The Media Room April 17, 2014

Press Releases

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park Reopens March 8

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (March 7, 2014)—Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park reopens on Saturday, March 8, 2014, following the successful completion of a substantial road repair. The attraction had been closed for just over a month to repair one lane and build a new retaining wall along the park’s entrance road.

Winter park hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Tuesday, weather permitting, with the Ticket Plaza closing at 4:30 p.m. The park is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays until spring. For visitor information, go to chimneyrockpark.com.

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9th Annual Grady’s Groundhog Day Shadow Sighting February 2 in Chimney Rock

Grady’s annual shadow sighting and wildlife program
free and open to the public next to the Old Rock Café


CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (January 14, 2014)—Grady the Groundhog, animal ambassador for Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, will be making his annual winter prediction at noon on Sunday, February 2 behind the Old Rock Café in Chimney Rock Village, next to the park entrance. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., weather permitting, the public is invited to a free wildlife program to learn quirky things about groundhogs and the Groundhog Day tradition and participate in kids’ crafts.

Around noon Grady the Groundhog will awaken from his winter slumber to see if his shadow appears, which would signal six more weeks of winter. But if there’s no shadow, then spring should be around the corner. Grady outwitted Punxsutawney Phil to predict the weather correctly last year. Drop in at the Old Rock Café for a lunch special of Grady’s favorite soup and other groundhog-themed menu items.

Cast your vote online whether or not you think Grady will see his shadow. Follow Grady the Groundhog’s new Facebook page on February 2 for his shadow prediction. He's there to answer your questions about wild critters and share details about upcoming wildlife and nature programs.

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Chimney Rock Offers Favorite Ways to See Fall Colors in the Mountains

Weekly fall color reports on chimneyrockpark.com help leaf peepers plan their visit during peak colors

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (October 7, 2013)—Chimney Rock’s panoramic 75-mile views capture the full spectrum of Western North Carolina’s legendary fall foliage, and it’s getting easier to know when to catch it at the peak. Weekly fall color and wildflower reports are available at chimneyrockpark.com to help you know where and when to find the best color. Peak fall colors are expected to appear in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure between mid-October and early November. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers a handful of favorite ways to admire autumn colors this year, from expert- and self-guided hikes to rock climbing and a photography workshop. The Park was voted the “best beautiful fall foliage spot” by readers of Blue Ridge Country in the 2013 Best of the Mountains poll, along with a gold award for “best scenic photo opportunity.”

“The Blue Ridge Mountains feature one of most vibrant and longest fall color displays in America, attracting visitors from around the world. In late September to early November, from popular destinations along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, Western North Carolina is among the most beautiful places to go leaf peeping, hiking and auto touring,” said Emily Walker, Park Naturalist & Education Manager.

Catching Peak Colors. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure have a large variety of colorful tree species and an elevation ranging from 1,100 to 2,500 feet, which are ideal conditions to create a long window for optimal viewing. Peak colors typically arrive at the Park’s higher elevations around mid-October and spread down to the lower elevations through early November.

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Outward Hounds Sniff out Dog-Friendly Trails at Chimney Rock

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue pairs volunteer hikers with adoptable dogs to enjoy Chimney Rock's scenic pet-friendly trails

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (September 25, 2013)—Chimney Rock is hosting Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s Outward Hounds Hiking Club 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2. Volunteers will hike with adoptable dogs on Chimney Rock’s pet-friendly trails, including the Four Seasons and the Great Woodland Adventure.

Brother Wolf, an Asheville-based, no-kill animal shelter, welcomes volunteers to its Outward Hounds Hiking Club, which meets every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. at its adoption center year-round. Outward Hounds connects dog lovers with adoptable four-legged companions for weekly hikes on scenic trails in WNC.

Chimney Rock was voted the “Best Hike to Take the Dog Along” by readers of Blue Ridge Country in their 2013 Best of the Mountains poll, which covers seven southern states in the Appalachian Mountains. Read more about Chimney Rock's pet-friendly trails.

“Chimney Rock has incredible views and a variety of easy-to-moderately-difficult trails for dogs and their owners. A trip to Chimney Rock wouldn’t be complete without bringing your furry family members! We’re delighted the Park is so welcoming as a pet-friendly outdoor destination,” said Denise Bitz, executive director of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

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“Many Faces of Chimney Rock” Photo Contest Launches Sept. 13

Prizes for winners include a two-day getaway to Chimney Rock & Lake Lure, annual Park passes, ziplining, boat tours and more.

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (September 2013)—The grinning faces of your children, family pet or Grady the Groundhog could win you a two-day getaway with outdoor adventures in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Hosted by the Park, the “Many Faces of Chimney Rock” photo contest launched Sept. 13 with alluring prizes to capture the imagination of Park visitors and area photographers.

There’s no fee to submit your photo in the contest for a chance to win, but all photographs must be taken inside the Park between September 13 and November 30, 2013. The contest welcomes Park visitors, amateur and professional photographers to submit up to three photos per person via social media, email or postal mail. The deadline to submit online or postmark date your mailed entry is November 30, 2013. Winners will be announced in December, and winning photos will be featured on the Park’s website and social media.

Read the complete contest rules and submission guidelines.

Birders “Flock to the Rock” September 21-22 for Fall Migration

Region’s premier fall migration event at Chimney Rock features birds of prey, guided bird walks, workshops and backyard bird supplies during prime weekend

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (September 17, 2013)—Chimney Rock is well known for its colorful fall and stunning 75-mile views overlooking Lake Lure, but fewer visitors and locals know the State Park as a destination for year-round birding. The region’s premier fall migration birding event, Flock to the Rock, hosted by Chimney Rock for the past four years, has brought more attention to the Park’s abundant birding opportunities. Flock to the Rock will be held 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22. This prime birding weekend coincides with the annual hawk migration when dozens, sometimes hundreds, of hawks can be seen during their flight south.

The weekend is packed full of bird walks guided by local experts and workshops ranging from bird photography, taught by renowned bird photographer Todd Arcos, to bird-friendly gardening, taught by Wild Birds Unlimited Asheville staff. Special to the event are live birds of prey programs both days and an “Early Bird” Migration Watch led by Simon Thompson, a world-traveled birding expert, at 7:30-10 a.m. on Sunday. Flock also includes family nature walks and kids’ activities to appeal to the whole family. It's included with paid Park admission, which is $12 adults, $6 youth (ages 5-15) and free for 4 years and under. Chimney Rock is an official site on the N.C. Birding Trail. Photo credit: © Todd G. Arcos 2012

“Chimney Rock is one of the most spectacular locations in Western North Carolina to spot a wide range of birds throughout the year, from countless warblers and vireos to tanagers and birds of prey. Flock to the Rock is held during the peak of fall migration and draws enthusiastic birders of all levels to the Park,” said Simon Thompson, co-owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Asheville and owner of Ventures Birding Tours.

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The Hunger Games Outdoor Movie and Adventures Sept. 7

Hunger Games™ Unofficial Fan Tours offers archery, costumes and photo opportunities with lookalikes for afternoon outdoor adventures

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (August 19, 2013)— In anticipation of the November 22 release of the sequel Catching Fire, excitement is growing for The Hunger Games. On September 7, 2013, fervent movie fans can feed their craving by watching the trilogy’s first award-winning movie, filmed in Western N.C., on a 35-foot outdoor screen at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. The gate opens at 7 p.m. for the Movie on the Meadows starting at 8 p.m., presented by Ingles Markets. Fans can come early, with paid park admission, for afternoon movie-themed adventures offered by the Hunger Games™ Unofficial Fan Tours, which have been featured on NBC, ABC, the NY Times and USA Today.

Advance $9 movie parking tickets go on sale August 25-Sept. 6 only at the Lake Lure Ingles Market, as parking capacity is limited to the first 250 cars. Movie event parking at the gate is $12 per car or $8 per car for Annual Passholders. Park admission not included with event parking.

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Solar-Powered Concerts at Chimney Rock August 11 & Sept. 14 Cast Light on Local Musicians

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (August 2, 2013)— Chimney Rock’s solar-powered Music on the Mountain 2013 Concert Series will feature Grits & Soul and headliners The Swayback Sisters at noon-3 p.m. on Sunday, August 11 in the Park’s Meadows. The concerts will be powered by the sun by Solar Powered Sound. The Sept. 14 concert at noon-3 p.m. will feature Johnson’s Crossroad and Joe Hallock & the Flat Creek Stringband. Park guests can enjoy the family-friendly concert in the Park, included with day admission, which is $12 for adults and $6 for youth (ages 5-15).

Sept. 14 Musicians. Johnson’s Crossroad blends blues, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass and Appalachian Old Time. Joe Hallock & the Flat Creek Stringband explores old time Appalachian music while drawing on flavors of Celtic, Caribbean and American cultures through acoustic instrumentation, rich vocal harmonies and a sense of adventure, fun and audience collaboration.

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Chimney Rock Wins Favorite State Park, Best Hiking Trail in "Best of the Mountains" Awards

Blue Ridge Country magazine readers vote Chimney Rock best of the Southeast mountain region in seven top categories, including hiking, scenic views

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (June 25, 2013)—Chimney Rock won the platinum award for Favorite State Park in Blue Ridge Country’s 2013 Best of the Mountains poll, which covers seven southern states in the Appalachian Mountains. Readers awarded the park three more platinum honors for Best Hike to Take the Dog Along, Best Birding Area and Best Beautiful Fall Foliage Spot. Chimney Rock was also awarded three golds for Best Hiking Trail (non-AT), Best Scenic Photo Opportunity and Best Waterfall.

Chimney Rock is perhaps best known for its 75-mile panoramic views from atop a 535-million-year-old rock monolith, conveniently accessed via an elevator inside the mountain. This family-friendly outdoor destination has an abundance of scenic hiking, guided rock climbing, nature education programs and adventures worthy of summer vacations that attract visitors from around the world. In fall 2012, Budget Travel featured Chimney Rock on its cover, stating “America the Beautiful: Why leave home when home looks like this?”

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The Last of the Mohicans Returns to Chimney Rock June 15

2nd Annual Movie on the Meadows features outdoor film screening and guided hikes at Chimney Rock, film location for The Last of the Mohicans

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (May 28, 2013)— It’s not often that movie fans get to watch their favorite flick where it was filmed. For the 2nd Annual Movie on the Meadows, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, Southern Outdoor Cinema and Ingles Markets will be presenting The Last of the Mohicans outdoors on a 35-foot screen on June 15, 2013, surrounded by the dramatic rock cliffs and 404-foot waterfall that appear in the epic 1992 blockbuster. The movie showing at 9 p.m. will be preceded by one-hour guided hikes at 3:15 and 4:45 p.m. to see the filming locations. Special event parking on the Meadows begins at 7:30 p.m. and is $12 per car or $8 per car for Annual Passholders. Advance discounted parking tickets are available only at nearby Ingles Market locations, including Lake Lure. More details are available on the events calendar at chimneyrockpark.com.

“Hundreds of people travel to Chimney Rock from around the world every year to see where The Last of the Mohicans was filmed. For many fans, watching their favorite movie at our park will be a dream come true,” said Matt Popowski, PR & Events Manager at Chimney Rock.

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Buzz on Bees Raises Awareness of Dying Honeybees April 27

Chimney Rock, the Center for Honey Bee Research and Bee City USA offer educational family activities at 3rd Annual Buzz on Bees

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (April 22, 2013)— This past winter left beekeepers across Western North Carolina devastated since finding half or more of their honeybee populations dead or missing, and nobody knows for certain why. The phenomenon is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

“Losses have been steady at 30 percent, but this year it looks really bad… like 50 percent or higher across North Carolina. I’ve talked to some beekeepers that have lost two-thirds of their hives. We’re creating as many new colonies as we can to replace the honeybees, but the beekeepers won’t make it more than a year or two at these levels,” says Carl Chesick, Executive Director at the Center for Honeybee Research.

Beekeepers from the Center for Honey Bee Research, Asheville’s Bee City USA and Rutherford County Beekeepers Association will gather at the 3rd Annual Buzz on Bees on April 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. They will educate the public on current problems facing honeybees, like CCD, and what people can do to get involved and help our area’s dying bees.

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58th Annual Easter Sunrise Service March 31

Easter Service features spectacular scenery, inspiring message and bagpipes

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (March 19, 2013)— Few sights in the Blue Ridge Mountains are as spectacular as watching the sun rise over Lake Lure from Chimney Rock. Some visitors call it a spiritual experience. This year Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is hosting its 58th Annual Easter Sunrise Service, which attracts more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast each year. The interdenominational community celebration on March 31 includes live spiritual music by local musicians, an inspirational message and—with some cooperation from above—a beautiful sunrise with 75-mile views.

The public and media are invited to attend with free admission for the 6:30 to 7 a.m. Easter service, held rain or shine. The park gate opens 5 to 6 a.m. for the service on the top parking lot below the Chimney. Stay to enjoy the park all day, or drop in for a breakfast buffet at the Old Rock Café and return for free readmission with both your receipt and Easter program. The park’s regular hours, which begin March 23, are open daily 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the Ticket Plaza closing at 5:30 p.m.

*Photos available upon request

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Survival Skills Series Kicks Off at Chimney Rock

Workshops focus on wilderness first aid, shelter- & fire-building and wild edibles

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (March 11, 2013)— If you’re looking to polish up your wilderness smarts before a hiking, camping or outdoor trip this year, check out Chimney Rock’s three-part Survival Skills Workshop series this spring. Led by local experts, the Park’s wilderness series kicks off with Basic Wilderness First Aid at 9 a.m. to noon on March 16. The workshops are designed to equip people better for outdoor adventures and short-term survival, from minor sprains and bee stings to getting stuck in the wilderness without food, warmth or shelter. Basic Wilderness First Aid costs $25 for Adults or $12 for Annual Passholders and includes day Park admission. Be sure to register in advance.

The Survival Skills series continues with Shelter & Fire-Building on April 13 and the ever-popular Wild Edibles on June 8. Register online at chimneyrockpark.com or call (828) 625-9611.

“We’re lucky to have easy access to so many outdoor adventures in the WNC mountains. With these basic survival skills and the right gear, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge to overcome many challenges the great outdoors might bring your way,” said naturalist and instructor Clint Calhoun.

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5th Annual Grady’s Groundhog Day Sighting February 2

Chimney Rock will host Grady’s annual shadow sighting, an educational program, kids’ crafts and family guided hikes

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (January, 21, 2013)—Grady the Groundhog, Chimney Rock’s live animal ambassador, will be making his annual prediction at the Park when he awakens from his winter slumber on Saturday, February 2. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public is invited to an educational program and shadow sighting in the Meadows, followed by kids’ crafts and family guided hikes. If Grady sees his shadow, we can expect six more weeks of winter weather ahead—but if not, then spring should be around the corner! Cast your vote on whether he’ll see his shadow on our News page.

Reduced admission during the waterfall trail closure is $12 adult and $6 youth (ages 5-15), free for kids 4 and under. For special admission on Feb. 2, get one free youth admission with each paid adult. During February, Grady’s Kids Club memberships are on sale for only $8.

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Santa on the Chimney Celebrates 20 Years December 8 and 15

Santa on the Chimney holiday event features rock climbing Santa, kids’ activities, holiday sales and a chance to win two free climbs with Santa’s helpers

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (November 28, 2012)— Watch for a man in a big red suit with a long, white beard climbing down the chimney. It’s Santa Claus, of course, but that’s no ordinary chimney. It’s Chimney Rock, one of the world’s largest natural chimneys. St. Nick practices for his big evening when he’ll climb down millions of chimneys delivering Christmas presents to little boys and girls. And he’s back again for the 20th year! Come see Santa practice climbing down Chimney Rock more than 1,000 feet above Hickory Nut Gorge from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and 15, weather permitting. Chimney Rock was named one of “10 great places to catch up with Santa” by USA Today.

Between climbs, kids are invited to sit on fearless St. Nick’s lap and meet Mrs. Claus, snack on holiday cookies and hot cocoa and engage in kids’ activities. Weather permitting, you can also meet Grady the Groundhog or other live woodland critters that wouldn’t survive at the North Pole. Annual Passholders can save with a special holiday sale of 25 percent off retail on Dec. 1 to 16 at the Sky Lounge Gift Shop.

Win a Free Climb with Santa’s Elves. Each day, one lucky guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides. The winner of each drawing will be announced at 1:30 p.m.; you must be present to win. To learn more about Fox Mountain Guides or book a rock climbing lesson, visit foxmountainguides.com or call (888) 284-8433. There is no additional cost with paid Park admission. In case of inclement weather, check our website for the event status.

Watch Santa’s extreme stunt in a one-minute video on YouTube.

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Chimney Rock’s Skyline Trail Partially Closes for Winter Improvements

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (November 26, 2012)—Chimney Rock’s Skyline trail will be closed partially for a few weeks for planned trail improvements, making Exclamation Point temporarily inaccessible. Starting Monday, November 26, there will be no public access above Devil’s Head on the Skyline trail while Park staff performs seasonal maintenance on the trail. Devil’s Head and the Opera Box will stay open, and access to the iconic Chimney will not be affected.

With winter hours in effect, the Ticket Plaza is now open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the Park closing at 6 p.m. on Friday through Tuesday. The Park will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, except between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Old Rock Café will be open 11 to 4 p.m., Friday through Tuesday. Admission rates for Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will remain at their current reduced rate of $10 adult and $6 youth (ages 6-15) with no additional discounts. Children under 6 are admitted for free.

The trail closures will not affect the Park’s annual Santa on the Chimney on December 8 and 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For the 20th year, Santa will practice climbing down the Park’s 315-foot-tall chimney before climbing down millions of chimneys around the world.

Chimney Rock's Hickory Nut Falls Trail Closed Due to Rock Slide

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (November 16, 2012)—Due to a rock slide after hours on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, the Hickory Nut Falls trail has been closed to the public until repairs can be made. The overnight rock slide brought down several trees and boulders, causing extensive damage to the footbridge and blocking access on the trail to the bottom of the 404-foot waterfall. The Park will remain open and winter admission rates of $10 adult and $6 youth (ages 6-15) will go into effect immediately. There are no discounts available with this winter rate.

Chimney Rock State Park officials are currently assessing the damage on the trail. Due to the extent of the damage, the trail could be closed for a couple months while repairs are made. The 404-foot waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River and was featured in the blockbuster movie The Last of the Mohicans.

Chimney Rock Offers Six Spectacular Ways to View Peak Fall Colors

Weekly fall color and wildflower updates on chimneyrockpark.com helps guests plan their fall visit to the park during peak colors

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (October 9, 2012)—Leaf peepers aiming to catch fall colors during their peak won’t have to look far to find it now. Weekly fall color and wildflower reports are available to help you plan your visit to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure at chimneyrockpark.com. Peak fall colors are expected to appear in Chimney Rock between mid-October and early November.

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers six spectacular ways to view autumn foliage this year, from expert- and self-guided hikes to rock climbing and a photography workshop. The Park has been voted one of the top three Readers’ Choice “Best Scenic Views” by Southern Living magazine.

“The Blue Ridge Mountains feature one of most vibrant and longest fall color displays in America, attracting visitors from around the world. In late September to early November, from popular destinations along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, Western North Carolina is among the most beautiful places to go leaf peeping, hiking and auto touring,” said Emily Walker, Park Naturalist & Education Manager.

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Chimney Rock Presents Music on the Mountain 2012 Concert Series

Tickets on sale now for Aug. 12 and Sept. 16 concerts, featuring Balsam Range, Town Mountain and Darin & Brooke Aldridge

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (August 2, 2012)—Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park’s Music on the Mountain 2012 concert series will feature some of Western North Carolina’s most talented bluegrass and string musicians on August 12 and September 16, 3:30-7:30 p.m. The family-friendly concerts will be held at the Pavilion, an intimate covered venue in the Meadows and limited to only 300 tickets per event. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park. Event will be held rain or shine. Advance concert tickets for non-passholders are on sale now at Music City Asheville. All tickets are on sale at the Old Rock Café, Chimney Rock’s Ticket Plaza, by phone at (800) 277-9611 or online at chimneyrockpark.com.

“Music on the Mountain is an opportunity to enjoy great music with friends and family in a beautiful outdoor setting like Chimney Rock. We’re sticking to our roots in the Southern Appalachian Mountains by featuring some of the best local bluegrass musicians in WNC,” said Matt Popowski, PR & Events Manager at Chimney Rock.

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Chimney Rock Dedicates Reopening of Elevator inside a Mountain June 29

Credit: RomanticAsheville.comAccess to Chimney Rock improved with modernized elevator, renovated Sky Lounge and upgraded Outcroppings hiking trail

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (June 26, 2012)—Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, one of the Southeast’s most popular outdoor travel destinations, will dedicate its modernized elevator and upgrades to the signature Outcroppings trail and other amenities at 11 a.m. on June 29, 2012 in Chimney Rock, N.C. The 26-story, state-of-the-art elevator provides access to the 315-foot-tall renowned Chimney for guests of all abilities and ages. The upgraded Outcroppings trail to the Chimney offers guests an easier hike, scenic views and more places to rest. Also, the Sky Lounge Gift Shop & Deli and Park rest rooms were renovated to be made wheelchair accessible.

Chimney Rock is the only state park in the Southeast with an elevator inside a mountain. The Park offers 75-mile scenic views overlooking Lake Lure and a 404-foot waterfall featured in The Last of the Mohicans. Admission rates are $15 adult, $7 youth (ages 6-15) and free for kids under 6.

“Nowhere else in the Southeast can you ride an elevator inside a 535-million-year-old mountain, only to step or roll out to see stunning 75-mile views of mountains and a lake. Here you can lose your breath on the views, not the hike,” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.

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Outcroppings Trail to Chimney Reopens April 14 at Chimney Rock

Trail reopens after challenging four and a half months of rebuilding stairways,
permanently restoring hiking access to the Chimney and upper mountain features.


CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (April 12, 2012)—Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular outdoor travel destinations, is scheduled to reopen the Outcroppings trail on Saturday, April 14, 2012. The rebuilt trail offers new stunning views of the Park, increased capacity and improved comfort with more places to rest. The reopening of the Outcroppings trail, which leads from the upper parking lot to the Chimney stairs, permanently restores hiking access to the Chimney, the Opera Box, Devil’s Head and Skyline trail to Exclamation Point, the highest point in the Park. The modernized elevator and Sky Lounge Gift Shop & Deli are expected to reopen sometime later this spring. Discounted admission rates as of April 14 will be $12/adult, $5/youth (ages 6-15) and free for kids under 6.

“The rebuilt Outcroppings trail offers new perspectives for our guests. It’s like upgrading from a mountaintop gravel road to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s an easier, more enjoyable trek for the family with new stunning views of Chimney Rock and the Gorge,” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.

Check out photos from the Outcroppings Trail Reopening Day.

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Chimney Rock Hosts 57th Annual Easter Sunrise Service April 8

Legendary annual event attracts more than 1,000 early risers from the Southeast

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (March 29, 2012)—A legendary annual community event in Western North Carolina, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park’s annual Easter Sunrise Service attracts more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast each year. The free interdenominational Easter celebration features live instrumental music, spiritual songs and a spectacular sunrise ascending over Lake Lure. The Park offers free entry 5-6 a.m. for the 6:30-7 a.m. service held at the top parking lot below the Chimney on April 8, rain or shine. Guests are invited to eat at the Old Rock Café’s 7-11 a.m. breakfast buffet and may stay to enjoy the Park all day. The Ticket Plaza will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for normal business hours.

“Our annual Easter Sunrise Service is a special tradition for our guests and a memorable event for the entire family,” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager at Chimney Rock. “There’s no better way to celebrate the beauty of Easter morning.”

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Jaeger-Gale Honored in Governor’s “Winner’s Circle” for N.C. Tourism

Awarded for 30 years of leadership at Chimney Rock and in state tourism

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (March 26, 2012)—Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, was one of five distinguished North Carolinians inducted into the Winner’s Circle at the 2012 N.C. Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism. Governor Bev Perdue presented the awards on Monday, March 12 in Concord, N.C. Jaeger-Gale was honored for her “significant and continuing contributions to the growth and success of North Carolina's tourism industry.” Previous recipients of the Winner’s Circle Award since 2004 include Larry Wheeler, Director of the N.C. Museum of Art; Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers; and Hugh Morton of Grandfather Mountain.

"Mary’s been a mentor and a friend to everyone in the industry," said Governor Perdue.

"We thank these visionary leaders for their hard work and dedication to our state's tourism industry," said N.C. Dept. of Commerce Sec. Keith Crisco. "Their efforts have significantly improved the state's tourism offerings, enhancing economic development throughout the state."

Visionary Leadership. In 2011 Jaeger-Gale was honored for 30 years of service at Chimney Rock. As a member of the Park’s strategic leadership team, she helped craft an agreement with the North Carolina Division of State Parks and Recreation to form a public-private partnership to continue to manage Chimney Rock when the privately-owned attraction was sold to the state in May 2007. Jaeger-Gale is credited for her effective marketing strategies, her commitment to hospitality and her visionary leadership at Chimney Rock. She is active in organizations and serves on committees that not only promote the Park but help to forge partnerships within the state and the region. Photo credit: VisitNC.com.

Spring into Survival Mode at Chimney Rock Workshops

Workshops Focus on Basic Wilderness First Aid, Wild Edibles and Shelter-building

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (February 27, 2012)—Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will host a three-part workshop series on survival skills this spring to better equip people for outdoor adventures and short-term survival in the wilderness. The workshops will focus on Basic Wilderness First Aid on March 10, Wild Edibles on April 28 and Shelter Building on June 9. The Asheville Mushroom Club will share its expertise on mushrooms at the Wild Edibles workshop. Each workshop costs $27/adult, $15/Annual Passholder, $20/youth (ages 6-15) and $12/Grady’s Kids Club Members and includes Park admission for the day. Registration is required; register online at chimneyrockpark.com/events or call (828) 625-9611.

“A simple outing can turn ugly if you’re not prepared to handle potential dangers in the wilderness. Knowing some basic survival skills and carrying the proper gear can keep you out of trouble and even save lives,” said naturalist and instructor Clint Calhoun.

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Grady the Groundhog to Appear Feb 2. at Chimney Rock

Public Invited to Grady’s Annual Shadow Sighting/Prediction and a Guided Hike


CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (January 24, 2012)—Grady the Groundhog, the Park’s live mascot, will be making his own prediction at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park when he awakens from his winter slumber at 10:30 a.m. on February 2. A brief educational program will precede the shadow sighting on the Meadows, followed by a one-hour guided hike at 11:15 a.m. If Grady sees his shadow, it means we have six more weeks of winter weather ahead—but if not, then spring is around the corner! Cast your vote on whether he’ll see his shadow. Winter admission rates are $9/adult, $4/youth (ages 6-15) and free for kids under 6. During February, Grady’s Kids Club memberships are on sale for only $8.

“Kids can’t get enough of Grady when they get to pet him. They love Grady the Groundhog,” said Matt Popowski, PR & Events Coordinator at Chimney Rock. “We hope they leave with a better understanding of and appreciation for these woodland critters. It’s like our own Groundhog Awareness Day.”

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