Participate in the NC State Parks Passport program this year!

Everything You Need to Know About the NC State Parks Passport

When visiting the mountains of North Carolina, people are enchanted by their majestic appearance and brilliant fall foliage. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys exploring nature, the Chimney Rock area is the perfect destination for you as there is an abundance of hiking trails and outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a unique challenge this year, try participating in the NC State Parks Passport program. The challenge? To visit as many NC state park as possible within the timeframe. Why not get out there and start exploring?

As you plan your trip to North Carolina, be sure to request your copy of our complimentary Chimney Rock Vacation Guide. Inside, we’ve included all the best places to dine, drink, shop, and more.

The Ultimate Guide to the NC State Parks Passport


The NC State Parks Passport is part of a unique state program that encourages people to explore the many gorgeous outdoor spaces we have here in North Carolina. Based on how many state parks you’re able to visit within the timeframe, you’ll receive a number of different prizes. 

Anyone who visits 10 parks will receive a field notebook and pen. For those who make it to 20 parks, you’ll get a bandana and a voucher for free socks from Great Outdoor Provision Co. If you’ve made it to 30 parks, you’ll get a running waist pack, buff headwear, and $15 gift card to Great Outdoor Provisions Co. If you’re a true outdoorsmen and you get to 40 parks, you’ll receive the ultimate prize package: a hiking patch, backpack, Passport T-shirt, and $25 gift card to Great Outdoor Provisions Co.


To start your NC State Parks Passport, ask to participate in the contest at any state park and they’ll provide you with the passport. Then, you can select any state parks you’d like to visit and be sure to receive a stamp in your passport to record which ones you’ve visited. If the office is closed during your visit, you can look for a stamp set outside the office, or send an email to [email protected] to ask for a stamp to be sent in the mail. Every time you’ve visited 10 parks, ask a team member to sign the back of the book. Then, when you’re ready to turn your passport in for your prizes, send a photo to the same email address as above and wait for your goodies!


If you’re trying to visit as many parks as possible for your NC State Park Passport, you’ll want some comfortable to rest your head at night. The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant is a gorgeous mountain property located near the Chimney Rock State Park and offers guests everything they need for an unforgettable stay. You can take advantage of the many amenities, private park, game roomspa services, and a hot, gourmet breakfast each morning. So, what are you waiting for?

Check our availability and book your stay today!

The interior of the Rocky Broad River Cabin at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant.