One thing visitors to Asheville have in common is their love of places off the beaten path. If a summer swimming hole free from crowds is what you crave, head on down to Sunburst, thirty minutes west of Asheville, and take the plunge. Fed from a series of cold headwaters, this swimming area is one of the best kept secrets of the mountains but be prepared for an experience to rival taking the polar plunge. Even in the heat of summer, the waters are frigid but don’t let that keep you from the experience.

With shallows small enough for toddlers to frolic in, a huge rock to jump off into the deeper swimming area, and the lack of crowds makes this one of those special places for kids of all ages. Whether you want to skip rocks across the calm surface of the water or be brave and jump off the rocks, you’re able to do so without worry of getting in someone else’s way, a real problem in some of the other better known swimming areas around Asheville.

I went with several friends, family, and my god daughters and had no problem swimming wherever we wanted in the area. Since it is rather remote, there was no problem lighting a small fire to warm up from the chill on the bank and the plethora of trees provided plenty of firewood for the task in the limbs and branches that had already fallen. The area is also pet friendly, so don’t forget to bring your four-legged companions to enjoy a swim as well!

Nature lovers are going to go nuts for the greenery, clear waters, and fun of Sunburst. We spent hours talking, laughing, and swimming without a care in the world. It’s a very southern, very laid back way to spend a lovely summer day and I would highly recommend it if you need to recharge your batteries. All your cares wash away in the cold spring water. So “rejuvenating” is probably the word that best describes the Sunburst experience.

Like most areas of a state park, there isn’t a place for amenities, so bring your food, drinks, towels, and whatever you need with you. Since swimming takes a lot of energy, I would highly recommend bringing some snacks and a couple bottles of water to stave off the thirst. Also, the rocks in and around the swimming area can be slick so you might need some water shoes if you plan on traversing the surrounding areas.

Do you have a favorite swimming hole that you’d like to tell us about? Comment below or email us with suggestions on where your favorite summer swimming areas are!

Sunburst Swimming