Top 8 Family-Friendly Parks in and Near Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC has become quite the mountain valley destination in recent years thanks to its vibrant art and food culture and beautiful outdoor spaces that include family-friendly parks. In fact, just about every neighborhood in this North Carolina town has a green space worth visiting. In fact, it’d be hard to visit all the great parks Asheville has to offer in any single trip. So, we’re going to try and give you a rundown of the best to make your vacation planning a little bit easier and a whole lot more enjoyable with the following quick list of our favorite family-friendly parks Asheville has to offer.

1. French Broad River Park

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The French Broad River Park is a very popular Asheville destination as it includes a beautiful greenway walking path along the river and a dog park where the pups can run and enjoy a little water on their own. This is a great park to go to if you’re staying in downtown Asheville and want to enjoy an early morning stroll along the river and through the woods without driving outside the city. While this park doesn’t have a playground, it does have a beautiful wide open field that’s perfect for kids to run and play on.

2. Carrier Park

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Now, if it’s a big playground you want, then Carrier Park is the perfect place for you to head. Carrier Park is a very much beloved community park that is bustling with activities just about every time of the day, in just about every season. This Asheville park features basketball courts, volleyball courts, a massive wooden playground, an outdoor hockey rink, a lawn bowling green, a velodrome for bike racing and training events, picnic shelters, and an open field that often plays host to local softball leagues and impromptu soccer games. If you want to experience a nice slice of Asheville recreation life, we can’t recommend Carrier Park enough!

3. Botanical Gardens at Asheville


The Botanical Gardens at Asheville is located on the University of North Carolina Asheville campus but is open to the general public. This is a fantastic botanical garden that plays home to over 500 species native to the Southern Appalachian region. This includes trees, wildflowers, shrubs, grasses, and more. This park features free parking and free admission, with a short hiking trail that meanders through the grounds. The Botanical Gardens of Asheville is an exceptionally great place to go near the end of summer when many of the wildflowers are still in bloom and some of those native species of trees are just beginning to turn colors.

4. Buncombe County Sports Park in Enka

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Located in one of Asheville’s suburbs, the Buncombe County Sports Park is a sizable park that offers plenty of recreational facilities. During the weekends, you’ll often find kid’s soccer leagues set up in the open field areas while families with younger children take over the modern playground set. For sports and outdoor activities of all ages, the Buncombe County Sports Park in Enka also boasts a disc golf course, bocce courts, a community garden with an edible urban orchard, sand volleyball courts, and more.

5. Lake Julian in Arden

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This small county park is located on a bit of peninsula that juts out into Lake Julian. They’ve built it up to make it easy to access that beautiful lake water with a kayak and canoe launch, a larger boat ramp, and an extended dock for boat tie-ups and onshore fishing. At the center of the park (and safely away from the water’s edge), is a sizable playground with modern equipment and unique interactive activities.


6. Lake Louise Park in Weaverville

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Another lakeside park, Lake Louse Park in Weaverville might just be the best-kept secret park on this whole list. That’s because this park, despite very rarely making any best-of lists, features its own waterfall! Simply park and walk along the short trail to the edge of the park. You can follow this path up the shallow Reemes Creek and shortly find yourself looking up at an old red gristmill and waterfalls. This is likewise the perfect spot for a little summer wading. Other attractions at Lake Louise Park include playground equipment, an exercise area with well-maintained fitness equipment, picnic areas, and bathrooms.

7. Silver-Line Park in Woodfin

Silver-Line Park is ideal for when you want a nice picnic overlooking the water. This is a brand-new park with a fully modernized playground boasting a pirate ship theme that’s ideal for active children. But what we really love about Silver-Line Park is how they’ve built the park at the top of a nice ridge overlooking the water and have cleared out that ridge, making for a nice extended grassy knoll with full riverfront view.s There are several picnic tables, grills, and even a swinging bench where you can relax and soak in the views.

8. Roy Rope Park

This is another fantastic Asheville park for young toddlers and children to play at. Plus, it’s located beside a school and police station, offering a very safe location for parents a bit worried about venturing outside of known Asheville tourist areas. The playground at Roy Rope Park includes a large castle with slides, a sandbox, a traditional swing set, a roped spider web, a tire swing, and a massive plastic dragon that slips in and out of the ground and offers a fun, unique object to climb on. There is also a large covered pavilion and a couple of restrooms that are available.

Learn More About the Best of Asheville

These parks have a lot to offer families, but so too does Asheville at large. For example, Asheville has some excellent restaurants where you can order big take-out meals at, such as The Noodle Shop and Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, and pack as a picnic to bring to any one of the above fantastic family-friendly parks. Learn about these hip Asheville spots and others by browsing our other featured pages.