5 Fun Things to Do on the Rocky Broad River

The Rocky Broad River is one of North Carolina’s most incredible natural treasures. One of the best aspects of the river is that there is an activity here for everyone. Whether you are searching for a fishing oasis, a relaxing day away from civilization, or your next outdoor adventure, you will find it all here!

After a day well spent on the Rocky Broad River, we know that you will want to explore more of the area’s most scenic rivers and byways. For recommendations on parks, recreation, and activities, download our free Chimney Rock/Lake Lure Vacation Guide! Our guide is full of over 100 suggestions on the best places to eat, things to do, and more.

The Best Things to Do on the Rocky Broad River


The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that leads visitors across the Rocky Broad River. This flowering bridge measures over 150 feet long and 20 feet wide. With over 15 unique gardens, you could easily spend an entire day in the incredible garden.. Best of all? It is open to the public for free from sunrise to sundown!


A trip to the Chimney Rock Gem Mine is a must while you’re in the area. Located on the banks of the river, it gives visitors a chance to search for their very own gemstones. Aquamarine, Emerald, Ruby, Garnet, Peridot, Quartz, Agate, Hematite, Amethyst, and Sodalite have all been found here. In addition, attendants are always on hand to identify your finds!


The Rocky Broad River provides anglers with plenty of fishing opportunities. The upper sections near Bat Cave are stocked with trout, and the lower sections are great for small and largemouth bass. If you are unfamiliar with the river, sign up for a guided fly fishing trip with Southern Appalachian Anglers! This company offers a variety of excursions, including full-day and half-day fly fishing, bass fishing, and combinations of both.


The Rocky Broad River is fast-moving. Therefore, it is ideal for canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. The Broad River Paddle Trail is the best place for river access. Here, you will find 12 distinct sections on 41 miles of river. The Paddle Trail runs between Lake Lure and the Cleveland County line. For paddling, most sections are best if the Lake Lure dam is running. However, some sections are runnable after heavy rainfall. Mondays and Fridays are the most common operating days for the dam. For more information, call 828-625-9227 for the dam’s release schedule!


Take in the sights and sounds of the river on the Rocky Broad Riverwalk. This lovely trail runs parallel to Main Street in Chimney Rock Village. Several picnic sites are available, and the path offers easy access to restaurants, mini-golf, and gem mining. It’s a great place to connect with the area’s natural beauty!


When you stay at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant, you will have exclusive access to the Esmeralda Park. Only a mile from the inn, the park includes sitting areas, picnic tables, and hammocks along the Rocky Broad River. 

Our Rocky Broad River Cabin enjoys stunning views of the river and mountains from every window. If you are ready to plan your next Chimney Rock getaway, check our availability and book your stay today. We can’t wait to host you at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant!

The Rocky Broad River is just one great spot for outdoor fun in the Lake Lure area. For more river fun, read our blog on the Green River tubing!