For more than 50 years, Hawksnest, located in the town of Seven Devils, has been a premiere destination for family fun in the High Country.
First opening as a ski slope in 1964, Hawksnest added golf to its list of offerings a few years later. The property was purchased by the Cottom family in the early 1990s.
After closing its slopes to skiing following the 2006-2007 winter season, the following year saw a dramatic change for the resort.
Hawksnest began offering snow tubing during the 2007-2008 winter season, opening 20 lanes for visitors, a move that has made the resort a tubing destination for guests from all across the country.
“We had an interest in being something that was different than the other ski areas, so we began focusing just on the snow tubing,” Hawksnest co-owner Lenny Cottom said.
Since that first season nine years ago, the park has grown by leaps and bounds, taking the title as the largest snow tubing operation in the South and the second largest tubing park in the United States.
With four distinct tubing areas and more than 30 lanes that range from 400 to 1,000 feet in length, Hawksnest Snow Tubing Park provides a wide variety of terrain options for the most advanced of snow tubers.
“Over the years, we’ve added more areas to snow tube, more snowmaking, more lighting, more lanes and more grooming equipment. We continue to focus on the snowmaking and the best possible conditions for the snow tubing experience,” Cottom said.
After finishing their ride, tubers can hop on board one of the park’s “magic carpet” lifts and go back up to the top for another round of fun.
Each session on the mountain lasts one hour and 45 minutes, allowing ample opportunities to explore the park’s offerings.
Booking your trip
For those who choose to use Hawksnest’s online booking system, there’s no danger of showing up only to find out that sessions are sold out for the day. Visitors to Hawksnest are encouraged to make reservations, since tours will fill up quickly as the season progresses. Visit www.hawksnesttubing.com, click the “book now” button, select your time and date and you’re ready to tube.
“People can buy tickets online and reserve their specific spot,” Cottom said. “We’re going to sell out some sessions during the weekends and holidays, so it’s great to be able to book the session before you arrive to save any disappointment for your family.”
Snow tubing season usually starts in mid-November and runs seven days a week from Dec. 9 through late March, allowing plenty of opportunities to hit the slopes.
Sessions are available at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Individual rates for weekday sessions are $27 per person, while weekend and holiday rates are $34 per person.
Holiday rates apply on Nov. 25 for Thanksgiving; from Dec. 19 through Jan. 1 for Christmas and New Year’s; Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King Day; and Feb. 20 for President’s Day.
Military discounts for $3 off the price of admission are available for active military personnel and veterans.
Whether bringing the family for a day of fun or planning a larger group outing with multiple people, Hawksnest can accommodate. With group rates available for parties of 15 or more, Hawksnest is the perfect location for an exciting trip for youth groups, business and large family gatherings.
Winter Zip Lining
While snow tubing makes up a large portion of Hawksnest’s winter business, the summer season offers amazing opportunities to fly down the mountainside on the resort’s two zip line tours. Although those extensive tours are not available during the winter months, visitors who are looking for a change of pace can sign up for the resort’s Snowbird Tour, a high-flying four-cable tour that offers a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding area.
The Snowbird Tour begins on Dec. 1 and runs seven days a week through March 31. Each tour lasts between 45 minutes to an hour and costs $45 per rider. Sessions begin each day, on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Children participating in the Snowbird tour must be at least 5 years old. Riders cannot be more than 250 pounds or have a waist larger than 40 inches. All participants must sign a waiver, or have one signed by a parent or guardian if they are younger than 18 years of age.
Warm up in the lodge
After a long day on the slopes or riding the zip lines, nothing can beat the warm, inviting atmosphere of Hawksnest’s three-story lodge. With food, coffee drinks and hot chocolate available, the lodge serves as a great place to unwind and enjoy the scenery, with a large indoor area, as well as an outdoor deck overlooking the tubing lanes and zip lines.
To check out the conditions at the park, visit Hawksnest’s livestream camera at www.resortcams.com/webcams/hawksnest.
Planning your trip
What to wear
• Dress appropriately in multiple layers, with lighter layers on the bottom and heavier layers on the outside.
• Add a waterproof layer while tubing. Hawksnest offers bib rentals for $11.
• Always wear a hat that covers your ears.
• Make sure to wear warm, waterproof gloves that are appropriately sized.
• Protect your eyes with sunglasses or goggles while tubing.
• Keep feet and ankles warm with long, thick socks.
Hawksnest Snow Tubing Park is located at 2058 Skyland Drive in Seven Devils and is accessible by N.C. Highway 105. Check road conditions to ensure safe travel by either calling the resort or visiting www.ncdot.org/traffictravel.
As one of the premier winter activities in North Carolina and the surrounding region, tubing sessions at Hawksnest sell out fast. If you’re arranging a group trip, fill out the group form at www.hawksnesttubing.com, book your tickets and mark your calendars well in advance.