Jump Off Rock: Drive for the View, Stay for a Picnic & Hike in Hendersonville, NC

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Have you seen the panoramic views at the top of Echo Mountain from Jump Off Rock? Just a few minutes outside Hendersonville, NC in Laurel Park, NC is Jump Off Rock Park. You’ll drive straight to the top for some gorgeous views, and while you’re there you can do a little hiking or enjoy the grassy mountain top lawn for a picnic with a view. Admission is free and that’s not the only reason this park is so great for families. Here’s why we love Jump Off Rock.

This article includes:
What is Jump Off Rock?
Why Do They Call it Jump Off Rock?
Picnics at Jump Off Rock
Hiking Trails
Is Jump Off Rock a Good Place to Bring Kids?
How do I get to Jump Off Rock?

What is Jump Off Rock?

Jump Off Rock is a popular park near Hendersonville, NC at the top of Echo Mountain. The park features a grassy, manicured lawn with picnic tables and benches surrounded by a panoramic mountain view of both the Blue Ridge and Pisgah ranges. There is a large viewing area at the rock edge which is fenced with a pretty mountain-themed barrier so you can get right up close to the view. The park also contains three short hiking trails through rocky areas, as well as densely wooded areas.

Path to the overlook at Jump Off Rock

It’s a beautiful place to spend some time. It’s quiet and peaceful and even on a warm sunny day the breezy mountain air had just a touch of crispness that really swept the tension of the school week right up and carried it off. It’s only about 15 minutes from Hendersonville, but you feel quite far away on the mountain top.

Why is it called Jump Off Rock?

No, there is definitely no jumping at Jump Off Rock. The name comes from a sad legend about a Cherokee Indian maiden whose young chief died in a battle. Overcome with grief, she jumped off the rock to her death. Hence, Jump Off Rock. It is a rather morbid tale and name, once you know about the tale, for a beautiful park, so we will leave that topic there.

Bench at Jump Off Rock

Picnics at Jump Off Rock

The grassy lawn and beautiful views make this an epic picnic spot. You can spread a blanket in the sun on the grass, or pick a picnic table in the shade.

Don’t want to pack a picnic? There are some great places in downtown Hendersonville, NC where you can grab some sandwiches to go. If I had thought about it, we would have picked up some treats and sandwiches at Black Bear Coffee before heading up to the park.

Hiking at Jump Off Rock

The hiking trails here are very short, ranging from just .1 miles to .25 miles. They do not take very long at all to complete. That said, they offer quite a bit of variety. There is a trail that goes down alongside the overlook where you’ll be walking between boulders and over rocks. It’s moderately difficult, but also very short. The other two trails are located on the other side of the parking lot. They weave through woods with some moderate elevation changes.

Is Jump Off Rock a Good Place for Kids?

Yes! Jump Off Rock is definitely a good place to bring the kids for a number of reasons.

  • Drive to the top, so there are no tired legs required to take in that view or enjoy the crisp mountain air.
  • Short hiking trails have a lot of variation. The trails range from just .1 mile to .25 mile long and only take about 15 minutes.
  • You’re never very far from the car so you don’t have to lug that picnic or giant snack bag with you. Just leave it in the car until you’re ready for it.
Hiking at Jump Off Rock

But, don’t forget that you are at the top of a mountain. This is not a place to let the kids run off without supervision. While there are barriers at the steepest points. There are many places where a young child, or anyone really, could fall. As always, be careful, follow all signage, and supervise the kids.

There are no restroom facilities at Jump off Rock. If you start your day in Hendersonville, NC, you’ll find public restrooms at 125 5th Ave West, just around the corner from Team ECCO Aquarium. I highly recommend using the facilities here or at the Hendersonville Visitors Center before you head up to the mountain.

Plan on spending more time in Downtown Hendersonville? There are lots of things to do and delicious places to eat, so don’t miss this Hendersonville, NC Guide.

How Do you Get to Jump Off Rock?

Essentially, you’re going to hop on Laurel Park Highway, a windy wooded road past beautiful vistas, and take it all the way to the top of the mountain at Jump Off Rock. However, if you put the address into your phone or GPS, it will likely take you off Laurel Park Highway and through some residential streets. Either way, you’ll get there. But, should your GPS ask you to turn one way while you see a sign pointing to Jump Off Rock in the other direction, know that the signs are just pointing to keep you on Laurel Park Highway and you can just go whatever way looks like more fun to you. You’ll get there.

Jump Off Rock
4501 Laurel Park Highway
Laurel Park, NC 28739

About the Author
Maria Bassett is a former school orchestra teacher, turned homeschool mom. She and her husband homeschool their 3 sons and 1 daughter, who range from 4th grade through 9th grade. Believing children learn best when they are engaged and having fun, this family loves to take their homeschool on the road, around Greenville and beyond.

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