Natural Swimming Holes in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina
The most popular natural waterslide in North Carolina is Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard. Slide down a 60-foot smooth rock waterfall into a pool of chilly water. Bathrooms and showers are open during the summer swimming season and the area is lifeguard protected from Memorial Day to mid August. See photos and more in our Sliding Rock Guide.
Skinny Dip Falls
Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway via a 1/2-mile hiking trail, Skinny Dip has beautiful waterfalls, a jumping off rock and several areas to soak and wade in very cool mountain waters. See our Skinny Dip Falls Guide.
Looking Glass Falls
Drive two miles down U.S. 276 (toward Brevard) from Sliding Rock and you will come upon Looking Glass Falls. At the bottom of this 60 foot waterfall is a pool perfect for wading. See our Looking Glass Falls Guide.
Gorges State Park
Turtleback Falls on the Horsepasture River features more wet rocks to slide on. It's near the beautiful Rainbow Falls, access from Gorges State Park. It requires a hike of approximately four miles roundtrip. See our Turtleback Falls Guide.
Cashiers Sliding Rock
If you are closer to the Cashiers area, enjoy the "other" and less-known sliding rock. See our Highlands Waterfalls Guide for more.
Bust Your Butt Falls
If you are in the Cashier and Highlands area, check out this swimming and sliding area along U.S. Highway 64 (also known as Quarry Falls or Bust-Yer-Butt Falls). For added excitement, there is a "jump off" rock for diving into the chilly waters. See our Highlands Waterfalls Guide for more.
Nantahala River Beach & Jump Off Rock
Enjoy riverside sunning and splashing at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Just a few miles up river from NOC is Jump Off Rock (photo on right). There is a small parking area along U.S. Highway 74. If you are rafting, you can park your raft, climb and jump!
Lake Lure Beach
Enjoy a sandy beach in the mountains on Lake Lure, near Chimney Rock. See our Lake Lure Guide.
Whitewater River Fun
Enjoy the rivers on a raft or inflatable kayak. See our Whitewater Rafting Guide. Nantahala River always has the coldest water!
Green River Tubing & Kayaking
Rent a tube and set sail for a lazy day on the calm, Green River, another popular swimming hole. Head east on I-26 from Asheville to Saluda. Take exit 59 and head north on Holbert Cove Road to Green River Cove Road and turn left to the swimming area at the bottom. Read more in our Saluda Guide.
Great Smoky Mountains Tubing
Rent a tube and float down Deep Creek on the North Carolina side of the Smokies near Bryson City. See our Deep Creek Guide.
Under the bridge along route 215, not far from Cold Mountain (on which Charles Frazier’s book and the recent Miramax Films movie is based) is a popular swimming hole that appeals to families. Restrooms and picnic facilities are within a short walk. Take the famed Blue Ridge Parkway south out of Asheville to the Route 215 exit and head north about 8.5 miles.