While many places on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau pack up for the wintertime, there are certain activities that only begin to come alive in the gently falling snow and chilly temperatures of the season. This time of year it's easy for us to get stuck in the routine of staying warm and cozy at home, with all of our indoor comforts, but then we would be missing out on the exciting outdoor activities that this area has to offer. This winter season, gather up your kids, family, and friends and get out on the Plateau for some genuine family fun.
The Highlands Ice Skating Rink
Kelsey Hutchinson Park
Thursdays 1 - 8 pm
Fridays & Saturdays 1 - 10 pm
Sundays 1 - 5 pm
Grab a cup of hot chocolate and lace up your skates for Highlands annual Ice Skating Rink in Kelsey-Hutchinson Park. Fun for family members of any age or skill, you can glide around the rink as you relish in the charm of Highlands in the winter. Admission is $5 and includes the rental of ice skates.
Highlands Outpost Adventure Park
7420 Dillard Rd
Scaly Mountain, NC 28755
This place has something for everyone! Head over to the Highlands Outpost Adventure Park for a day of fun with the whole family. Race through the trees on the Scaly Mountain Screamer, a thrilling mountain coaster that you can enjoy at your own speed while admiring the 360-degree views of the mountains. Take a ride on the magic carpet lift to the top of the hill and hop into a tube and slide all the way down. Even if Mother Nature doesn't deliver on the snow, Adventure Park’s snow-making equipment keeps the slopes powdery throughout the season.
Visit HighlandsOutpost.com for more information, hours of operation, or to make a reservation.
Ski Sapphire Valley
127 Cherokee Trail
Sapphire, NC 28774
Get the kids out on the slopes for a ski lesson at Ski Sapphire Valley, one of the southernmost ski areas in the country. Ski Sapphire Valley has a great beginners slope with an easy-moving carpet ride lift and plenty of room to practice for little ones still learning. If hitting the slopes isn't your thing, the area also offers tubing and ice skating.
Visit SkiSapphireValley.com for more information and hours of operation.
Highlands Aerial Park
9625 Dillard Road
Scaly Mountain, NC 28775
Rain, shine, or snow, adventure awaits you at the Highlands Aerial Park. Designed for almost all ages (geared towards ages 4-10 and accompanying family), the challenge course features two ziplines and seven challenge elements for your group to tackle. Take a UTV tour of the property or soar out over the hills on the 4-story Giant Mountain Swing. Fly through the treetops on the mountain zipline tour and feel the breeze on your face. Looking for a slower pace? Take a hike along the Hidden Falls Nature Trail and discover more of the Plateau’s natural beauty.
Visit HighlandsAerialPark.com for more information, hours of operation, and to book tickets.
Highlands Rec Park Pool
600 N 4th Street
Highlands, NC 28741
The Highlands Pool complex is open year-round for the enjoyment of families across the Plateau. The complex is located on the Recreation Park property next to the Civic Center. Covered in the wintertime, this is the perfect place to bring the kids to escape the cold for an afternoon of fun and recreation indoors.
For a complete list of hours and operation information, please visit HighlandsNC.org/recreation-pool.