Two destinations for an end of summer camping trip in the NC mountains

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My children love to camp! A long-weekend camping trip in the NC mountains is one of the things on our summer bucket list that we’re hoping to get to do before school starts in a few weeks.

There are so many fun camping destinations within a few hours drive. Here are two that my family is considering for a quick end of summer getaway.

Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock is a natural mountain waterfall located in Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard, NC. This 60-foot, flat sloping boulder splashes into an eight-foot deep pool. Be forewarned though, the water is cold! The water temperature is 50-60 degrees even in the summer.

Because the pool at the bottom of Sliding Rock is deep, you must know how to swim. Children under 7 years old must slide with an adult.

Lifeguards are on duty and restrooms are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. There is a $3 per person cost to visit Sliding Rock when lifeguards are on duty. Children 6 and under are free. It is also free to visit during off hours although restrooms will be closed.

Davidson River Campground is just a few miles away from Sliding Rock. There are several other waterfalls, hiking trails and historic buildings nearby to visit as well.

Sky Top Orchard

Sky Top Orchard is a beautiful apple orchard located in Flat Rock, NC. The orchard offers u-pick apples and a fruit stand market offering apples, cider, apple-cider doughnuts and many other goodies.

Visitors will enjoy walking through the orchard to pick apples while enjoying the beautiful mountain views. There is also a play area for kids, tractor rides, picnic areas and a pond with ducks to feed.

The orchard is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The u-pick season runs from the end of July to the end of October. The fruit stand is open to late November/early December.

The orchard offers 22 varieties of apples. Check out the ripening schedule on Sky Top’s webpage ( for the availability of your favorites.

Sky Top does not accept credit/debit cards, so be prepared with cash for your visit. Admission to the orchard is free. Guests are required to prepay for a basket before entering the u-pick area.

Orchard Lakes Campground in Saluda, NC is a nearby camping option.

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