Chimney Rock State Park located off of Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, North Carolina is a trip worth making any time of year. Chris and I decided to visit on a whim when we were apple orchard hopping in Hendersonville and realized how close we were. Unfortunately I did not have on appropriate footwear for hiking (note to self: always stick in a pair of hiking boots or walking shoes) so we did not take advantage of hiking on our visit but we did manage to see some beautiful views.
Admission to the park is not inexpensive so be forewarned. Adult one day passes are $17 but if we had to do it again we might get the Annual Pass which is $32 making it worthwhile if you can make at least 2 trips during the time when the pass is good. Of course the admission cost is typical of parks and helps maintain the upkeep and staffing but I was a little surprised when I was told the total. If we had planned our trip and done our research ahead of time we would have known this and planned a bit better. Is it worth it? Yes, yes it is.
The Chimney Rock State Park website is a really great website filled with all the information you might need for your trip. Hours are located here and change seasonally. They even post a leaf color update here and it looks like the best color will be viewed at the end of October.
The story of Chimney Rock centers around a man by the name of Dr. Lucius B. Morse. Dr. Morse was captivated by the area and fell in love with the land. He was born in 1871 and while living in Missouri was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. He was advised to to seek a more healthful climate and landed in the North Carolina . He fell in love with the area that was owned by Jerome B. “Rome” Freeman and in 1902 with the help of his brothers purchased 64 acres for $5000. It was then that he started to fulfill his dream of developing the Park and the Lake Lure area.
His claim to fame has to be the elevator that tourists can take to the top of the “chimney”. In 1946 he had plans down up for an elevator and soon a 198 foot tunnel was created as well as a 258 foot elevator shaft by blasting the granite. It is a great way for folks to get to the iconic viewing area without having to walk the steep incline. Also good for folks who did wear appropriate footwear. (Next time…) You can read more details about the history of Chimney Rock by clicking here.
Chimney Rock is a pretty amazing place to visit and I am excited for our next trip there. There are waterfalls, tons of hiking trails and plenty of things to see and do on our next visit. I am ready to go back whenever Chris is ready to have another day of adventure.
Have you ever been to Chimney Rock? I would love to hear about it in the comments section. Remember that each comment made on the blog this month means a 50 cent donation to our Comments for a Cause – Warm Coats for Kids.