by William Moultrie
Boone, NC – Having a four-year-old and not much money, the wife and I don’t get out of our beloved South Carolina very often, so we aim to make every vacation extra special. Well, they don’t get much more special than our visit to Hawksnest Tubing resort just outside of Boone, North Carolina.
We’d been snow tubing before, so we thought we knew what to expect: an hour and a half or so of fast-paced sliding down snowy hillsides interrupted only by the ride back up the moving walkway to start again. Boy were we wrong — if that’s been your tubing experience, then you really need to check out Hawksnest because you’ve been missing out.
What, you may ask, could be better in a tubing park than actually spending the time tubing? In short, hiking, and lots of it.
Imagine my pleasant surprise when I launched my 4-year-old down the 1000-foot-long lane only to have him gently skid to a stop about 300 feet away from me. I couldn’t be happier as I saw him get up and start dragging the tube down to the end of the run all by himself in ankle-deep snow for another 300 feet or so before I was allowed to slide down in his direction to help him.
Had we known this resort was including an exercise program, we surely would have come sooner and more often. It was worth every penny of the $93 we spent.
Of course the trade-off for the added hiking bonus is that you really don’t have time for more than two runs on the course over your 90 minutes because the moving sidewalk that takes you back to the top moves at about the same rate as the walk down the slope. I assume this is part of their traffic-management program to keep the top from getting too crowded.
Unfortunately, my little boy isn’t in the kind of physical condition I’d like him to be in so he opted out of that second run, but I imagine we would have had a great time.
Mysteriously, not everyone shared our wonderful experience.
Marjory Jones, of Greenville, South Carolina, came up for the weekend with her two daughters.
“This was the biggest rip-off I’ve ever seen,” Jones said. “I spend my hard-earned money to come up here so I can lug this tube along behind me — what’s the fun in that? They said something about ‘changing weather conditions’ and ‘no refunds’ but I had pre-paid for my tickets and nobody told me that changing weather conditions meant that my kids were going to have to walk a half-mile in the snow. This place blows.”
When I told Jones that I thought we’d had a wonderful time and didn’t understand what her problem was, she responded by showing me the back of her hand and walking off. She may have been trying to signal me in some way but her ski mittens prevented me from seeing her fingers.
Overall, I would highly recommend anyone with plenty of stamina, no small children, a lot of extra time on their hands, and money that you’re not using for more important things go visit Hawksnest Tubing resort. You might not regret it.