A 60-Foot Natural Waterslide & Other Water Adventures
By Mark File
10 Ways To “Wet” Your Appetite for Fun
While you’ll find many beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls to see in the mountains, we suggest doing more than looking. Experience them first-hand with a variety of options. From high adventure water thrills to leisurely boat rides, there is something fun for everyone!
Waterslide Au Naturel
A perennial favorite way to beat the summer heat in the Asheville area is riding down the chilly waters of Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest. The natural waterslide is complete with 55-60 degree water for a refreshing plunge. Plus, many waterfalls are located nearby including Looking Glass Falls. See our guide to Sliding Rock natural waterslide.
Rappel Down a Waterfall
Here’s a great bucket list idea; no experience necessary! Take a canyoneering trip with Green River Adventures and rappel down Bradley Falls, deep in the Green River Gorge. After learning the basics, take a practice run on a 30-foot vertical wall before you tackle the 200-foot descent. Certified guides lead you all the way. A sure way to impress friends and family!
The entire family will enjoy stand-up paddle boarding down the French Broad River in Asheville with Wai Mauna with instruction from an expert guide from Maui, the birthplace of SUP. Choose from four informative tours, including the Sunrise Dawn Patrol where you paddle through the cool morning mist as the sun appears over the mountains.
Are you more in the mood for some pampering instead of adventure? French Broad Boatworks will take you on a guided scenic tour in a locally crafted wooden drift boat, complete with your personally paddler! In addition to sunrise and sunset tours, check out their birding trip and the River Arts District Tour.
Enjoy a challenging, rejuvenating and relaxing outdoor paddleboard yoga class on the river. There’s nothing like a relaxation pose floating on the water with the breeze blowing over your skin. No experience is necessary, since instructor Anna Levesque brings more than 20 years of paddling and yoga experience to her business Girls at Play.
Ride the rapids on the beloved Nantahala River that has produced dozens of Olympians and hosted four world championships. The family-friendly rapids guarantee laughs and fun-fueled screams, creating lifelong memories. With Wildwater Adventure Center, take an exhilarating eight-mile ride in raft or inflatable kayak, with or without a guide.
Easy River Kayaking
If you prefer a river sans the big rapids, raft, kayak or canoe down the French Broad River in Asheville through the woodlands of Biltmore Estate. Asheville Outdoor Center offers a seven-mile journey with shuttle service and a variety of rentals. Afterwards, relax with a local beer at their River Oasis Taproom.
Hit the Beach
Yes, a beach in the middle of the mountains! At Lake Lure, sun and play on their sandy beach with the dramatic mountain views of the Hickory Nut Gorge. Children of all ages love their lakeside water park with soaking games, slide, and water wars. Find another great beach complete with lifeguards at Lake James State Park in the shadows of Linville Gorge.
Float down the river with Zen Tubing, offering a choice of two trips in Asheville with the cushiest, comfiest tubes. One route floats you past plenty of islands and places to picnic and swim. The other takes you by the River Arts District. Bring a cooler full of your favorite beverages, and they’ll provide a float for them, too.
Fishing in Style
Fish in the ponds, lakes and river that George Vanderbilt and his guests explored on Biltmore Estate. Learn the essentials of casting with a guide at their Orvis Endorsed Fly-Fishing School. Then, take a half-day expedition to learn the secrets from the pros and go home an accomplished angler. For the kids, they offer a special two-hour class using conventional spinning or casting rods and tackle. All equipment is provided, so all you have to do is show up!