Chimney Rock Park in Asheville, NC
This 315-foot monolith has been a tourist attraction since 1902.
PHOTO CREDIT: David Mudd
Want to feel like you’re on top of the world? Climb the towering 315-foot monolith known as Chimney Rock, the anchor of Chimney Rock State Park.
Plenty of Activities
“The park encompasses everything you want in a mountain vacation in one place – hiking, rock climbing, picnicking, great views, waterfalls,” says Meghan Rogers, public relations and events manager at Chimney Rock State Park. “You name it, you can do it here.”
Chimney Rock first opened as a tourist attraction in 1902, when the Lucius B. Morse family dreamed of acquiring, protecting and sharing the natural wonder with the world. The Morse family operated the park for more than a century, and it was sold to the state in May 2007.
“The state purchased the land, but we will continue to operate the park in the same manner the Morse family did for 100 years,” Rogers says.
More than 250,000 visitors climb to the top of Chimney Rock each year and enjoy dramatic 75-mile views over Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge. The park is also home to the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls (one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River), several hiking trails, two gift shops and Sky Lounge Deli and the Old Rock Café.
Movies at Chimney Rock
Thanks to its spectacular scenery, the park has doubled as a movie set several times. Scenes from the 1992 adventure film, The Last of the Mohicans, were filmed along the park’s Cliff Trail and at the top of Hickory Nut Falls, and the 1987 blockbuster Dirty Dancing was filmed a mile down the road from the park at Lake Lure.
Annual events at Chimney Rock State Park include an Easter Sunrise Service that overlooks Lake Lure. A 53-year tradition, the service has been known to attract upwards of 1,000 people. “It’s a spectacular nondenominational service, with great views, music and scripture,” Rogers says. “Afterward, we always invite people to stay for the day for free.”
Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com for upcoming events and information.
Read about more adventures in Asheville, NC.