ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park’s climbing tower on the Meadows will be open to guests, weather permitting, for a free climb Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. with paid Park admission. Check out the new, stunning elevated views on the rebuilt Outcroppings trail to the Chimney, now easier to hike with a gentler slope and more places to rest. Enjoy a family picnic at the Park with a $6 special (plus tax) for a grilled hot dog, bag of chips and 20-oz. soft drink or bottled water in front of Cliff Dwellers Gifts over the three-day weekend. Park musician John Mason will be playing music from old time to ragtime on a hammered dulcimer, weather permitting. The Park elevator and Sky Lounge are expected to open by mid-June.Chimney Rock is open every day 8:30am to 7pm; Ticket Plaza closes at 5:30pm. Admission is $12/adults, $5/youth ages 6-15 and children under six are admitted free.
Get a Taste of Rock Climbing. Climbers who want a taste of real rock climbing can head to the top parking lot and climb below the Chimney with the expertise of Fox Mountain Guides, who offer the only AMGA-Certified program in the Southeast. The 15-minute “tasters” cost $20 per person, no experience necessary. Two-hour climbing clinics and half- and full-day climbs with Fox Mountain are available by appointment. Get more information at (888) 284-8433 or chimneyrockpark.com.
Live Critters Make for Family Fun. Chimney Rock was named one of the top 5 “best summer activities for families” in North Carolina by GeoParent last year. The Park’s Memorial Day weekend offers great hiking and activities for kids. While in the Meadows, families will enjoy Grady’s Animal Discovery Den, where children can meet Grady the Groundhog, the Park’s animal ambassador, and have fun eyeing live critters such as turtles, snakes and an opossum. These critters are stars in some of the Park’s education programs for schools, homeschoolers and scouts. The adjacent Great Woodland Adventure offers an easy 0.6-mile winding hike with 13 interactive discovery stations, where Grady illustrates how his forest friends live, including chipmunks, frogs, owls and butterflies. Larger-than-life wood and metal sculptures bring to life the nation’s second TRACK Trail (Trails, Ridges and Active Caring Kids), created in collaboration with Kids in Parks, an initiative of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. TRACK Trail adventures are designed to help kids explore nature through the use of self-guided brochures.
About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor attraction located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It has been recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. In 2012, the Park is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the release of The Last of the Mohicans, which was filmed in Chimney Rock. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com. More information on current Capital Improvement projects at chimneyrockpark.com/progress or by calling 800-277-9611.