Chimney Rock State Park
Tomorrow morning I leave for Toronto to tour garden after garden with fellow bloggers at the 2015 Garden Bloggers Fling. The schedule is jam-packed with garden tours, so watch out, garden tour pics will be coming throughout the summer!
But today I want to take you on a hike in a locale closer to home. Chimney Rock State Park is located northeast of Hendersonville, NC off Highway 64. I really didn’t know what to expect other than it offered some nice trails for all levels of hikers. Apparently Hollywood is captivated with the park as it has been a filming location for several movies!
The entrance to the park is in the middle of Chimney Rock, a small town (village) that sits on the Broad River…which is quite beautiful in this area. Once you wind your way up into the park and arrive in the parking lot, you can see why they call it Chimney Rock.
There is a shop, a cafe, and some picnic tables for you to eat your lunch. There is an elevator that can take you to the top; however, the elevator was not working on the day we were there, so we climbed the stairs.
A dam across the Broad River formed Lake Lure. This is a view of Lake Lure from the parking lot.
There is a rather elaborate stairway that takes you to the top of Chimney Rock.
Along the way there are some detours to break up your climb. This is the Grotto, a nice sitting area complete with a bench. You can also stop at Pulpit Rock and Vista Rock.
My daughter, Caroline, is my hiking companion for the day.
The final climb to the top is a rather impressive series of stairs.
The view of Lake Lure from the top is pretty spectacular and the countryside isn’t too shabby either!
Along with the climb to the top, there are several hiking trails. We chose the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. This trail is 1.5 miles round trip and is considered to be a moderate hike that takes you to the bottom of the falls. I felt like it was a pretty easy hike.
The face of the mountain is on one side of the hiking trail. Looking up, it is a sheer vertical surface.
Hickory Nut Falls is a 404-foot waterfall down the vertical face of the mountain. It was featured in the film The Last of the Mohicans
This trail leads you right down to the bottom of the falls.There were many songbirds and butterflies along this shady trail. It is a perfect trail for families with children or anyone else who wants to see a diversity of plants, birds, and scenery.
There are five trails to be explored ranging from easy to strenuous. We only had time to make the climb to the top and then enjoy the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. I look forward to return trips to explore all of the trails and spend some time in the village. It appears as though there are many small lodges and cabins for rent in the village along the Broad River that would make for a splendid getaway.
For more information see chimneyrockpark.com