Asheville's Best Swimming Holes

Get ready to create your summer bucket list to explore some of Western North Carolina’s best swimming holes. Whether it’s a tranquil dip in a natural pool or an exhilarating slide down a cascade, there’s something for everyone. So grab your hiking boots, pack your swimsuit, and embark on an unforgettable summer adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A person standing at the edge of a clear forest stream, looking at a beautiful, wide waterfall surrounded by green foliage, embodying the essence of a Scout Guide exploration in a serene, natural setting.
WNC Best Swimming Holes
Image at Discover Jackson County

Silver Run Falls | Cashiers, NC

Silver Run Falls is just a quick drive from Cashiers, offering a delightful swimming spot in the mountains. With its 25-foot cascade into a tranquil pool and small beach area, it’s perfect for a refreshing dip. While it can get busy on hot days, it’s worth it for the family-friendly beach.

Approx. 1h 40m drive from Asheville

Schoolhouse Falls | Panthertown Valley, NC

Located in Jackson County, Schoolhouse Falls is a charming waterfall nestled within Panthertown Valley. While it stands at only about 20 feet tall, its beauty is unparalleled. As the most popular waterfall in the area, it attracts visitors with its refreshing pool, perfect for wading.

Approx. 1h 30m drive from Asheville

Hooker Falls | Brevard, NC

Near Brevard, Hooker Falls offers a picturesque swimming hole experience. A wide cascade empties into a deep, wide basin, making it a perfect spot to cool off on hot summer days. Its convenient location and easy access from the parking area make it a popular destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Approx. 1h drive from Asheville

Sliding Rock | Brevard, NC

Sliding Rock, a very popular natural waterslide sculpted by Looking Glass Creek, invites adventure-seekers to glide down its 60-foot cascade into an 8-foot pool. Gear up with water shoes and shorts for a smooth slide over the rocky surface. The water is chilly so a change of clothes and dry towels are a must. Aim for early visits or weekdays to dodge the crowds and maximize your sliding enjoyment.

Approx. 1h drive from Asheville

Whaleback Swimming Hole at Cove Creek Falls | Brevard, NC

Just a stone’s throw from Sliding Rock, you’ll find the Whaleback Swimming Hole, a calm 40-foot pool nestled among boulders. It’s the perfect spot for a refreshing dip and some relaxation, located near the Cove Creek Falls trailhead.

Approx. 1h drive from Asheville

Midnight Swimming Hole at Big Creek | Cataloochee, NC

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts the secluded Midnight Swimming Hole, a beautiful spot for a refreshing dip. Tucked away from the main trails, this hidden gem offers cool waters after a short hike through wildflowers making an ideal spot on a summer day. Don’t forget to leave the pup at home as dogs are not allowed in the national park!

Approx. 1h 15m drive from Asheville

Rocky Fork | Flag Pond, TN

Just over the border in Tennessee, Rocky Fork within the Cherokee National Forest boasts numerous swimming holes along its wide hiking path, each with gentle cascades leading into the next. It’s an ideal spot for a relaxing day in nature, perfect for families to enjoy together.

Approx. 40m drive from Asheville

Summer in Asheville and WNC means endless outdoor adventures surrounded by stunning mountains and refreshing waters. It’s the ultimate playground for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike!