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Friday, September 1 - Saturday, September 30

Fall Photo Contest- Give it Your Best Shot!
Time: Park hours
Cost: No additional cost to enter contest

Every season, each and every day, offers something new at Chimney Rock. Just because the leaves don’t debut their most beautiful colors until October, doesn’t mean you can’t find some really awesome subjects to photograph this month. Watch for a curious look from a participant on the guided hike or the sense of accomplishment from a rider at the Race to the Rock. How about that view of leaves floating in the breeze or the hawks flying overhead? Capture that special moment or scene on your camera, enter it in our seasonal photo contest and tell us about it. We’ll use the winning entries on our website and Facebook album, and you’ll win some fun prizes. Photos must be taken within the Chimney Rock section of the Park.


  1. There is no fee to enter the contest. All photographs must be taken inside Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park only in areas accessible to guests between September 1 to November 30, 2017. The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers.
  2. Up to three photos per person can be submitted via any of the following ways to be eligible to win:
  3. Facebook: First, like the Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park page and share our photo contest post on your wall. Then post your photo to our wall with the photographer’s name and a brief caption (25-75 words) through your personal Facebook account. Next, send us a private message including your contact information specified in rule.
  4. Pinterest: First, re-pin our photo contest pin to one of your boards and follow our 2017 The Different Seasons of Chimney Rock Spring Photo Contest Board so we can easily contact you. Then pin your photo with the hashtags #chimneyrock AND #photocontest with your personal account, and include the photographer’s name and a brief caption (25-75 words)
  5. Twitter: First, follow Chimney Rock Park and retweet our tweet about the photo contest. Then tweet your photo to @ChimneyRockPark with the photographer’s name and the hashtag #photocontest. Next, send us private messages with your brief photo caption.
  6. E-mail: If you don’t have access to any social media sites listed above, you may email your digital photo with your contact information specified in rule #3 to
  7. Snail Mail: Send your print photo with the clearly marked photographer’s name, city & state, a brief typed photo caption and a phone number to: Photo Contest, Chimney Rock Management LLC, PO Box 39, Chimney Rock, NC 28720.
  8. Every entry should be clearly labeled with the photographer’s name, city & state, a brief photo caption your photo of the Seasons of Chimney Rock, an email address and the best phone number to reach you.
  9. Photos should be available at a minimum resolution of 1200 x 1600 pixels (1 MB minimum) to be eligible to win. Photos taken via smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are welcome if they meet minimum requirements.
  10. For entries showing human faces, you must list their name(s) and have written permission from any photographed person(s) to use their image.
  11. Entries should reflect the photographer’s interpretation of a face of Chimney Rock. Emphasis will be placed on quality, composition and creativity. All entries may be used in promotions of Chimney Rock and park-related activities.
  12. Digital images can be optimized but not dramatically altered with photo editing software. Black and white photographs are welcome.
  13. Decisions of the judges are final.

Winners will be notified and announced in December at and on Chimney Rock’s social media channels.

First Prize – An overnight getaway to Hickory Nut Gorge with a stay at the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, two passes to Chimney Rock, brunch for two at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, and two tickets for a tour with Lake Lure Boat Tours.

Second Place – A Chimney Rock prize package including two passes to Chimney Rock, lunch for two at the Old Rock Café and two tickets for a tour with Lake Lure Boat Tours.

People’s Choice – Selected by our Facebook fans, the winning photo will be featured as the cover photo of our Facebook page for two weeks and the cover of our Pinterest board of winning photos. Prize includes two Park admission tickets, lunch for two at the Old Rock Café and a $20 gift certificate for Old Time Photo in Chimney Rock Village.

For more information, call 1-800-277-9611 or email us at

Saturday, September 9 - Sunday, September 10

Grandparents Day Weekend Special
Time: Park hours
Cost: Buy one adult admission at regular price and get one free youth admission (ages 5-15)

Grandparents love spending time with the grandkids. What better way to get quality time together than at Chimney Rock? When you purchase one regular-price adult admission, receive one youth admission free. Special online offer only. Coupon must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase. Valid September 9 & 10 only.

Saturday, September 9

Movin’ On Up!
Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: Included with Park admission

Chimney Rock has been fortunate to partner with Kids in Parks to promote good health and fitness by getting kids outside and excited about our Track Trails. But, the goal for this unique program is not just about the kids – the goal is to bring all kinds of groups together in a unified vision for the health and well-being of our parks and our communities as a whole. So, let’s get moving! Everyone’s invited to join us to learn from professionals about how to exercise more, get fit, eat healthier, take better care of ourselves and have fun in the process.

Here’s what you can look forward at Movin’ on Up:

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Park Naturalist will help kids test their skills through interactive games and hands-on activities that will keep them on their toes. They’ll also help kids climb to new heights on the Park’s 32-foot Climbing Tower from 10am to 2pm.

Kids in Parks

Take adventure to the next level  with Kids in Parks Track Trail program. Before Movin’ on Up, kids can register on the Kids in Park website. At Movin’ on Up they can log their first hike or add to their hiking accomplishments along The Great Woodland Adventure trail, one of the first Track Trails in Western North Carolina, at 11:30 a.m. during a guided hike along the trail.  Once kids log their hike, they’ll receive a cool prize and sense of accomplishment for hiking so many trails.


Young scientist can interact with Mr. Stuffee, KidSenses’ museum friend, that lets young scientists “borrow” his heart, lungs, and other organs. They’ll also be able to see healthy, clean lungs function compared to yucky tar-filled smoker lungs.

North Carolina State Parks

Join a Park Ranger to see the top 10 items you need to hike in the great outdoors. You’ll be able to see and touch the top 10 essential items and ask Rangers any questions that you have before taking your next hike.

Rutherford Cooperative Extension

Have a picky eater? You may want to bring them by to taste an assortment of local fruits and vegetables prepared by Rutherford Cooperative Extension. Who knows, they may find their new favorite food.

Frugal Backpacker

Does the thought of camping scare you a little? Maybe you’ve never been and want to take your kids, but you don’t know where to start. Join a camping specialist from Frugal Backpack to see what kinds of equipment you’ll need during your first stay in the great outdoors.

Children ages 5-15 that take part in Movin’ on Up events can qualify for cool prizes Courtesy of REI and Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Stop by the Rockin’ Discovery Pass Prize Tent to learn how your young explorer can earn cool swag or purchase an annual pass, which gives them endless visits to the Park.


Up to three children are allowed in free with each regular-priced adult admission ticket. 



Saturday, September 16

Naturalist Niche: Fall Early Bird Walk
Time: 7:30 am - 9:30 am
Cost: $22 Adult, $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member. Advance registration required.

The early bird catches the worm…or the maybe the sighting of that special feathered friend. This month’s Naturalist Niche program is designed for anyone with an interest in birding. Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Gorge are incredible places to be a bird nerd. Grab your binoculars and join a local naturalist to realize why! This hike is the prelude to our Annual Flock to the Rock event. Be sure to check out those special activities before you leave. The hike is limited to 15, and advance registration is required, so call 800-277-9611 today to reserve your spot.

*Early Birding is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month March – December to learn about birding, old growth trees, ancient geology and other fascinating outdoor topics.

Saturday, September 16

9th Annual Flock to the Rock
Time: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cost: Included with Park admission

Flock to the Rock has become one of our most popular annual events. Originally created to help folks understand why Hickory Nut Gorge is such a premier birding location, this event has grown in size and popularity every year. You don’t have to be an avid birder to find something of interest at this event, but it may just be the reason you become one. Guided bird walks, raptor flight shows, live bird demos and workshops are a few of the ways you’ll discover that Chimney Rock isn’t just for the birds!

Schedule of Events


  • S.O.A.R Birds in Flight show
  • North Carolina State Parks and Chimney Rock Management, LLC Flock to the Rock activities start.


  • Family Bird Walk
  • Falcon Program


  • Hawk and owl program


  • S.O.A.R Birds in Flight show


  • Hawk Watch Walk


  • Falcon program


  • Hawk and owl program


  • S.O.A.R Birds in Flight show


Wanting to get in on the birding action before Flock to the Rock kicksoff? Join our Naturalist Niche: Fall Early Bird Walk. Click here for details.

Wednesday, September 20

Fall Homeschool Day
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: $12 Adults (Park admission); no charge Annual Pasholder; $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $7.50 Annual Grady’s Kids Club Member

Homeschool families and associations have been coming to the Park for experiential education opportunities for years. Hands-on programs with naturalists, guided hikes on a variety of trails and the chance to meet new families from around the region are just some of the reasons our annual homeschool events have become so popular. In 2017 we’re teaming up with some of our partners to bring you opportunities for more than one day. So, make a trip of it and take advantage of the many lessons we have planned for you

Saturday, September 23

Take a Child Outside: Outdoor Essentials
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cost: Included with admission to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park; one free child Park admission ticket with each paying adult.

We are drawn to the mountains, the rivers, the lakes, and to the never-ending wilderness.  We all hurry off in hopes of some high adventure, or maybe looking for a nice place to relax.  But what happens to the weekend warrior when trouble strikes?  When thunder clouds loom over our heads; when the trails seem to have vanished, and when nature has shown us how small and fragile we really are.

What do you carry while you are hiking? Would you have what you need to survive the night?  Join a park ranger as we rummage through our gear to determine the top 10 essentials of what to pack when we prepare to venture into the great outdoors!

All ages welcome.

Saturday, September 23 - Sunday, September 24

Take a Child Outside: Campout
Time: 5:00 pm - 10:00 am
Cost: Included with Park admission; one free child admission ticket with each paying adult. There is no fee for camping, but participants must pre-register at 828-625-9611. Space is limited.

Never been camping?  Afraid of the dark?  You’re not alone. Join a Park ranger and take this rare opportunity to camp in Chimney Rock State Park.  A ranger will be available at 5:30 pm to help set up camp and build a campfire for a fun-filled night under the stars!  Still not sure? The ranger will be camping overnight to assist you with any of your questions about camping in the great outdoors. You must bring your own camping gear and dinner.  No camping gear or food is provided for this event.

Campout Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 23

5:30 p.m.- Campout begins

7:30-8:30 p.m.– Campfire, ghost stories and s’mores

Gather around a campfire with a park ranger to hear some family friendly Cherokee animal legends followed by bone chilling ghost stories.  Free ooey gooey marshmallows, sweet chocolate, and crunch gram crackers will be provided for s’mores!

Sunday, Sept. 24

10 a.m. Campout ends, campers depart



Sunday, September 24 - Saturday, September 30

Take a Child Outside Week
Time: Park hours
Cost: One free child admission with each adult admission purchased

Take a Child Outside Week is a national initiative created to encourage families to get outdoors. Chimney Rock celebrates by offering one free child admission with each paying adult all week long. Special program opportunities will be going on as well so make sure to check back for details!

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