Taking a family trip to Hawksnest Snow Tubing is a memorable experience. It can be challenging to find winter activities for those of us that don’t know how to ski. Snow Tubing fits the bill. There is very little skill required, and the entire family can participate.
Best yet, snow tubing gives you an avenue to enjoy spending time outside in the beautiful North Carolina mountains.
Reasons To Visit Hawksnest Snow Tubing
There are plenty of reasons to visit Hawksnest, but we listed our top 5. Aside from the reasons listed below, the scenery is beautiful when snow covers the surrounding mountains. If you live within a few hours’ drive, visiting Hawksnest to go snow tubing is a must-do activity. You have to try at least once.
1. Largest Snow Tubing Park on East Coast
North Carolina might not immediately come to mind as a mountain sports mecca, but you shouldn’t overlook the Blue Ridge Mountains. Several ski resorts are nearby, and Hawksnest Snow Tubing is the largest snow tubing park on the entire East Coast.
Call us partial, but we think it is also the best snow tubing park on the East Coast. There are more than 30 lanes for snow tubing spread across four different slopes. The longest slope is 1000 feet long, but we enjoy the shorter lanes just as much.
The long, 1000-foot slope is spectacular after fresh snow. The hill starts fast before gradually sloping up and back toward the bottom. Hawksnest uses snow machines to cover the slopes when there isn’t enough real snow.
The machine snow isn’t quite as fast to ride on, so sometimes, it is challenging to make it to the bottom of the longest slope without a little extra pushing. Nonetheless, the marquee slop can be loads of fun.
Of course, the short slopes are a blast too, and we really mean that. Some of the short slopes are much steeper than the longer slope. So you will feel like you are flying down the snow. A few times, I had to dig my feet into the ground to stop myself from flying off the bottom of the course.
2. Family-friendly Atmosphere
One of the reasons I love to go to Hawksnest is that it is a kid-friendly experience. I first took my son to Hawksnest when he was just two years old. His little red face was full of joy as he sat on my lap and flew down the mountain.
A year later, when he was a little more capable, he would sit in the tube, and I would run and jump chest down across his back. The slopes were slow that day, so the running start gave us a little extra speed to get down the mountainside.
Families with older children ride their tubes in tandem down the slopes. You might see three tubes connected by crossed arms and together slide quickly to the bottom. You can literally watch the family bonding experiences, which is fantastic to see.
A small lodge sits at the top of the slopes and houses a cozy snack shop and restrooms. Hawksnest makes reservations in two-hour increments, and everything you might need for a half-day experience is available on-site.
3. Fun Towns Nearby
Hawksnest snow tubing is technically in a small town called Seven Devils, NC. It’s a beautiful town among the local mountain peaks. Still, if you are looking for a city to stay in, we recommend Boone, Blowing Rock, or Banner Elk.
Boone is the best-known local city. Not only is it home to Appalachian State University, but it is the largest city in this Northwestern part of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. Boone is actually named after the great American explorer Daniel Boone.
Somehow that is the perfect name for this evolving town in the mountains. Boone is pioneering and rustic, all at the same time. It also offers plenty of hotels, restaurants, and other amenities. Hawksnest is only about 14 miles from Boone, equivalent to a 25-minute drive.
There are also bed and breakfasts in Boone, such as the Lovill House Inn.
Blowing Rock is a similar distance to Hawksnest, but it might take a little longer to drive over. It’s not a straight shot, so you must go across or around the mountains. And let me just say that I was terrified the first time I went across the mountain during the winter.
The famous Tweetsie Railroad sits between Boone and Blowing Rock. While Boone is larger than Blowing Rock, Blowing Rock has a beautifully historic and walkable downtown area.
Lastly, Banner Elk sits only 20 minutes away from Hawksnest. It is in the opposite direction from Blowing Rock and is the smallest of the three nearby towns. Still, The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is in Banner Elk. The Alpine Coaster is a must-visit attraction when you are in the area.
4. Accessible to Major North Carolina Cities
You might be interested in a fun family weekend away from town. If that’s the case, then we highly encourage you to check out Boone and Blowing Rock. Still, Hawksnest is close enough to both Charlotte and Greensboro that you can travel to Hawksnest and back home on the same day.
I’ve done this myself several times. Hawksnest is a little over two hours away from Charlotte’s center. It makes for a long day to drive up and back, but it is completely doable. We usually go to Hawksnest in the morning and then grab lunch in Boone on the way home. It works perfectly and makes for an exciting Saturday getaway.
On the other hand, Raleigh might be a little too far to drive back and forth in one day. Its a three and a half hour drive from Raleigh. Still, Greensboro and Winston-Salem are only about 2 hours away, similar to Charlotte.
During the winter times, visiting Hawksnest for snow tubing is one of the best day trips you can make in North Carolina. Otherwise, you can easily incorporate snow tubing into a full weekend by visiting Boone, Blowing Rock, or one of the nearby ski resorts. But you don’t have to do so. Drive up, enjoy your two-hour tubing session, and then drive home.
5. Affordable Winter Activity
Beech Mountain resort is nearby, but skiing and snowboarding can be expensive. This is especially true if you plan to take the entire family. Snow tubing requires no personal equipment, and you can make reservations in as small as two hours increments.
As a result, it is significantly more affordable to go snow tubing than it would be to go skiing or snowboarding. Whether you are looking for a cheap date or an inexpensive activity for the whole family is fantastic.
And let’s be honest, we all need to get out of the house at some point during the winter. We love the cold, crisp air in our household. Still, certain activities are hard to do outside during the winter. Many of us end up staying inside instead.
Going snow tubing is the perfect winter activity when you need something to do but don’t want to spend a ton of money.
Sidenote: For someone like me that grew up in Florida, skiing and snowboarding can come across as a little exclusive. It looks like a ton of fun, but I don’t exactly feel like I am part of the “in-club” since I would have little idea what I am doing.
Snow tubing absolves all of these concerns. Anyone can go snow tubing, which is part of the affordable and family-friendly appeal.
More About Hawksnest Snow Tubing
Hawksnest is a fun little adventure. You will get an adrenaline-pumping experience, but it is safe for kids. If you are interested in visiting soon, here is some additional information you might want to know.
Ziplining During Warm Weather Seasons
Naturally, they don’t pump out fake snow during the summer, so Hawksnest snow tubing is only open during the winter season. Fortunately, Hawksnest offers several zipline experiences that are great for warmer months.
TripAdvisor ranked the Hawksnest zipline as the best overall ziplining experience in all of North Carolina. While the Whitewater Center in Charlotte offers a few zip lines worth checking out, Hawksnest takes ziplining to a whole new level.
There are two different tours stretching more than 4 miles in total. There are 20 different ziplines in total, including multiple Mega Zips that are longer than 1500 feet. The zipline tours take you over the beautiful mountainous forest. You will see lakes, creeks, and thousands of beautiful trees along the ridge line.
Honesty, you might love Hawksnest so much that you plan two trips each year. Take one trip during the summer to enjoy the zipline. Then take a separate trip during the winter to enjoy snow tubing.
What Town Is Hawksnest Snow Tubing In?
Hawksnest snow tubing is in Sun Devils. Sun Devils, NC, isn’t very big, but Boone is a short drive away (less than 15 miles). We recommend staying in Boone if you plan a weekend trip that includes snow tubing or ziplining at Hawksnest.
Hawksnest was originally a golf course and ski resort, but the owners eventually set their sights on becoming the largest snow tubing park on the East Coast. Today, the former golf course and ski resort are a source of fun memories. Nonetheless, Snow tubing and ziplining offer a whole new generation of memories.
For those of you that are familiar with Grandfather Mountain, Hawksnest is a short drive away.
How Far Is Hawksnest Snow Tubing? Closer Than You Think
Hawksnest is only a few hours away from several major cities in North Carolina, including Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro. Unless you live in Raleigh or along the east coast, you are likely a short drive away from snow tubing fun.
Is Hawksnest Snow Tubing Worth It?
Hawksnest is worth it because they offer more than 30 lanes for snow tubing and four courses. It is a family-friendly environment where kids can explore the tremendous wintry outdoors. But it is a fun experience for adults, too. We highly recommend visiting these slopes.
The Best Snow Tubing in North Carolina
In fact, we think that Hawksnest is the best snow tubing experience in all of North Carolina. And it should be since it is the largest snow tubing facility along the entire East Coast. The scenery is breathtaking, the experience is phenomenal, and the nearby towns are fun to visit.
If you haven’t been to Hawksnest yet, schedule a trip soon.