Last Updated on February 14, 2023
Last Updated on February 14, 2023
Jump Off Rock sits atop Echo Mountain in the Henderson County town of Laurel Park (near Hendersonville). To reach it, you’ll just need to drive the mountain’s curvy, steep roads.
After that fun ride, you can hop out of your car and enjoy one of North Carolina‘s most spectacular views. The views are absolutely worth the trip but there’s even more to this place.
If you’re up for a hike, there are a few nature trails you can explore, too. You can even book Jump Off Rock for events, including weddings.
We will cover all of that and more in this guide, including a Cherokee Legend and the possibility of ghost sightings at night!
If you’re looking for something specific, here’s how we’ve organized the guide:
- Jump Off Rock Facts
- The Jump Off Rock Legend
- How to Reach Jump Off Rock (Driving Directions and Parking Info)
- Things to Do at Jump Off Rock
- More Things to Do Nearby (Plus Related Posts)
You can scroll ahead to the section that you need or keep reading about some Jump Off Rock facts and history!
Read More: Western North Carolina (and 100+ Wonderful Places to Visit)
Jump Off Rock Facts
Jump Off Rock sits at the 3,100-foot summit of Echo Mountain, about 5 miles (15 minutes) from downtown Hendersonville. It’s also about 30 miles (45 minutes) from Asheville.
The town of Laurel Park manages Jump Off Rock and the park that surrounds it.
There is no admission and the free park is open year-round. However, keep the weather in mind, as it can drastically change between lower elevations and Jump Off Rock.
There are about 20 parking spots available, and you can easily walk to Jump Off Rock from your car.
Visitors with limited mobility shouldn’t have too much trouble reaching the overlook, either.
Three marked hiking trails start at the parking lot, too, and range in difficulty from easy to moderate. We’ll share more info about those trails in our “things to do” section below.
While there are no restrooms, two portable toilets were at the site when we last visited.
Read More: 50+ Great Things to Do in Asheville (Downtown, Biltmore, and More!)
The Jump Off Rock Cherokee Legend
A tragic legend is possibly how Jump Off Rock got its name. You can learn about it when visiting, thanks to a plaque just before the overlook.
More than 300 years ago, a young Cherokee Indian chief was killed in battle. News of his death reached his maiden and stricken with grief, she climbed to the rock and jumped off.
According to Cherokee legend, her ghost can be seen on the rock during moonlit nights.
Read More: Museum of the Cherokee Indian (13,000 Years of History in One Important Space)
How to Reach Jump Off Rock (Driving Directions and Parking Info)
Jump Off Rock’s address is 4501 Laurel Park Highway in Laurel Park and it’s about a 15-minute drive from downtown Hendersonville. Follow 5th Avenue west until it becomes Laurel Park Highway.
You’ll begin seeing signs for Jump Off Rock when you arrive in Laurel Park. You can follow signs to the top or let your GPS shortcut its way through Hebron Road, Essowah Drive, and Roberts Drive.
The road up to Jump Off Rock is a quick and twisty climb. Be aware and drive slowly on the way down, as some of those curves become corner turns.
Read More: Hendersonville NC Map of Attractions (+ 5 Surrounding Counties!)
Things to Do at Jump Off Rock
You may think that it’s simply an overlook, but there are plenty of things to do at Jump Off Rock, including enjoying those views!
Enjoy the Overlook
Okay, so this one is obvious but we think you should spend as much time as possible quietly admiring views of those mountains in the distance. There are rails at the edge of the rock itself where you can stand and point out mountains in the distance.
A sign on the guardrail will identify a few of them, including Cold Mountain and Mount Pisgah.
Three hiking trails start from the parking lot and range in difficulty and distance. Here they are in order of easiest and shortest:
- Blue (480 feet, 10 minutes, easy)
- Yellow (1,221 feet, 14 minutes, moderate)
- Red (1,239 feet, 25 minutes, moderate)
If you’re hoping to go hiking in Hendersonville, these Jump Off Rock trails are among the best.
Reserve Jump Off Rock
If you like Jump Off Rock as much as we do, then you can have it all to yourself. Reserve the park for your wedding, birthday party, or other special events by visiting the Laurel Park reservation page.
Ready to Visit Jump Off Rock?
Jump Off Rock is a bucket-list-worthy place to visit and we hope you’re able to make it up there. If you ever have, we’d love to know what you thought of this place and the views from the overlook.
Let us know in the comments and tell us all about it!
More Things to Do Nearby
After visiting Jump Off Rock, we also hope you’re able to spend time exploring its surroundings. Here are some of the closest things to do, starting with the town of Laurel Park.
About 2,000 residents call Laurel Park “home” and when you drive around its green tree-covered roads, you’ll see why. Along with Jump Off Rock, there are three parks in town.
Rhododendron Lake Nature Park sits between Lake Drive and Primrose Lane, with walking paths, a fishing pond (catch and release), and more. Laurel Green Park has a popular playground, a gazebo in the center, and also, walking paths and a pond.
Hendersonville is a great base for exploring Jump Off Rock and its surroundings.
Brightwaters Vacation Rentals hosts a wonderful collection of historic homes for you, your friends, and your family. Visit Hendersonville invited us to stay there for one trip.
The property is just a couple of minutes from Elijiah Mountain Gem Mine. This place is fun for everyone, with a rock shop, peacock habitat, and water flumes for gem mining!
Walk around downtown and visit locally-owned shops, as well as Mast‘s Hendersonville location. Dancing Bear Toys is a great spot for you to take the kids, as they have an excellent selection.
The kids will also love the Appalachian Pinball Museum and the Aquarium and Shark Research Lab.
Food in Hendersonville is not to be overlooked. Shine and Mezzaluna are a couple of the best places to eat, but you can’t go wrong with a hand-spun milkshake from Mike’s on Main.
If craft beer is your game, there are a handful of great breweries in Hendersonville. Oklawaha Brewing is one of them, with one of the most diverse selections of IPAs. However, they do branch out if you like lighter beers.
Some of the best NC wineries are also here, and there’s even an AVA dedicated to Henderson County. We love Burnt Shirt Vineyards and look forward to spending days outside, admiring the vines across the street.
Late-summer and fall visitors should head to one of Hendersonville’s orchards for apple picking. Of all the apple-related events, it’s hard to beat the NC Apple Festival on Labor Day Weekend.
Read More: Apple Picking in North Carolina (and 11 Great Orchards to Visit)
Flat Rock is one of the many great towns in Henderson County and the Carl Sandburg Home is where many people go first. That National Parks site is where the “People’s Poet” lived during his later years.
Grab some food at the Flat Rock Wood Room or Hubba Hubba Smokehouse. You can’t go wrong with either of them or Honey and Salt when you’re in town.
We also can’t leave out Mills River, which is home to Sierra Nevada Brewing’s NC location but also Burning Blush and Mills River Brewing.
With all the apples, you have to know cider is big in Henderson County, too. Bold Rock produces 70 percent of its cider in Mills River. Flat Rock Cider Company and Saint Paul Mountain Farms (also wine and brandy) are two local operations that make great cider!
The Acony Bell Tiny Home Community was a wonderful place to stay for us during one trip to the area.
We also think you’ll absolutely love Bearwallow Mountain, about a 40-minute drive from Hendersonville. This short, steep-mile hike leads to a beautiful grassy meadow and views of famous peaks like Mount Mitchell and Mount Pisgah.
Read More: 20+ Kid-Friendly Waterfalls In NC (Easy Hikes And Swimming Holes!)
Dupont State Forest
We can’t leave out DuPont State Recreational Forest, which is about 30 minutes from Jump Off Rock. It’s where you’ll find some of North Carolina’s best hiking trails and waterfalls, including High Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
The park is so gorgeous that it’s featured in some pretty famous movies, including the first Hunger Games and the Last of the Mohicans.
Read More: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)
More Things to Do in Hendersonville (Travel Guides)
These are a few of the many things to do in the area. Here are some guides that will show you around.