The PCIA-certified climbing instructors at Rock Dimensions lead guests through a variety of vertical activities that range from the in-air discovery course to half-day or full-day rock-climbing excursions. Using their years of rock-climbing experience and local expertise, they teach all levels and ages, and equip guests with harnesses and helmets for all vertical activities.
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park surrounds a 5-acre lake with a constellation of camping stations and activity centers. The Garcia family graciously plays host to guests who careen down the twists and turns of the park's 300-foot waterslide, play mini golf, or cast lines into the lake to catch waiting fish. Along with opportunities to connect with nature and name every tree after their fathers, the Garcias furnish visitors with space to set up tents, pop-ups, and RVs, or stay in the ground's own rough-hewn cabins. They also provide showers and laundry facilities to help campers maintain ties with civilization. The family becomes especially excited when pointing guests in the direction of North Carolina's Chimney Rock or Grandfather Mountain for hikes and breathless sightseeing adventures.
Located just a short distance from Charlotte and Winston-Salem, The Spa at Rock Barn is considered a "hidden treasure." The Spa offers a variety a spa treatments along with an unforgettable state-of-the-art spa area including a heated indoor mineral pool, therapeutic waterfall whirlpool, Jacuzzi's, sauns and steam rooms.
Black Mountain Golf Club can trace its roots back to 1929, when Scottish-born course architect Donald Ross—one of the most prolific course designers of all time—designed the 9-hole course that would later become the front side of the Club's 18-hole, 6,215-yard layout. Perhaps it was the peaks of the Black Mountains that drew Ross to the area, seeing them as both a picturesque backdrop to the course and a breeding ground for the goats that served as the club's first caddies. Golfers should bring a confident putting stroke to the course, as tricky greens supply the bulk of the difficulty. After rounds, players can unwind over burgers or tacos at the grill, which overlooks the scenic surroundings.
River and Earth Adventures stands out from other wilderness outfitters by being completely operated by their own guides. Their fleet of seasoned cave, mountain, and water-navigating guides work in tandem with professional ecologists and geologists, focusing Blue Ridge Mountains excursions on environmental education as well as adventure. During all day trips, guides divulge area history and expound on forest and river ecosystems as well as geology in caves whose interiors rest at 60 degrees year-round to keep them free of snowman hermits. Each trip also immerses adventurers in athletic activity, whether on hikes to summits and secluded waterfalls, spelunking through electricity-free cave tunnels, or rafting and kayaking down the Watauga River rapids. For those in search of extended excursions, guides lead children's adventure day camps and combination trips that further an environmental focus and bottle-cap collections through river cleanup projects.
Stepping onto Reems Creek Golf Course, you may get the feeling you've been transported to the Scottish Highlands. Course architects Hawtree & Sons designed the layout to suggest that region's rolling topography, its sense of quiet solitude, and its roving bands of Brigadoon extras. Undulating hills seem to shift under the shadows of trees swaying in the wind, and dense forest in the foreground gives way to majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The 18-hole, 6,492-yard course tests players' mettle with a number of challenges. The long, slightly curved drive of hole 3 seems an open shot, but a guarding sand bunker punishes ill-aimed drives for the green. Hole 16 ups the ante with a pond and two sand bunkers directly in front of the cup.
Course at a Glance: