Whether you’re looking for a place to play with the kiddos or to decompress with some off-screen time, Asheville has 55+ parks and recreational spots for you to enjoy.
Ready to plan your trip to the park? Grab your shades and trusty water bottle — here are some of the 828’s best:
Botanical Gardens at Asheville, 151 WT Weaver Blvd.
Explore 10 acres of native plants and explore the rich world of Southern Appalachian habitats at this local community garden. Admission is free but donations are encouraged.
Bent Creek River Park, 1610 Brevard Rd., Asheville
Find mountain biking trails, hiking paths, and plenty of grills and picnic spots at this riverside oasis. The sloped bank also makes for a great spot to launch boats, canoes, and kayaks.
NC Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville
This sprawling park is part of the Bent Creek Experimental Forest (right alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway) and offers 434 acres of gardens, trails, and botanically-diverse plants. Fun fact: The arboretum was originally dreamt up by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
Hominy Creek River Park, 220 Hominy Creek Rd., Asheville
With a direct link to the French Broad Greenway and accompanying French Broad River, you couldn’t ask for a better location for a park (especially in the summer). Since there’s a boat ramp, it’s also a great spot to drop in for a tube, kayak, or canoe ride down the river.
WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Rd., Asheville
Black bears, red wolves, otters, and red pandas await you at this 42-acre educational center. Pro tip: Get free admission with a Buncombe County Public Library ZOOM Pass.
Collier Cove Nature Preserve, 194 Rhododendron Dr., Arden
With 29+ acres of hillside woodland, there’s plenty of room to roam here. Serious hikers will also enjoy two miles worth of steep and strenuous trails. While you’re there, you can also catch beautiful views of the eastern Butler mountain range.
Lake Julian Park, 37 Lake Julian Rd., Arden
Bask in gorgeous views and enjoy amenities like sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a disc golf course, and walking trails. Plus, there’s great fishing here.
Silver-Line River Park, 1050 Riverside Dr., Woodfin
Woodfin’s newest park opened to the public in 2022. The five-acre plot has wonderful river access, swinging benches, a children’s playground, public restrooms, and walking trails. See a bird’s eye view.
Charles D. Owen Park, 875 Warren Wilson Rd., Swannanoa
An idyllic spot near the Swannanoa River with fishing ponds, basketball courts, baseball fields, picnic shelters, and walking trails.
Carrier Park, 220 Amboy Rd., Asheville
Carrier has something for everyone, including basketball and volleyball courts, baseball fields, a giant playground, and the famed “Mellowdrome,” which is perfect for skating or biking.
Lake Louise Park, Lake Louise Dr., Weaverville
Situated on 15.5 acres, this lakeside park boasts monkey bars, a climbing wall, six slides, exercise equipment, and more. Don’t miss the old red water wheel (said to be the remains of the area’s oldest gristmill site) — it makes for a lovely photo backdrop.
Murphy-Oakley Park, 715 Fairview Rd., Asheville
This park packs a lot in its 7.7 acres, including bouncy animals, a swing set, three slides and more. Added bonus? Stop into the Oakley Library story time or to check out some books when you leave the park.
Roy Pope Memorial Park, 45 Jonestown Rd., Woodfin
A huge and huggable dragon that’s situated between two climbable castles is a selling point on its own, but then you consider the large pyramid-shaped rope climbing web and know this is a kid’s dream.
French Broad River Park, 508 Riverview Dr., Asheville
This riverside park, which most locals consider the most lively dog park in town, offers two fenced-in play areas and is a great place for dog owners to chat. Pro tip: Snag a latte, smoothie, or brunch dish from Homeground Coffee Bar & Deli afterwards.
Azalea Dog Park, 395 Azalea Rd., Asheville
Azalea is arguably the most peaceful dog park in town, thanks to its sprawling acreage, minimal crowds, and nearby river access.
Buncombe County Sports Park, 58 Apac Circle, Asheville
Buncombe County’s first-ever dog park, which just opened in May 2022, features two fenced-in play areas. County staff hope to add more amenities and water fountains in the future.
Sweeten Creek Brewing, 1127 Sweeten Creek Rd., Asheville
This local brewery, which offers weekly open mic, trivia, and live music, has recently added a 8,000-sqft fenced area to the mix so dogs can frolic with their humans in harmony in the brewery’s grassy meadow.
Wagbar, 320 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville
This outdoor, interactive 25,000-sqft bar offers ramps, tunnels, and a permanent pool to keep your dog entertained for hours. There’s also plenty of shade, fans, and outdoor heating options — along with a plethora of snacks and beverages for purchase — to make the outdoors more bearable for humans.
Montford Park, 345 Montford Ave., Asheville
This 4.1-acre regal park is lodged in the middle of a historic neighborhood and offers two tennis courts, a basketball court, a playground, and plenty of grassy fields that are perfect for a calisthenics session.
Richmond Hill Park, 300 Richmond Hill Dr., Asheville
Jake Rusher Park, 132 State Rd. 3174, Arden
This recently upgraded neighborhood park has a playground, pavilion, basketball courts, and plenty of parking. Read about the park’s rich history.
Buncombe County Sports Park, 58 Apac Dr., Asheville
We’re listing this one twice because in addition to having a great dog park, this campus also features soccer fields, disc golf, walking trails, bocce courts, sand volleyball courts, and a playground.
Memorial Stadium, 32 Buchanan Pl., Asheville
This 28.8-acre park has a soccer field, track, volleyball courts, and a stadium of bleachers (stairs workout, anyone?). A project to upgrade the existing track into a six-lane competitive track is in the works.
Ready to visit these local parks but don’t know where to start? Check out this handy map so you can find all of these featured parks.