Chimney Rock Park Guide

  • Post category:Uncategorized
  • Post comments:0 Comments
  • Post last modified:February 10, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read
You are currently viewing Chimney Rock Park Guide

How to Get Around Chimney Rock Park

Free Chimney Rock North Carolina photo and picture

Chimney Rock State Park is in the Village of Chimney Rock in Rutherford County, just 25 miles from Asheville. It has the best of the North Carolina mountains all in one place. People have been travelling for more than 100 years to see this 500-million-year-old monolith. The park has all the things that people love about the mountains: dramatic scenery, exciting hiking trails, rare plants, native wildlife, and one of North Carolina’s highest waterfalls, which was featured in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans.”

First, you have to drive up a three-mile road with lots of turns to get to the top of Chimney Rock. Then either take the lift and climb a short set of stairs to get to the top of the tower. See Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge for 75 miles if the weather is clear.

The Skyline Trail

Taking a walk at Chimney Rock
Try one of their trails for some of the most different hikes in North Carolina. From easy to a bit hard, these three walks are great.(Check out our Hiking Guide too.)

To get to the bottom of the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls waterfall, take this “easy” trail. It’s a wide, gently rolling road. The 1.5-mile trail goes around in a circle and is mostly through trees, with a few moderately steep parts. The best path to see rhododendrons, wildflowers, and birds. It’s cool, so it’s a great choice on hot days. Check out our guide to Hickory Nut Falls.

The Outcroppings: To get to the Chimney, follow this set of stairs from the parking lot. On the way, stop at Vista Rock to take in the view. It’s hard because it has 500 steps, but people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy it because there are lots of rest stops along the way. The Subway, Grotto, and Pulpit Rock have been famous spots on Chimney Rock State Park’s Outcroppings trail for a long time. They reopened in 2015 after being closed since 2008.
Exclamation Point: This trail’s start is at the stairs that lead up to the Chimney. You have to go up a lot of stairs to get to the trail, which then levels out and leads you along a cliff with great views. You can see the Chimney and Lake Lure from the Opera Box. Keep going up to see the Devil’s Head, and at Exclamation Point (2,480 ft.), you can see the gorge.

Skyline Trail: This brand-new path starts at Exclamation Point and goes up the hill for 1.1 miles.Continue reading.
Four Seasons Trail: This 6.1-mile trail with a 400-foot hill gain will get your heart rate up. Along the trail, you’ll see rhododendron and mountain laurel thickets, as well as lots of wildflowers and rare and native plants, some of which you won’t find on any of the Park’s other paths.
Great Woodland Adventure: This fun walk is great for kids and adults who still feel like kids. The half-mile loop has twelve discovery spots that show how the animals that live in the Park live. Western North Carolina artists made each figure by hand.
The Rumbling Bald Trail is a 1.5-mile loop trail in Chimney Rock State Park. It has its own parking lot about 2 miles from the main entrance to Chimney Rock.Continue reading.

The Hickory Nut Falls

Bird watching: Chimney Rock is on the official NC Birding Trail and has walks and programmes for watching birds all along it. Bring your glasses if you want to see the amazing tricks that a Peregrine Falcon does high above the Gorge. They can slice through the air at more than 60 mph or dive on smaller birds in the air at an amazing 200 mph. In late September, the Park holds its Annual Flock to the Rock, which includes free birding classes, guided walks, and other events.Find out about Birding Weekend!

Eating and shopping: At the base of the park, in the Village of Chimney Rock, there are many cute shops and restaurants. Cliff Dwellers Gifts is the main gift shop in the Park, and Chimney Rock runs the Old Rock Cafe at the Park’s entrance. The Old Rock Cafe sells “Hiker’s Lunch” picnics that you can take to a trail and enjoy. A picnic table is at the base of Hickory Nut Falls, and there is also one at Exclamation Point.

Special Events: There are events almost every week, and a lot of them are organised hikes. Check the Chimney Rock Events Calendar to see what’s going on now.

From Pulpit Rock, the view

Fall Colour: This year, the best fall colour show starts in early November, later than in other mountains because this area is lower. For more information, check out our Autumn Foliage Guide.

Rock climbing: Find out more about rock climbing with a pro.

Advice on how to get to Chimney Rock

1. Do not rush. You should set aside at least half a day.
2. Put on walking shoes that are very comfy.
3. Get there early (8:30 AM) to avoid the crowds on weekends and holidays and to avoid the heat in the summer. A lot of people are out and about on Saturdays in the summer.
4. Look over the map that came with your ticket. It’s not worth it to just climb to the top of the Chimney and leave.
5. Get out on the trails! Find mountain hiking trails in North Carolina for people of all skill levels. Don’t forget to bring water.
6. Along the trails, there are many romantic places, such as the Opera Box, which has a view of the Chimney and is the best view in the park.
7. Pets are allowed in the Park, but they have to be on a lead at all times.
8. There are bathrooms in the Sky Lounge, in the Meadows near the ticket office, and in the parking lot at the base of the Chimney. Not a single toilet is located along the hiking tracks.
9. Stay in a nearby house or cottage.
10. Take a break in the Village of Chimney Rock to check out the cool shops and river boardwalk.

Visit the Chimney Rock page to find out more.


Leave a Reply