As the temperature rises, enjoying the outdoors in western North Carolina can get difficult without somewhere to cool down and relax. Luckily, there are several bodies of water to take a much needed dip in, should you get overheated.

 Sliding Rock

Located in the stunning Pisgah Forest, Sliding Rock is our natural water park. The 60-foot smooth rock leads to a 8-foot swimming hole, making a perfect slide. This time of year can be busy, so prepare to wait during weekends. You may slide anytime during the day, and a lifeguard is on duty 10 - 6AM. During this time, the admission is $2. It is recommended that if you take the plunge, that you do so with old clothes and shoes. For more information visit httpss://www.visitnc.com/listing/sliding-rock .

Hooker Falls

Photo courtesy of dupontforest.com

Located in Dupont State Forest, Hooker falls is a 12-foot waterfall with lots of room to float and swim below. This is one of four waterfalls in the area, but the only one advisable to swim in due to it's slower current. This results in a laid back area perfect for cooling off the whole family. You can people watch from the observation deck above if taking a dunk is not your style. Admission is free, and there are porta-johns at the parking area.

Skinny Dip Falls

At milepost 417 off the Blue Ridge Parkway, lies a hidden away spot perfect for relaxing under a small fall. This is a low key option, but even this tucked away gem can get busy during summer months. There is a jump off rock that leads to a 6-foot pool, but no lifeguard on duty, so use caution. Admission is free.