Above photo by Dave Stram

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park announced the winners of its 2009 Photo Contest. Nearly 100 entries were received for the Share Your Favorite Moments themed contest.

“Our guests always surprise and delight us with their creative and fun photos, making choosing the winners really tough,” said Meghan Rogers, public relations and events manager.

The Grand Prize winner is Dave Stram from Schaumburg, IL. Dave submitted several images and they were all beautiful. In fact, the judges had such a difficult time choosing just one of Dave’s interesting photos that they chose three. Dave visited with his family over spring break and despite the rainy weather was able to capture some very unique views of the Park.

“This is my favorite picture taken of Chimney Rock because it captures the scale of the view and the unique relationship between photographer and the people within the photograph,” Dave says referring to the panoramic (shown above). Pictured are Greg Stram, Sam Miller, Melissa Miller and Stephanie Stram.

Rebecca Yost’s photo of a Swainson’s Warbler was selected as the Second Place winner. A Durham, NC resident, Rebecca has hiked Chimney Rock many times in hopes of finally catching a glimpse of what she calls her “nemesis.”

“No longer is the Swainson’s Warbler my nemesis; it’s number 605 on my North America Life List of birds,” Rebecca says, adding that she hopes to return to the Park each spring to see her new friend.


Our Third Prize winner is frequent visitor Scott Rigdon of Winston-Salem, NC. Scott submitted a photo of his kids, Ezra (9) and Sophia (6) and their dogs, Willie Wonka and Pretty Lady. Scott is a long-time enthusiast of Chimney Rock and took this photo during a visit in August, a final summer adventure before the kids returned to school.

“This photo represents a trademark Rigdon trait. We made the best of a rainy day, which is what we do with life in general,” says Scott.

This year, the Park added a Staff Choice category, and Jerry Herbert of New Philadelphia, OH was almost unanimously chosen as the winner. Jerry’s image of Hickory Nut Falls shows the full view of the waterfall in vivid color.

Each winner received a prize package and Grand Prize winner Dave Stram also received a two-night stay at the historic Esmeralda Inn. The top prize for 2010 will include a two-night stay at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa.

The 2010 contest themed Show Us a New View will begin on March 15. We're encouraging our guests to show us a view of the Park that we haven't seen before. Perhaps it's an interesting nook found on the Outcroppings trail or the way their child or pet interacts with the Park. More details will be posted soon.


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