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The Inside Scoop: Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center

I am not a fan of the cold. However, my kids love the snow.. at least for a few minutes… so I wanted to do something fun with them. I also haven’t seen my sister Ruby and her family since before Christmas due to COVID, so we wanted an outdoor activity that would be more COVID19 safe than something stuffy and inside. 

The Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center seemed like the perfect option, and with the kiddos out of school on Monday, my sisters and I loaded up all six of the oldest kids and headed for an adventure! 

The Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center is located in Scaly Mountain NC, between Sky Valley Georgia, and Highlands North Carolina and while we enjoyed some winter fun this weekend, the center actually offers year round fun. 

We went for snow tubing and ice skating, which all the kiddos loved!

Their snow tubing hill is massive and a conveyor belt takes you to the top of the hill which features three different slides. I will be totally honest, I was terrified. While it was a TON of fun, it was also scary. The slopes are super fast and intense. I went fast enough to lose my hat…and my stomach on the initial drop. The tubes are in good condition and the tubing hill itself is well maintained. 

There is also a small kiddie hill that Sawyer, my two-year-old, loved. I will warn you, this is a workout for the parents. Also, the bottom of the kiddie hill was a complete mud pit. I am sure recent weather contributed to it, and there wasn’t really a way to fix it, however, I did end up ankle-deep in mud more than once trying to get Sawyer from her tub. 

The younger kids wore actual snowsuits and didn’t really complain much about the cold. Because the only snow on this day was on the actual hill, the weather was nice to enjoy a little bit of winter fun without being covered in it. The kids had a mixture of tennis shoes and snow boots, and both were sufficient for the fun. 

The ice skating rink was more of a “serve yourself” style, which I am sure not always the case, but it was on Monday. We just grabbed our size of shoes ourselves and headed on the rink. The skates you use are really great quality. They all seem brand new and well maintained. The rink itself was a little bumpy and the edges were melting. The entry point leads on to a small incline, which made it a little tricky for the younger kids to get started. But after that, they had a blast. 

There were plenty of plastic guides for the kiddos to use to help move around the ice. I didn’t think they would care much for the skating, but they liked it as much, if not more than the tubing. 

The rink wasn’t very crowded and because we bought a combo pass, the kids could go back and forth between skating and tubing, so if it did get too crowded, they just switched up what they were doing. 

There is plenty of seating for parents to sit and watch, and if you aren’t doing the activities, it doesn’t cost you anything to be there. The picnic tables by the bottom of the tube hill was a muddy mess, but like with the kiddie hill, I am not sure it could have been fixed anyway. 

They play music, country classics, which was nice and they have a fire pit. So overall, it is a great venue. You can pack snacks or lunch or they have a cafe, Annie’s Cafe, on-site. We didn’t eat there, but from the smell of it, I have no doubt that it would have been delicious. 

In the summer they have gem mining, fishing, and summer tubing that I am sure would be a blast as well. 

At first, I thought it was a little pricey — $40 per person for 3 hours for a combo pass, which let them go back and forth from tubing and skating. But then I did the math, and it breaks down to about $13 an hour or even $6 an hour per activity, which is actually not bad. Especially if just the kids go and parents hang out and not have to pay. They also have individual tickets for skating or tubing and the kiddie hill was just $15. Overall, I would say it was definitely worth it — even though I completely blew out my knee skating. 

The Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center is located at 7420 Dillard Rd, Scaly Mountain, NC 28775. For more information, visit their Facebook page or call (828) 526-3737.

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