photograph by Revival Creatives

Where the Yadkin River tumbles over Cooleemee Falls between Davie and Rowan counties, a cool escape from the summer sun awaits. Kids slide down slick rock surfaces on bare legs or inner tubes while adults dangle their feet in the chilly water. And vice versa. Because here, anyone can be a kid.

Known as The Bullhole (legend has it that, years ago, a bull ox hauling timber across the river slipped near the falls and disappeared into a whirlpool), this popular summer hangout was once the site of one of Rowan County’s largest gristmills, as well as many late 19th-century Masonic picnics. The area’s significance as a gathering place inspired local leaders to create a 30-acre “RiverPark,” including The Bullhole, which officially opened in 2004.

Today, up to 250 visitors come to this spot each day to swim, fish, sunbathe, and slide. Stand under the falls for a pounding massage; take a freezing dip in one of the deep swimming holes; bury your friends in the sand on the beach, deposited on the riverbank by a flood. Because here, anyone can be a kid.

The Bullhole
645 Erwin Temple Church Road
Woodleaf, NC 27054
(336) 284-6040

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Katie King is the assistant editor at Our State.