July 21, 2016

Smarty Summer Must-Do: Open Swim at the Quarry

Quarry Charlotte Smarty Pants

Team Smarty was looking to stir up summer a bit and get out of the summer pool rut. So we decided to pack up the family trucksters and take a little Smarty roadtrip to the Quarry at Carrigan Farms. I must {literally} be living under a rock because this was my very first adventure to the Quarry. After one glorious day, I can assure you, the Plym crew will be back and often before we close out #summer2016.

We are all familiar with Carrigan Farms and their fall apple-picking, hayrides, corn mazes and the best strawberry-picking in the area. But most of us don’t know the other half of the Carrigan property and I’m so excited to share our summer outing with you!

Located just outside Charlotte in Mooresville, the Quarry is fed by an underground spring and rimmed in rock that rises to 70 feet – it’s absolutely stunning. The water is emerald green and blue with gray granite cliffs and a white, sandy beach – it’s perfect for a family picnic and swimming on a hot Carolina day. What I love about the Quarry is it has no age barriers – kids ages 4 (I recommend this outing if all of your kids can swim) all the way through high school and college will enjoy the Quarry just as much as you do. Your entire fam will enjoy cliff jumping, swimming, lounging, volleyball, and more.

Quarry 2 Charlotte Smarty Pants

In typical Smarty fashion, we have some life-saving tips for your next journey to the Quarry for their popular Open-Swim dates:

1) Prior to planning your trip, check Carrigan Farms facebook page. Their Open Swim Dates on their website say “Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10a-3p Weather Permitting”. But this changes sometimes due to private parties and such, so plan in advance and call too so you don’t make the trek up there and find it closed for a private event.

2) Bring life jackets if you have them. Especially for the kiddos. All children under 12 are required to wear a life jacket and Carrigan has them. But the little sizes seem to run out quickly and it’s better to have your own for a good fit. Children 12 and older can take a swim test so they don’t have to wear a life jacket. If you’re smart, you’ll train your kids that if you can’t see the bottom of any body of water, they must wear a life jacket at all times. I’d say at least through age 16 but I’m trying to enforce even older than that with my risk-taking posse! Also, have your kids wear a t-shirt or rash guard due abrasions from a full day of life jacket wear.

3) Pack a cooler and picnic. Your family will more than likely want to stay for the entire duration of the open swim. We recommend packing something fun for the moms like Chicken Salad Chick/fruit/La Croix and PB&J’s and such for the kids. Pack lots of drinks, everyone gets thirsty and no alcohol. Not that you would – wink, wink!

4) Plan to go with a mom friend or THREE! If you live in South Charlotte, it’s a jaunt, but totally worth the 60-minute drive. It’s fun to bring a crew and moms need friends too. Plenty of places to hang on rafts, noodles, Crazy Creeks and granite rocks. Speaking of the drive, it’s gorgeous as you wind through horse country. You’ll even pass a Bull-Riding Arena that is happening for the entire fam on Sunday nights. Must do some Smarty investigating on that one!

5) Bring cash or check. It’s $12/person and no credit/debit cards.

6) Wear Chaco’s if you have them. Lots of rocks everywhere, that’s what makes this place so beautiful. Chaco’s will help you go from rocks to water in one fell swoop.

7) Make sure you turn into the WEST ENTRANCE. Your GPS will guide you right to the Carrigan family home driveway. I actually would have loved to sit down with anyone in that family over a glass of iced tea! But they probably don’t care to hang with all of us. You’ll thank me for this tip, it’s a little confusing.

8) Smarty Teen Tips: The Quarry is a very popular teen hangout, even for South Charlotte teens. Enos are really popular with trees all over the place for the perfect hanging spot. Crazy Creek chairs are also very popular.

9) Bring your out-of-town summer guests. This is the perfect spot to impress your family on their summer visits. It’s inexpensive, gorgeous and gets you out of the house all day.

10) Hang with Murphy, the Quarry mascot. He is adorable. We wanted to pack him up and bring him home. This golden will play with your kids for hours on end. All you have to do is pet him and throw him the tennis ball. He’ll even retrieve off the rocks.

Quarry 3 Charlotte Smarty Pants

11) Plan your summer birthday or graduation party at the Quarry. This is the perfect spot for a middle or high school special event – be it 13th birthday party, 16th birthday party, graduation party – the list goes on.

12) Check out our instagram and facebook vidoes of the Quarry. So fun, you’ll wish you were there right now!

Here’s our Smarty Lookbook documenting our PERFECT #CLT Summer Day!

Quarry Smarty Ava

Quarry 4 CSP

Quarry 5 CSP

Quarry 6 CSP

Quarry 7 CSP

Quarry CSP 9

You can find the Quarry at Carrigan Farms at

The Quarry
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy
Mooresville, NC 28115
facebook: @carriganfarms
instagram: @carriganfarms
twitter: @carriganfarms

2 Responses

  1. Laura says:

    Great recommendation! I am definitely heading there soon!

  2. Thanks so much and come back soon!!

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