When you live near an attraction it’s easy to take it for granted. That’s why I thought it was a great idea to go on a guided tour of Chimney Rock State Park.
Before I get into everything going on up on the rock, I want to show you a couple things I thought were pretty cool:
What I learned was exciting! Park management has been busy. Two construction projects were recently completed and another is under way.
- Subway, Grotto and Pulpit Rock: These popular features were reopened this Memorial Day weekend after being renovated to meet NC State Parks construction standards. The unique views at these points of interest on the park’s Outcroppings trail will amaze you!
- See the top of Hickory Nut Falls: NC State Parks is beginning work on a portion of the Skyline trail that will lead to stunning views of the Hickory Nut Gorge and the top of Hickory Nut Falls. The park anticipates completion of this project in conjunction with the celebration of the 100-year anniversary of NC State Parks in 2016.
Besides what you’d expect -climbing to the top of the chimney – there are classes, events, and activities scheduled throughout the year.
Fun for the Whole Family
- Hike with a Naturalist: Hit the trail with an expert naturalist to learn about mushrooms, plants, wildlife, survival skills, birds, geology and more. Programs and hikes vary by date; see chimneyrockpark.com/events for details.
- Grady’s Animal Discovery Den: Visit their adorable Park animal ambassador, Grady the Groundhog and his friends Fionna the opossum and Scurry, an albino chipmunk. The Great Woodland Adventure trail, a half-mile trail next to Grady’s, features 12 Discovery Stations and sculptures created by local artisans. Grady and his friends are the stars of the show in their Family Discovery Programs, daily June – August and on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day weekends.
Events with a Twist
- Grady’s Groundhog Day: Grady the Groundhog, their animal ambassador and local celebrity, will awaken from hibernation for his 11th annual shadow sighting on Feb. 2, 2016. Can he outwit Punxsutawney Phil and correctly predict the weather? Take part in an educational program on groundhogs while waiting eagerly to see if Grady’s shadow appears.
- 9th Annual Race to the Rock: The grueling 5K run and 25 mile bike races on August 16th climb 900 feet in the last 3 miles. This is the ONLY time you can run or bike up to Chimney Rock! This is a featured race in the Lake Lure Olympiad: lakelureolympiad.com
- Rappelling Santa: Every December, Santa practices for his big night by rappelling down Chimney Rock. Families can enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ crafts and visit with Santa in between his daring decents. Santa will be rappelling December 5th – 12th, 2015
More Activities Available at Chimney Rock:
“Off the Beaten Path” Hikes
“Simon Says” Birding Walks and Programs
Annual Events & Happenings
Annual Passholder Special Events
Evening Programs & Campouts
Naturalist Niche Series
No Additional Charge
Photography Workshops & Contests
Special Deals for Special Days
Wild Mushroom Walks
Thanks to Chimney Rock State Park for some of the content