With a national forest, a state recreational forest and a state park, families with children have plenty to do in the great outdoors in Transylvania County. Pisgah National Forest 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 in the Pisgah Forest community.
One of the most popular spots in the forest is Sliding Rock. The site charges a daily fee of $3 per person and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day, when lifeguards and other staff are on duty. From the forest entrance on U.S. 276, 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.
In 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 conducted. To get to the center, travel 4 miles from the forest entrance on U.S. 276 and then take a left on FR 475 for 2 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 will open on Saturday, May 26, through Monday, May 28, and then close on Tuesday, May 29, through Thursday, June 7. It will reopen on Friday, June 8, and be open daily until Aug. 12. It will then be open weekends only after Aug. 12, with the exception of Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, which will be the last day the pool is open. Individual day passes are $2 per person, while family day passes are $7. For more information, go to www.cityo fbrevard.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 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 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/
•Transylvania Arts Council has a variety of classes for children and teens – inclulding pottery classes, introduction to digital photography, drawing and dance classes. Call (828) 994-2787 for more information or vsit www.tcarts.com
•The Champion Park pool in Rosman has been a popular destination for years. The pool will be open from noon until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until school gets out in early June. It will then be open daily from noon until 6 p.m. until the day before the first day of school in August. For more information, call (828) 884-7977. The park also has a softball field, basketball court, tennis court, a playground and access to the French Broad River.
•The Brevard Rock Gym, 240-B S. Broad St., is a great place for children to get exercise, to have fun and to learn about rock climbing. Call (828) 884-7625 or go to www.brevardrockgym.com
•Another popular pasttime is gem mining. There are several locations in the county to dig deep for treasure (see the story about gem mines in this publication).
•One helpful resource for 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://transy lvania.ces.ncsu.edu); Bethany Baptist, ages 3 through sixth grade (www.bethanybaptist ministries.org); Boys & Girls Club, ages first grade through 12th grade (http://www.bg ctransylvania.org); Brevard Health and Racquet Club swim and tennis camps, all ages (http://www.brevardhealthandracquet club.net/home); Brevard Rock Gym, ages 4-10 (www.brevardrockgym.com); Brevard College Campus Adventures, grades 1-7, July 9-13, (https://www.brevard.edu/CampusAdventures); Brevard Community Church, grades 1-6 (www.brevardcommunity.org); Brevard Wesleyan, ages 4 through fifth grade (www.brevardwesleyan.com); Cherryfield Baptist, ages nursery through sixth grade (www.cherryfieldbc.com); Carr’s Hill Baptist, ages 4 through fifth grade (http://www.carrshillbaptist.com/); First United Methodist Church, ages kindergarten through eighth grade, (www.brevardfumc.org); Little River Baptist, ages kindergarten through fifth grade (http://www.lrbchurch.org/); Morningside Baptist, ages kindergarten through fifth grade (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 (http://www.pf baptist.org/); Rise & Shine, ages kindergarten through 12th grade (http://www.riseshine.org); SAFE-Girls Empowerment Camp, ages fifth grade through eighth grade, Aug. 6-10 at Transylvania Parks and Recreation Center (firstname.lastname@example.org); The Family Place (Call 883-4857); TC Arts Council, ages 5-12 (www.tcarts.org); Turkey Creek Baptist, ages 3-18 (http://dev.tbanc.org/?page_id=103); Unitarian Universalists camps, ages 4-11 (www.uutc.org). The county is also home to a number of summer camps (see the story about summer camps in this publication).