Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park offers some of the most inspiring vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, earning it Southern Living Magazine’s #3 rating for scenic views amongst North Carolina attractions.

What’s more, Chimney Rock offers its guests something that no other nature park can — a 26-story elevator that can take visitors to the top of the 1,200 foot stone monolith in just 30-seconds!

Chimney Rock is surrounded by the towering cliffs of Hickory Nut Gorge and has features amazing 75 mile views across Lake Lure, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Carolina Piedmont. The park features forests of oak, hickory, maple, beech, poplar, locust and basswood; as well as rare and endangered wildflowers like Jack-in-the-pulpit and Solomon’s-seal, and is home to a number of birds including cuckoos, sparrows, dove, blue herons, screech owls, falcons, hawks, hummingbirds, and swallows.

In addition to guided rock climbing lessons for beginner and advanced climbers, Chimney Rock State Park also has a number of hiking trails including the family-friendly Great Woodland Adventure Trail that features 12 discovery stations. The Park’s other star attraction is the 404 ft. Hickory Nut Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River and site of the blockbuster film The Last of the Mohicans.

Gastronomes will love the Old Rock Café, listed in Zagat’s as having the best “must-try burgers across the country!” Diners can enjoy a meal in The Old Rock Café dining room or outdoor deck next to the Rocky Broad River. The Old Rock Café offers affordable sandwiches, salads desserts, and more.

Families with small children can visit Grady’s Animal Discovery Den, the park’s children’s zoo. Located at the end of the Great Woodland Adventure, Grady’s Den is home to forest friends including Grady the Groundhog, the park’s Animal Ambassador. The Discovery Den houses non-venomous snakes, some local turtles and even a toad or two, making it a perfect day trip for families travelling along the Blue Ridge Parkway.