Looking for one more swimming hole to try this summer? The Quarry at Carrigan Farms in Mooresville, NC might be just the place. Here’s everything you need to plan a fun, family day swimming at Carrigan Farms.
If you have an adventurous spirit and are not afraid to jump into a 25-foot deep natural spring quarry, then this is the place for you. The quarry at Carrigan Farms is not only a beautiful sight to behold, but also a full day of water activities including several rock jump-off points, rope swings, swimming areas, and a sand beach volleyball area. It’s hard to believe that this natural playground was the result of an accidental discovery.
About the Quarry at Carrigan Farms
The quarry is located inside a five-generation run family farm called Carrigan Farms. The farm itself has been a working farm since the 1750s that started off as a cotton/tobacco farm and has since transitioned to a fruit and vegetable farm. There are massive cornfields that spread as far as the eye can see surrounding the farm.
The quarry itself was accidentally discovered during the mining of granite during the late 1960s for Interstate 77. Can you imagine the wonderful surprise to find this emerald green natural spring that welled up for a perfect swimming hole?
Swimming at the Quarry
Once you arrive at the quarry, you’ll be directed to a parking lot by an attendant. Once we unloaded the car, we walked down a path to a check-in point.
Swim test or life vest
We were asked to sign the waivers and then were given the option to take a swim test. Since we had the kids with us, we decided for everyone to just wear the life vests to save time. All guests are required to wear a life vest unless they choose to take a swim test and pass, which is available for ages 12+.
The quarry was breathtaking. Rocky cliffs towered over emerald green water as blue skies shone through the trees. You could see where the wedding pavilion area was located and beside it was a white sand beach with volleyball.
The big jump
There were several grassy areas to post up your belongings while getting ready for the big jump! The kids were surprisingly eager to jump off the high point and it made me feel better that they were not only wearing life vests but also several lifeguards lined the perimeters. Jumping off the rock was invigorating and surprisingly the water was much warmer than most of the swimming holes we have swum in the past. At 79 degrees, it was more than refreshing.
We noticed the rope swing also and mom and dad had to give that a try. They do require a pull-up test and you have to be 54 inches tall. There was also a walk-in area to swim so if heights are not your thing, you can wade in peacefully at your own leisure.
You could easily spend a half-day at the quarry between swimming, jumping, swinging, and volleyball.
Know Before You Go to Carrigan Farms
You can only swim in the quarry during Open Swim times and dates or previously arranged on a field trip, party or another event. Check the Open Swim times on the website before you go so you aren’t surprised.
Open Swim happens all summer through mid-September, depending on the weather but again, check the schedule.
- Guests must make an advance reservation online and pay a $5 deposit per person. The balance is due upon arrival.
- All guests are required to wear a life jacket unless they pass a swim test, which is available for those ages 12+.
- The largest allowable size of any single-family unit/group is ten people, this will be reassessed as the summer continues.
- Each reserved guest will receive a $5 dining voucher to use at the Quarry Kitchen during their visit. Walk-in customers will be limited to any remaining availability and will not receive a $5 dining voucher.
- The Quarry Kitchen is a take-out window, offering snacks and refreshments and is cash-only. Outside food and drink are not permitted. Pets are not permitted.
- The boardwalk has been widened to allow for social distancing, and the entry at the shallow end is now a concrete ramp.
- You must reserve your time slot online. Reservations can be canceled with a refund up to 24 hours prior to reservation time. After that, a refund is forfeited.
Every swimmer is required to sign a waver and all guests are required to wear a life vest. If you do not wish to wear a life vest, you can take a swim test on-site, which are available for people ages 12+. Life vests are provided for people weighing 30 pounds or more or you can bring your own.
Admission to Carrigan Farms
Most notably, the farm does not take credit cards so make sure you bring cash or check. Carrigan Farms advises that kids under 4 years old do not swim in the quarry.
Admission Cost (2022) Admission varies depending on the day of the week and the time you choose to swim. Admission ranges anywhere from $20 up to $35 per person depending upon weekday, weekend, or holiday time slots. You can choose your time slot via the online reservation portal.
What to Bring to Carrigan Farms
As far as packing for the quarry, you’ll obviously need swim attire as well as sunblock, water, towels, and don’t forget the camera. You will also notice a variety of other events and activities including weddings, corporate events, and fall activities listed on the website, as well as the fascinating history of the farm.
No alcohol, glass, pets, paddleboards, large rafts, or grilling is allowed at the quarry. Outside food & drink are not permitted. Open Swim is specifically an alcohol-free event.
Where to Stay near Carrigan Farms
Use the map to find great places to stay near Carrigan Farms.
The map contains Stay22 Affiliate links and Kidding Around earns when you book through these links.
If you’d like to stay overnight, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott and the TownePlace Suites by Marriott have a $99 nightly rate for open swim customers.
Getting there from the Greenville area is about two hours up 385 to Highway 77. The drive-up goes pretty quickly.
1261 Oak Ridge Farm Highway, Mooresville NC
For another naturally refreshing swimming spot in North Carolina, check out An Emerald Lagoon That Looks Like A Fairy Tale – Midnight Hole
This article was originally written by Nikki Hulton and has been updated by the Kidding Around Team.