With a national forest, a state recreational forest and a state park, there are a wealth of things for families with children to do in the great outdoors in Transylvania County this summer.
Pisgah National Forest, for example, offers many fun outdoor activities. Tubing on the shallow portions of the Davidson River is great fun, and tubes may be rented at the entrance to the forest.
One of the most popular spots in the forest is Sliding Rock. The site charges a daily fee of $2 per person and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from May 26-Sept. 3, when lifeguards and other staff are on duty. From the forest entrance in Pisgah Forest, travel about 8 miles. Sliding Rock will be on your left.
The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education has several programs specifically geared toward young people. At the center there are live fish in aquariums, small terrestrial vertebrates and native plants in terrariums, and mounted specimens of bobcats, owls and other birds representative of a mountain cove habitat. The center includes specific programs for young people that focus on the natural world.
The center also houses the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery, where, for a quarter, you can feed the trout. Fly fishing classes are also hosted. To get to the center, travel four miles from the forest entrance on U.S. 276 and then take a left on FR 475 for two miles. Admission is free at the center. Call (828) 877- 4423 for more information or go to www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Education-Centers/Pisgah.
At 11 miles from the forest’s entrance is the Cradle of Forestry. The Cradle houses a Forest Discovery Center, which includes 15 hands-on activities. Also on the grounds are exhibits, including a steam engine. DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park have many trails perfect for hiking, mountain biking or horse riding, plus trail destinations to many waterfalls and other sites.
The following are some of the many other options for family friendly fun:
In Brevard, Franklin Park on Lakeview Avenue includes a swimming pool operated by the city and a wonderful play area for children. The pool is open daily until school begins in August. Individual day passes are $2 per person, while family day passes are $7. For more information, go to www.cityofbrevard.com.
Basketball and tennis courts are open — and free — on the grounds of the Silvermont Mansion on East Main Street in Brevard. The park is open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day. The park also has a new playground.
The Transylvania County Library on South Broad Street in Brevard has several programs throughout the summer (see story and listing in this publication’s calendar), while the Rockin’ Bowl bowling alley (828-884-2695) on U.S. 64 in Brevard and the Co-ed Theatre (828-883-2200) on West Main Street provide other distractions. The Co-ed also offers several free children’s movies during the summer. For more information, go to www.coedcinema.com.
The Transylvania County Parks and Recreation Department provides activities and various camps for young people during the summer months. The department’s activity center is located on Ecusta Road behind the Pisgah Forest Elementary School. In the center’s gym, there are courts for basketball, volleyball and badminton. The center also has gymnastic equipment. The Recreation Department oversees 34 acres at the activity center. On the grounds are softball, soccer and multi-purpose fields, a playground, horseshoes and shuffleboard facilities. For more information, call (828) 884-3156 or go to https://tcpr.recdesk.com/recdeskportal.
The Champion pool and park in Rosman has been a popular destination for years. The park also has a softball field, basketball court, a playground and access to the French Broad River.
Another popular past time is gem mining. There are several locations in the county to dig deep for treasure (see the story about gem mines).
One helpful resource on things for children to do this summer is the Transylvania Resource Access Information Network (TRAIN), which may be found at www.transylvaniaresources.com.
There are a number of other day camps this summer (unless noted, the camps occur throughout the summer): 4-H, ages 5-18 (https://transylvania.ces.ncsu.edu); Bethany Baptist, ages 3 through sixth grade (www.bethanybaptistministries.org); Boys & Girls Club, ages first grade through 12th grade (www.bgctransylvania.org); Brevard Health and Racquet Club swim and tennis camps, all ages (www.brevardhealthandracquetclub.net/home); Brevard Rock Gym, ages 4-10 (www.brevardrockgym.com); Brevard College Campus Adventures, grades 1-7, July 10-14, (www.brevard.edu/CampusAdventures); Brevard College Soccer, ages 4-14, June 26-29 (www.bobwinchsoccer.com); Brevard College Basketball, ages 6-13, June 26-29 (www.bctornados.com); Brevard Community Church, grades 1-6 (www.brevardcommunity.org); Brevard Wesleyan, ages 4 through fifth grade, June 11-15 (www.brevardwesleyan.com); Cherryfield Baptist, ages nursery through sixth grade, July 10-14 (www.cherryfieldbc.com); Carr’s Hill Baptist, ages 4 through fifth grade, June 27-30 (www.carrshillbaptist.com/); First United Methodist Church, ages kindergarten through eighth grade, July 31-Aug. 4 (www.brevardfumc.org); Little River Baptist, ages kindergarten through fifth grade (www.lrbchurch.org/); Morningside Baptist, ages kindergarten through fifth grade, July 9-13 (www.morningsidebc.net); Mountain Roots Day Camp, ages 4-11 (http://www.moun tainroots.org); Muddy Sneakers, grades 1-7 (https://muddysneakers.org); Pisgah Forest Baptist, ages 3 through fifth grade, June 24 (www.pfbaptist.org/); Rise & Shine, ages kindergarten through 12th grade (www.riseshine.org ); SAFE-Girls Empowerment Camp, ages fifth grade through eighth grade, Aug. 14-18 (email@example.com); The Family Place (Call 883-4857); TC Arts Council, ages 5-12, June 26-30 (www.tcarts.org); Turkey Creek Baptist, ages 3-18, July 16-20 (www.dev.tbanc.org); Unitarian Universalists camps, ages 4-11, Aug. 10 and 18 (www.uutc.org).
The county is also home to a number of summer camps (see the story about summer camps).