When it comes to unparalleled Appalachian beauty, few places in North Carolina compare to Chimney Rock State Park. You’ll find this hidden treasure just south of Asheville! This 6,800-acre park is home to some of the state’s most scenic vistas and hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and rock climbing adventures. Read on to learn more about this one-of-a-kind park. And, if you are looking for more outdoor adventures, take a look at our free Chimney Rock/Lake Lure Vacation Guide. Our guide has helped so many people plan the ultimate NC mountain getaway! Use it for recommendations on restaurants, historic sites, breweries, and more!
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The Best Things to Do at Chimney Rock State Park
1. Take in Those Mountain Views
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to step inside a piece of artwork? Wonder no more, because the overlook at Chimney Rock State Park will take your breath away. For those unable to hike, an elevator is available to take you 2,280 feet up to the top of Chimney Rock. Here, you’ll find incredible 75-mile panoramic views of the Hickory Nut Gorge, Lake Lure, and the Blue Ridge Foothills.
2. Enjoy Exceptional Hiking Trails
While the Chimney Rock overlook often steals the show, the park is also home to beautiful hiking trails. Families will love the Great Woodland Adventure Trail, which features 12 discovery stations and Grady’s Animal Discovery Den. If you’re looking for a more challenging trek, try the Four Seasons Trail, the Exclamation Point Trail, or the popular Hickory Nut Falls Trail that leads to a 400-foot waterfall.
Local Tip: Take advantage of our Cheers Trail Package and we’ll prepare a delicious picnic lunch for your hike!
3. Go Rock Climbing
If you prefer hand chalk to hiking boots, you’re in luck. The Rumbling Bald Climbing Access is one of the best places for rocking climbing in the southeast. It contains an estimated 1,500 bouldering problems that are easily accessible in the park. No experience or equipment is necessary, but if you’ve never been rock climbing, lessons are available through Fox Mountain Guides.
4. Discover Western North Carolina’s Wildlife
As you can imagine, Chimney Rock State Park provides habitat for a wide range of wildlife. We urge guests to stop by the Animal Discovery Den and meet the insects, amphibians, mammals, and other creatures that call this area home. You can even join the Animal Encounters program to learn more about their natural history. These interactive programs are fun for the whole family and are offered every day in April, June, July, August, October weekends, and Christmas week.
Continue Your Adventure at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant
You won’t be far from the beauty of Western North Carolina when you stay at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant. This beautiful park is only a five-minute trip away from our inn! Our spacious guest rooms offer stunning views and top-notch amenities, including extraordinarily comfortable beds, beautiful views of the Rocky Broad River and surrounding mountains, complimentary gourmet breakfast, and more.
If you are ready to plan your next adventure at Chimney Rock State Park, take advantage of our Hickory Nut Gorge Package and book your stay! We can’t wait to host you at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant.