Asheville and Buncombe County offer a range of sports and athletic facilities for community use at no or low cost. From tennis courts to soccer fields to swimming pools and even disc golf and rock climbing facilities, there’s something for every interest, age and ability.
Among Asheville’s many community centers are Harvest House Community Center (205 Kenilworth Road), with horseshoes and shuffleboard; Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center (121 Shiloh Road), with a gymnasium marked for pickleball and basketball, fitness center, baseball/softball field, and outdoor basketball court; Murphy-Oakley Community Center (749 Fairview Road), with a baseball/softball field, outdoor basketball court, and outdoor tennis/pickleball courts; Stephens-Lee Community Center (30 George Washington Carver Avenue) with a gymnasium marked for pickleball, volleyball and basketball, fitness center and outdoor basketball court; and Temple Avery Montford Community Center (34 Pearson Drive), with a climbing wall, gymnasium marked for volleyball and basketball, baseball/softball field and outdoor basketball court.
Asheville and Buncombe County’s outdoor community pools, most operating from June through early September, are open to the public for a nominal entry fee. They include Malvern Hills; Recreation Park (65 Gashes Creek Road); Cane Creek (590 Lower Bush Creek Road, Fairview); and Owen (117 Stone Drive, Swannanoa). Buncombe County Schools Aquatic Center (18 Ensley Stadium Loop) boasts an indoor lap-swimming pool for year-round community use ($5 per visit).
Asheville’s free public tennis facilities are great for a match, day or evening, thanks to lighted courts. Malvern Hills (75 Rumbough Place) has two courts, one of which doubles as a basketball court; Kenilworth Park (79 Wyoming Road) has two courts; and Weaver Park (430 Merrimon Avenue) has two courts. Aston Park Tennis Center (336 Hilliard Avenue), opened seasonally, features clay courts that can be rented for a nominal fee; ball machines are also available for rent. Aston Park also has a hitting wall that can be used for free.
Multipurpose Carrier Park
A one-stop shop for a range of free, fun sporting activities is Carrier Park in West Asheville (220 Amboy Road). Among the facilities on site for free public use are a velodrome (for biking, skating, running or walking), basketball and volleyball courts, baseball field, and roller rink.
Free courses for disc golf abound in the Asheville area. Richmond Hill Disc Golf Course is an 18-hole course just north of downtown Asheville. Black Mountain Disc Golf Course is an 18-hole course in Veterans Park (10 Veterans Park Drive in Black Mountain). Jackson Park Disc Golf Course is located near downtown Hendersonville (801 Glover Street, Hendersonville). Lake Julian Disc Golf Course hosts a full 18-hole course (406 Overlook Road Ext, Arden). UNC-Asheville has a 6-hole disc golf course for both students and the community (2500 University Heights). The 18-hole Sandhill Nature Trail Disc Golf Course is part of Buncombe County Sports Park (58 Apac Drive, Candler).
Asheville SkatePark is a free outdoor sports facility with concrete ramps for beginner, intermediate and advanced skateboarders (50 Cherry Street North). The Foundation Asheville (47 Foundy Street) – started in 2008 in what was once a derelict section of Asheville’s now-thriving River Arts District – is a free, DIY skateable sculpture park built by volunteers.
Though the majority of soccer fields at Buncombe County Sports Park are reserved only for game use, they offer one soccer field at the top of the complex for public use on a first come, first served basis (along with a sand volleyball court, bocce ball courts and outdoor exercise equipment). https://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/parks/facilities/parks/buncombe-sports-park.aspx
The municipal Asheville Golf Course (226 Fairway Drive) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the front nine of the par 72 course spans 3,246 yards from the back tees. Book a tee time for a nominal fee. http://www.ashevillegc.com
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