Chimney Rock State Park is located in the picturesque Lake Lure, North Carolina, about a one hour drive from TR.
With over 8,000 acres, there is lots to do and to see here. There are 10 trails to choose from that range from easy to difficult. Six of these trails are located within the park, and four of them can be accessed at various trailheads outside of the park.
The most popular site within this park is the 315-foot rock that offers panoramic views which gave the park its name, Chimney Rock.
In addition, there are multiple different points of interest such as Hickory Nut Falls and Peregrine’s Point.
When I went, I chose to start my visit by seeing Chimney Rock. I opted out of hiking the Outcroppings Trail that can get you there and decided to take the elevator up to the top. To get to the elevator, you get to walk through a cool tunnel. Once you ride the elevator to the top, you are brought to the gift shop. Unless you want to look around inside, you will walk to the exit and head towards the 44-steps up to Chimney Rock. It’s super hard to miss because you will see the large rock formation the second you step outside. After climbing the steps, you find yourself on top of the rock where you get to see a gorgeous view all around. Be watchful of the people around you because it can get a little crowded.
Since there were quite a few people on the rock, I decided to climb a few more stairs off to the side that led up to the Opera Box. I personally enjoyed this view more because I got to see Chimney Rock with its beautiful American flag flying as part of the landscape. Not to mention, I was the only person there which made it enjoyable!
Once I was done seeing the beauty of Chimney Rock, I made my way back down to the parking lot to do some more adventuring.
While there, I decided that I wanted to hike the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. It is just a short walk from the parking lot. This trail is a 1.5 mile out-and-back trail. It is a fairly easy trail that is good for beginners and young hikers. It is also open to dogs as long as they are leashed.
After hiking a little way, you will make it to the midway point of the trail which is the amazing Hickory Nut Falls. Usually, you can get up nice and close to the falls. However, during my visit, we were not allowed to get up nearly as close because of ice.
Nonetheless, it was still a nice hike!
Chimney Rock State Park is a beautiful place to visit.
During the regular season, tickets are $17 per adult, $8 for kids 5-15 and kids 4 and under are free. However, during the winter months, the tickets change to $10 per adult and $5 for kids 5-15. I personally suggest going in the winter time to snag that discount and to avoid the crowds!
Visiting hours during the regular season are 8:30-5:30 every day.
During the winter months, they are open from 8:30-4:30 every day.
When you are done visiting the state park, I highly suggest spending some time in Chimney Rock looking through the stores or enjoying the sites of Lake Lure. If you’re looking for a place to grab a bite, my absolute favorite place is Lured Market & Grill.
Hickory Nut Falls
- Length: 1.5 miles
- Trail type: out-and-back
- Elevation: 295 feet
- Difficulty: Easy
- Dog friendly? Yes, but make sure to keep them leashed. Be aware that dogs are not allowed in the elevator or in buildings.
As always when you’re choosing to explore nature, make sure to do so responsibly by adhering to the Leave No Trace Principles:
- Plan Ahead Prepare
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Others
Photos and Article by Hopefully Hiking
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