AVL Guides    Lifestyle

From pools to swimming holes: 15+ swimming spots to cool you down

Paradise Falls | Photo by @liannerunslikeagirl

Here in the mountains of WNC, leaf seasonbetween late Sept. to late Nov. – gets a lot of press, while summer tends to get the short end of the stick. But for locals in the know, summer is the sweetest time to be here thanks to all of our great swimming spots, from pools to waterfalls, and swimming holes + lakes. Now before you say “oh ship!” don’t worry, we’re keeping your secret swimming holes under the current. 

So in honor of summer in all her flaming glory (it’s hot out there, y’all), we’ve rounded up the best ways to cool down this summer, plus all the info you need to make a day of it


All Asheville City pools are closed due to COVID-19.

🏊Buncombe County Pools are open with additional safety + sanitation measures in place. Two swimming sessions are scheduled Mon.-Fri. from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 2:15-5:15 p.m and on Sat. from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. Pools are open Sun. from 1-6 p.m. Cost is $3 per person and reservations are recommended due to reduced capacity

🌊 Cane Creek Pool, 590 Lower Brush Creek Rd., Fletcher

🌊 Erwin Pool, 58 Lees Creek Rd.

🌊 Hominy Valley Pool, 25 Twin Lakes Rd., Candler

🌊 North Buncombe Pool, 892 Clarks Chapel Rd., Weaverville

🌊 Owen Pool, 117 Stone Dr., Swannanoa 

🏊Asheville Jewish Community Center, 236 Charlotte St. | Membership $30+ (plus current annual JCC membership) | The JCC is not accepting new members at this time. Current members: see schedule here.

🏊Asheville Racquet Club, 200 Racquet Club Rd. (South Asheville) + 27 Resort Dr. (downtown) | Membership price varies 

Swimming holes + lakes

Please note that some of these locations are “swim at your own risk,” so use caution + your best judgement. You should never climb on or around waterfalls.  

🌊Hooker Falls, 210 Staton Rd., Hendersonville | Free | The only waterfall area in Dupont State Forest that is safe for swimming also has spots to watch the fun or have a picnic. Check before heading out; the trail closed July 4 for maintenance.

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Sundays are for adventure.

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🌊Looking Glass Falls, Brevard  | Free | You can see this 60-ft. waterfall from the road, but pull over and take the stairs down to the base to be treated to the full view. Swimming is safest when water levels are low.

🌊Paradise Falls, 14091 Canada Rd., Tuckasegee  | Free | Two swimming pools on the picturesque Wolf Creek. Caution: The hike to the falls is steep and very challenging, and you should never attempt to climb the falls and jump off.

🌊Silver Run Falls, Cashiers | Free | Chill out on the beach by this 25-ft. falls that cascades into a calm swimming pool.

🌊Skinny Dip Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway MP: 417 | Free | Wear sturdy shoes for the three-quarters of a mile hike in, then explore several pools with icy-cold water.

🌊Sliding Rock, Brevard | $4 per person | A 60-ft. mountain water slide in Pisgah National Forest. Protip: Come early; the area is busiest from 12-4 p.m.


🌊Turtleback Falls, 976 Grassy Ridge Rd., Sapphire | Free | A sliding rock + swimming hole that ends in a deep plunge pool. The hike in and back is 3.5 miles roundtrip.

🌊Lake Glenville, Cullowhee | Free | This lake is sitting pretty at 3,494 ft. (that’s the highest elevation of any lake east of the Mississippi, btw). Head to the Pines Recreation Area to swim.

🌊Lake Lure, 2930 Memorial Hwy., Lake Lure | $7+ | Lake Lure’s privately owned + maintained beach offers a waterslide, swimming area + water park.

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Sharing a piece of my childhood with my kids ❤️

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🌊Wildcat Lake, Banner Elk  | Free | This High Country lake offers 13 acres for swimming, plus beaches for sunbathing, picnics + more.

Check out our guide to lakes within two hours of Asheville here for even more swimming inspo.