Loading Events

Events Search and Views Navigation

Find Events

Event Views Navigation

Events Search

Events List Navigation

Tuesday, March 20 - Wednesday, June 20

Smiles of Spring Photo Contest
Time: Park hours
Cost: No additional cost to enter

It’s hard not to crack a smile while enjoying amazing views of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge from on top of the Chimney. Capture photos of your family and friends enjoying the Park and enter them into our spring photo contest for a chance to win fabulous prizes.  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.


First Place – 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.


  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 March 20, 2018- June 20, 2018. 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:
    1. 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 #3.
    2. 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).
    3. 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.
    4. 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 visit@chimneyrockpark.com.
    5. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. For entries showing human faces, you must list their name(s) and have written permission from any photographed person(s) to use their image.
  6. 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.
  7. Digital images can be optimized but not dramatically altered with photo editing software. Black and white photographs are welcome.
  8. Decisions of the judges are final.

Winners will be notified and announced  at chimneyrockpark.com and on Chimney Rock’s social media channels.
For more information, call 1-800-277-9611 or email us at visit@chimneyrockpark.com.

Saturday, March 31 - Sunday, April 8

Spring Break Family Fun
Time: 2pm daily
Cost: Included with Park admission

We are lucky to have incredible Animal Educators to help us spread the word on the important roles they play in the Park. Join one of our Park Naturalists for an informal program where your family will love meeting some of our wilder teammates! Kids of all ages are sure to take home some fun facts and special memories. Then, grab a Track Trail brochure at the Animal Discovery Den and round out the day with a hike along our Great Woodland Adventure trail with 12 education stations. Don’t forget your camera!

Sunday, April 1

63rd Annual Easter Sunrise Service
Time: Gate opens 5am-6am for 7am service (no admission after 6am)
Cost: Admission to the Sunrise Service is free. Guests are invited to stay and enjoy the Park all day.

Celebrate the glory of Easter with song, scripture and spiritual music as a spectacular sunrise ascends over Lake Lure. Chimney Rock’s nondenominational Annual Easter Sunrise Service has become a legendary event in WNC, attracting more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast. Gates will open from 5am-6am, so that guests can make their way to the top of the Park. This year’s service will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 7:30 a.m.

A breakfast buffet will be offered at the Old Rock Café following the service for $10.99 for adults and $6.99 for children under 10; drinks are not included. Guests who would like to return to the Park after breakfast can show their Old Rock receipt and bulletin at the Ticket Plaza to receive free admission for the day.

*Please Note: Due to the large number of guests who attend the service, no one can be admitted through the gate after 6am.

Saturday, April 14

Naturalist Niche: Spring Wildflowers
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: $23 Adult, $8 Annual Passholder, $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $6 Rockin’ Discovery Passholder; Advance registration required

This walk is a great way to explore some of our more moderate hiking options while learning about our colorful spring flowers. You’ll be surprised to find such a variety of plants within such a small area of the Park. Along the way, we’ll also touch on other local flora and fauna. This hike is considered moderate. You will descend the Four Seasons Trail from the top lot, but you won’t have to hike back up.  Transportation will be provided.

We  love our visitor’s furry friends, but we do understand that some hike participants may consider animals a distraction on the trail. Pets are not allowed on Naturalist Niche hikes because of this.

Advance registration is required. Please use the link below to purchase your ticket(s). Cost includes Park admission for the day.

Buy Now

Wednesday, April 18

Spring Homeschool Day
Time: 9:30am-12:30pm with optional afternoon activities
Cost: $13 adults, no charge annual passholder; $14 youth, $8.50 Rockin' Discovery Passholder

Our annual Spring Homeschool Day is a wonderful way to start the warmer season with a day full of learning. Programs are designed to meet the curriculum needs and interests of your students.

Advance registration is required. Please use the link below to register. Cost includes Park admission for the day.

Buy Now

Saturday, April 21

Earth Day
Time: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cost: Free

Help us celebrate the NC Science Festival! Public and private conservationists have been protecting lands in and around Chimney Rock for well over 100 years.  Join state park rangers, regional biologists, and other environmental educators to learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape. Booths will be located in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Cafe, and this event will take place rain or shine.


Presenters at this year’s Earth Day include:

Appalachian State University,

Art Easel Rider

Asheville Greenworks

Blue Ridge EVE Club

Conserving Carolina

Civilian Conservation Corps

Chimney Rock Management, LLC.

Earth Shine Nature Programs

City of Hendersonville

Frugal Backpacker

Hands On!

Headwaters Outfitters

Holmes Educational State Forest

Kids in Parks Track Trail

KidSenses Museum

Lake Lure Environmental

Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

Mineral and Lapidary Museum

National Cave Rescue Commission

NC Arboretum

NC Clean Air

NC State Extension

NCDOT Roadside Environmental Unit

Rutherford County Soil & Water Conservation

Weed Action Coalition of Hickory Nut Gorge

Environmental Quality Institute

Saturday, April 28 - Sunday, April 29

From Dusk to Dawn 2-Day Photo Workshop
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Cost: $250 fee. Camping is an additional $8 per person.

Join Professional Photographer Chuck Hill for this two-day workshop focusing on nature’s beauty at all hours of the day. This class will discuss and review panos, types of scenic photography and the equipment needed to make a photo pop. 

Workshop Itinerary


9:00 – 9:30am Meet & Greet

9:30 – 11:30am Class starts in classroom with discussion and examples of panos, types of scenic photography and the equipment needed.

11:30 -12:30pm Lunch (provided)

12:30 – 5:00pm Move to upper parking lot for hands-on learning of:

Macro photography

Focus stacking


Hike to Upper Hickory Nut Falls where we will photograph

the falls using various techniques including dragging the shutter and the use of neutral density filters

5:00 – 7:00pm Back from Falls

Free time for dinner (on your own) and set up tents, if needed

7:00 – ? We will go to the top of the Park and photograph the almost full moon.


4:00 – 7:00am Rise and shine for an astrophotography class followed by sunrise in the upper parking lot

7:00 – 11:30am Free time to get breakfast, (not provided). explore

the park and photograph on your own.I will be available for questions.

11:30 – 12:30pm Lunch (provided)

12:30 – 4:00pm Computer class time where we will go over all filters and programs I use to enhance my scenic images.You should have your laptop with at least Photoshop installed.

4:00pm Class over

Lunch on Saturday and Sunday included in Price. All other meals and lodging are at the expense of participants. Workshop attendees are responsible for bringing their own camera, computer with photo editing software, camping equipment and food outside of lunch during this workshop. 

For more information about Chuck Hill, visit http://chuckhillphotography.com. Class is limited to 10, so use the link below to register today. 

Buy Now

+ Add To Your Calendar