By Guest Blogger Janet Fulp
As the mom of a preteen and teenagers, it is of course my job to make sure the kids are entertained this summer. At least they think so. And of course this job is made easier by making plans with friends that are also entertaining kids and looking for some mom hang time.
So on a recent Saturday we all caravanned down to Carrigan Farms in Mooresville to enjoy open swim time in the beautiful spring fed quarry. We took the same day trip last summer on a weekday so I knew it would be fun – BUT I was also a little nervous. Jumping 90 feet into the quarry is scary! Okay, so it’s not actually 90 feet – but it’s enough to get my nerves aflutter.
After an easy one hour trip we got there right when they opened at 10 am. Open swim was over by 3 pm and we wanted to enjoy the swim as long as possible. I had asked my husband 82 times if he had cash – but alas, after hauling our things to the payment window, I had to wait for him to “run back to the car to get cash.” Does this happen to other people??
Carrigan only takes checks or cash, so my handy debit card was of no help. After paying ($15 per person), we chose our life jackets and headed down to set up our chairs and umbrellas in the grassy field next to the quarry.
Some in our group went to sign up for the swim test (see more info on the swim test below), and several found out that the test taken and passed last summer was still valid. Once these guys received their wrist band indicating they were allowed to swim without a life jacket, they dove in! A few of the less daring, and speaking for myself, LAZY, decided to keep the lazy jacket on and enjoy the lack of effort needed to enjoy floating and chatting with friends.
Happily, although I have no scientific evidence to support it, I decided that the water level was higher this summer compared to last. Therefore- the jump was not as far down! Emboldened by this revelation I jumped on in. Now remember, if you are the least bit nervous, do not stand at the edge of the rock, look down and think. This will cause you to hesitate. When it’s your turn, you take a big step and go. You can also take a short hike to the zero entry beach area if you decide you absolutely Can. Not. Jump. If you choose the beach area, you’ll want water shoes or to tread lightly. It’s pretty rocky.
Since our last trip, Carrigan had added a high jump area (I did not use) and a rope swing (do you even need to wonder?? I did not use). Both of these areas provided great entertainment for those floating in the water as we cheered on brave souls that were using these to jump into the water. There were some impressive dives and a few equally impressive belly flops. Note: In order to use the rope swing, you are required to do a full chin up and bring your chin above the bar.
Another important tip: You cannot purchase food or drink at the Quarry, so be sure to bring your own. The grassy area provides a great place to spread out a picnic.
For another perspective on a trip to the Quarry, visit the TMoM Facebook page HERE and click on the video tab.
Carrigan Farms has year round activities that make it worth the drive out. My kids want to return for “Scarrigan Farms” (the haunted trail they feature in October). But the farm takes their haunting seriously – no one under 12 is allowed! They also host field trips, pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, hay rides, night hayrides, and private events.
Swim test – Life jackets are REQUIRED for everyone 11 years and younger. You can bring your own if it’s more comfortable. Those 12 and over must also wear a life vest (which means every adult, which I realize I am being redundant but “Even adults??” was a common question among our group when discussing) UNLESS they pass a swim test. With so many people in the water, I appreciate that Carrigan Farms is strict with safety. For the swim test you must jump into the water, swim to a floating dock and tread water for 1 minute. Then, participants must then swim over to the exit ladder and climb out. While most adults chose to take the test, a few didn’t want to make the jump in the water because while it wasn’t the highest jump off point, it also wasn’t the lowest one available. For a video of the test click HERE.
Carrigan Farms Quarry
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy
Mooresville, NC 28115
Click HERE for driving directions
Find more Day Trip Ideas HERE!
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