Frequently Asked Questions  

Do I need a license/permit to fish at the River Parks?

Yes, NC Fish & Wildlife Game Wardens patrol the French Broad River where the river parks are located; you must have a NC Fishing License if you are age 16 and older. NC Fishing Licenses are available at sports centers and stores throughout North Carolina.  

Do I need a license/permit to fish in Lake Julian?

Yes. Lake Julian requires a NC Fishing License and a Lake Fishing Permit for anyone age 16 or older. Fishing licenses are available at sports centers and stores throughout North Carolina. Lake Fishing Permits are available at Lake Julian Park Ranger Station.

  • $3 per day or $20 per year for persons age 16 - 65.
  • $10 per year for persons age 65 - 70.
  • $10 for Disabled persons or persons over age 70

Is there a place to launch a private boat at Lake Julian?

Yes. There is a private boat launch at Lake Julian Park. The cost is $5 per day/$40 per year. There are no gasoline powered boats permitted on Lake Julian.

Can I rent a boat a Lake Julian?

Yes. Pleasure craft and fishing boats are available for rent at Lake Julian Park.

  • Paddle Boats and Canoes ($5 per half hour/$8 per hour)
  • Jon Boats ($10 per 4 hour minimum/$20 per all day) Jon Boats are not equipped with a motor. Renters must supply their own electric motor.

Do you have a July 4th Fireworks Display?

Yes. Lake Julian Park has a July 4th Fireworks Display. The show is always on July 4 and starts shortly after dark.

Can I fish at Charles D. Owen Park?

Yes. Fishing is permitted from the banks of the two lakes in the park and from the Swannanoa River that runs through the park. There is a fishing pier that is wheelchair accessible. A North Carolina fishing license is required to fish in the lakes or in the river.

Can I use my kayak or canoe at Charles D. Owen Park?

Charles D. Owen Park has two fishing lakes and a fishing pier. There is no boating allowed in the lakes.

Can soccer fields be used for sports other than soccer?

Yes. Call 250-4260 for specific information.

Where do I register my child for soccer?

The Asheville-Buncombe Youth Soccer Association (ABYSA) can be reached at (828) 299-7277.
Physical address:
410 Swannanoa River Road (across from the Walmart Shopping Center).
Mailing address:
ABYSA
PO Box 895
Asheville NC 28802

When do Buncombe County Pools open?

Buncombe County’s 5 outdoor pools open on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools are open for weekends only until the end of the school year. After school releases for the summer the pools will be open daily.

How much does it cost to swim at the Buncombe County Pools?

The regular cost to swim is $3.00 per visit. There are discount passes available for sale at all pools.

  • 10 Visit Pass $25
  • 25 Visit Pass $50

How can I find out about Super Sunday Specials at the outdoor pools?

To find out about special pricing at the outdoor pools call the Zeugner Center at (250) 684-5072.

How can I find out about water temperature/crowds/hours/weather conditions/etc. at the outdoor pools?

Contact the pool directly.

  • Cane Creek (828) 628-4494
  • Erwin (828) 251-4992
  • Hominy Valley (828) 667-9937
  • North Buncombe (828) 645-1080
  • Owen (828) 686-1629

How can I register my child for swim lessons?

Sign up dates for swim lessons are announced on our website. To register your child you must go to the pool where the lessons will be held on the date of sign ups. Lessons are offered on a first come/first served basis and classes fill quickly. For more information call 684-5072.

How much do swim lessons cost?

Lessons are $30 per child for 8 lessons. Lessons are 45 minutes long.

Why do Buncombe County Pools close in August when it is still hot enough to swim?

Most Buncombe County Pool lifeguards are college students. Staffing the pools with trained lifeguards is top priority for Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services. When school begins and lifeguards return to classrooms, the pools will close for the season. Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services keeps one or two outdoor pools open on weekends in August if lifeguards are available.

How do I become a lifeguard?

Lifeguards are certified by the American Red Cross. The Red Cross Lifeguarding Certification requires a 31 hour course offered at the YMCA and YWCA or the Zeugner Center.  The course costs approximately $175. This includes classroom and pool training and certificates.  Participants must pass all water and hands-on courses and all written exams.  For more information contact 684-5072.

Are outdoor pools available for private parties?

Yes. Contact the pool directly for information.

  • Cane Creek (828) 628-4494
  • Erwin (828) 251-4992
  • Hominy Valley (828) 667-9937
  • North Buncombe (828) 645-1080
  • Owen (828) 686-1629

Is the Zeugner Center Indoor Pool facility available for private parties?

Yes. The Zeugner Center has an indoor pool and 2 activity rooms that are available for private parties. Call for more information. (828) 684-5072

Can I swim at Lake Julian Park, Charles D. Owen Park or at any of the River Parks?

Swimming is not permitted in any Buncombe County lake or at the River Parks.

What facilities will I find at the River Parks?

Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreations Services maintains 6 River Parks on the French Broad River. These parks are equipped with picnic tables, grills, a boat launch and parking. There are no restrooms at any of the River Parks.

Where can I reserve a picnic shelter?

Picnic shelters are available for rent at the following parks:

  • Lake Julian Park (828) 684-0376,
  • Charles D. Owen Park (828) 707-5656  

Can I obtain an alcohol permit with a shelter rental? If so, how do I do this?

Yes. Alcohol Permits are available for purchase with the rental of picnic shelters at Lake Julian Park. Alcohol permits must be purchased at Lake Julian Park. The cost is $50 and is non-refundable. Alcohol Permits are sold at the discretion of the BCPG&R Director. The use of alcohol is confined to the picnic shelters at Lake Julian Park. No alcohol is permitted in the pool area.

My child is playing in a soccer tournament at the Buncombe County Sports Park. How do I get there?

The Buncombe County Sports Park is located in Candler.
From Asheville go West on I-40. Take Exit 44. Turn right at the light at the end of the exit ramp. Go through the next traffic light and then immediately turn right at Apac Circle next to McDonald’s. Travel up to the next traffic light and turn left on to Sandhill Road. The Buncombe County Sports Park entrance is 3/10th of a mile on the right, just past Sandhill-Venable School.

Can I get married in a Buncombe County Park?

Yes. Marriages can be performed in Buncombe County Parks. Picnic shelters are available for rental and can be reserved for wedding parties. Call Lake Julian Park for more information.  684-0376

Does Buncombe County have a Dog Park?

There are several dog parks located in Buncombe County. For information about these parks contact Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts (259-5800) or Black Mountain Recreation and Parks (419-9300).
There are walking trails at Charles D. Owen Park and the Buncombe County Sports Park that are suitable for walking dogs on a leash. All Buncombe County Parks allow dogs at park facilities as long as the dog is leashed. Dogs are not permitted at any Buncombe County Pool.

Are there other parks and recreation departments in Buncombe County?

Yes. The City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department (828) 259-5800 and the Black Mountain Recreation and Parks Department (828) 669-2052.