Archived Outdoors

Sliding Rock reopens after flood damage

After the storm, logjams, underwater debris and damaged infrastructure required a prolonged closure at Sliding Rock Recreation Area. USFS photo After the storm, logjams, underwater debris and damaged infrastructure required a prolonged closure at Sliding Rock Recreation Area. USFS photo

One of the Pisgah National Forest’s most popular tourist destinations, Sliding Rock Recreation Area, will reopen on April 30 for the first time since Tropical Storm Fred ripped through Aug. 17, 2021.

The storm caused unprecedented flooding that damaged infrastructure at the beloved spot and left debris in the Davidson River, which would create hazards for anyone attempting to slide down the rocks. Now it’s reopen, but damage repair and improvements are still in progress, to be continued for years to come. 

The lower observation deck was damaged beyond repair and will not be rebuilt in time for the reopening, but visitors will be able to walk down to the stream at that location and view the sliding action from the upper observation deck. 

“TS Fred was devastating for much of the Pisgah and our local community and there is still so much ongoing recovery work,” said Pisgah District Ranger Dave Casey. “We’re making good progress and it’s exciting to see the iconic Sliding Rock attraction reopen this year.” 

Sliding Rock is a 60-foot natural water slide that ends in an 8-foot-deep pool of water. Staffed and operated under permit by Adventure Pisgah, Sliding Rock has restrooms available seven days a week April 30-Oct. 9, then weekends only Oct. 15-30. Lifeguards are present every day May 2-Sept. 15. 

Due to Sliding Rock’s popularity, visitors should arrive early and avoid the peak hours of noon to 4 p.m. When the parking lot fills up, it’s closed until spaces become available. The site may close temporarily due to heavy rainfall, lightning or high-water levels. 

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