of those famous “swimmin’ holes” you’ve probably heard tell about!
Located a short drive from Engadine, you’ll find a few of our favorites…
Sliding Rock– This is, hands down, the “Mac Daddy” of area swimming holes. Located off of US 276 between Brevard (about 8 miles) and the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 10 miles), sliding rock has be entertaining kids of all ages for generations. It’s actually a waterfall…a large, flat rock over which thousands of gallons of chilly (about 60 degrees!) water flow each minute. Swimmers line up to slide over down the rock to plunge into a large pool at the base. It’s also a great place to picnic or to bask in the sun on the rocks or to people watch from the observation decks.
Looking Glass Falls– IMHO, Looking Glass falls is one of the most beautiful, serene and elegant waterfalls in Western North Carolina. It’s also on US 276…literally beside the road…near Sliding Rock. It has a large parking area and an observation deck from which you can take a few memorable selfies. It’s also a great place for a swim or to just wade around in the stream. There is a large pool at the base of the waterfall and the stream below is dotted with large boulders offering an easy escape from the chilly waters. Looking Glass is also unique in that visitors are allowed to actually swim under the falling water when conditions are deemed to be safe.
Hooker Falls– Hooker is one of the falls on the Little River below High Falls and Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest. While not as dramatic as the others, Hooker and the pool below it are tame enough to actually get into the water. (DO NOT get in the water above or below the other two falls for ANY reason!) The water drops over a granite wall that is about 10-12 feet high into a wide and shallow basin in the river which offers swimmers a stable, if rocky, bottom and relatively slow moving currents. You’ll see lots of folks just sitting on the bottom and letting the river flow around and past them. There is a nearby large parking area and plenty of spots for picnic near or around the falls.
Skinny Dip Falls– You have to love the name! But don’t be tempted to actually skinny dip…the park rangers will not be happy nor very accommodating if you do! Regardless, it’s still a great and more out of the way spot for enjoying a dip in a cool mountain stream on a steamy summer day. What makes Skinny Dip fun and more interesting is that the water tumbles over multiple levels of rock into smaller shallow pools on its way down. These small pools are great spots to sit and enjoy the water passing by. The pool at the base is about 6 feet deep and is surrounded by rocks and boulders that are great “jumping off” spots. Skinny Dip Falls is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Milepost 417.
Lake Lure– If your idea of swimming includes a sandy beach, nearby Lake Lure might be more your style. Lake Lure and Chimney Rock State Park are located on NC 9 west of I-26 near Hendersonville, about an hour drive from Engadine. Lake Lure sits at the base of the Hickory Nut Gorge and in a charming little “old school” resort community of the same name. While access to the beach requires paying an entrance fee, it also comes with the convenience of concessions and the safety provided by paid lifeguards. In addition to the beach, a small marina is located nearby where pontoon boat charters are available if you prefer to go out on the lake for a swim. And, is Chimney Rock State Park is just up the road if you want to add hiking to your day at the lake.
So if you’ve got one last spare weekend and are looking for a way to beat the heat of summer’s end, we’re sure you’ll enjoy splashing around in one of our “neighborhood’s” swimmin’ holes. Book your stay with us and we’ll make sure you find the one that’s perfect for you!