Reunion Adventures In The Mountains
You don’t have to look far to find something entertaining to do in the North Carolina Mountains. With abundant trails, meandering rivers and plentiful waterfalls to discover, planning an adventure to satisfy the whole family is easy.
If your family loves outdoor fun, River and Earth Adventures can supply it. This Boone outfitter offers everything from cave exploration to canoeing and kayaking. Families can rent bikes and explore 20 miles of riverfront country roads or escape the heat during a one-to-three hour tubing adventure. Even the youngest members of the family can get in on the action; kids as young as three can join the family on a rafting adventure. If horseback riding is more your pace, Dutch Creek Trails in Sugar Grove will pair you with the perfect horse and trail to match your experience. Enjoy the views from atop your steed and then relax by the fire as you listen to the Cowboy Poet weave his tales of life on a farm.
For families that need to entertain both toddlers and teenagers, Tweetsie Railroad might be your answer. North Carolina’s first amusement park, located in Blowing Rock, has thrilling rides and arcade games for the older kids and playgrounds and petting zoos for the younger ones. The whole family will enjoy the scenic train ride, gem mining and theater shows.
In Hendersonville, Jackson Park is a great place for a family picnic. Tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, nature trails and a BMX track all entice kids to play. Near Asheville, families flock to Sliding Rock during the summertime. This natural waterfall produces the most refreshing waterslide nature has ever created. The line can sometimes get long, but sliding down this flat, sloping boulder into a pool of chilly mountain water might be the most memorable thing you do all summer.
If rain has got you searching for indoor fun, head over to Fun Depot in Asheville. This 64,000 square foot complex offers a variety of options for the entire family. Batting cages, indoor and outdoor go-karts, a miniature golf course, arcade, climbing wall, mini bowling and a two-story laser tag arena will keep kids occupied for hours. A soft play area with slides, tunnels and a bounce area will thrill the little kids.
At the end of the day, enjoy the chance to show your kids just how bright and numerous the night stars can be. The Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) in Tryon is a great place for stargazing and offers astronomy events throughout the year. Be sure to check their website for program names and times.
In Franklin, the Little Tennessee River Greenway is a place that the whole family can explore. Younger kids will enjoy the large playground and frolicking in the sprayground while teens will like the hiking and mountain biking trails, canoeing along the river or trying their hand at Frisbee golf.
There might not be snow on the ground in the summer, but that doesn’t stop the people at Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center in Highlands from offering a unique summer tubing experience. Kids as young as four can soar down an artificial turf covered mountain and experience the thrill of snow tubing without the bite of frosty air. Scaly Mountain also offers trout fishing. For $4.95 a pound they will lend you the rods, reels, bait and tackle you need to catch as much fish as you can eat. For a small additional fee they will even clean and ice your catch or cook it for you in their restaurant.
added: March 26, 2010
updated: April 1, 2010