A Bit of HistoryCourtesy of North Carolina State Parks
Chimney Rock State Park, the icon of Hickory Nut Gorge, was established on May 4, 2005 with the purchase of the 1,568-acre World’s Edge tract for $16.1 million from the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. On May 21, 2007, the 1000-acre Chimney Rock Park was purchased by the state of North Carolina for $24 million from the Morse family, and Hickory Nut Gorge State Park became Chimney Rock State Park. This created a one-of-a-kind partnership between the State of North Carolina and Chimney Rock Management, LLC.
By 2008, the Rumbling Bald tract was purchased and that side of the park was officially opened for rock climbing. Major infrastructure improvements in the Chimney Rock Access began in 2008 after the closure of the Skyline Trail, the Cliff Trail, and the Needle’s Eye. Between 2009 and 2010 the lower section of the Skyline Trail (now known as the Exclamation Point Trail) was reopened, and projects began that would improve the elevator, entrance bridge, and the park’s water system. Parking at the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access was also improved. The Subway, Grotto, and Pulpit Rock were in turn closed in preparation for repairs.
After much public involvement, the Chimney Rock State Park Master Plan was released in May 2011. It addressed future access, trails, and recreational activities and laid out the vision for the park for years to come. The park also continued with elevator upgrades and began renovations to Outcroppings Trail's upper section and the Sky Lounge.
The Park has partnered with the Town of Lake Lure and the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy to provide new access to Eagle Rock through the Weed Patch Mountain Bike Trail. This trail starts in Buffalo Creek Park and will travel approximately 10 miles to Eagle Rock near the top of Shumont Mountain. With this new access, the park hopes to add recreational activities to this area by the end of 2017.
Today, the park continues to make improvements and has protected 6,892 acres on both sides of Hickory Nut Gorge. With the Master Plan as its guide and the general public as its advocate, Chimney Rock State Park will continue to protect and provide access to the natural resources that our visitors value and expect within our North Carolina State Park System.
Tranquility in the Mountains
There is something special about this town. The local people are kind and helpful. They want you to enjoy all that the town has to offer. There are many places to shop for souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, and one-of-a-kind items only found in Chimney Rock.
There are many restaurants with fantastic food! The Rocky Broad River is adjacent to the town and the businesses. Many people will spend their day walking on the boulders in the river or using them as a seat as they enjoy their surroundings. All of this is nestled at the foot of Chimney Rock State Park.