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Wednesday, March 20 - Thursday, June 20

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

Wildflowers springing from the ground  are a sign that spring and warmer weather are right around the corner. Capture photos of your family and friends enjoying the Park and enter them into our Shades of 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 – June 20, 2019.
    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.

Monday, April 1 - Tuesday, April 30

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

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!

Saturday, April 6

Naturalist Niche: Spring Migration Hike
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: Includes Park admission: $23 Adult, $8 Annual Passholder. Advance registration required.

Spring is for the birds! Dozens of species migrate through our area every spring as they head north. Join us to find how many different species you can see and hear that are making their way home. Don’t forget your binoculars. A Park bird list can be found here. This hike is considered easy-to-moderate.

We  love our visitors’ 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. Cost includes Park admission for the day.


Wednesday, April 10

Spring Homeschool Day
Time: 9:30am-12:30pm with optional afternoon activities
Cost: $14 adult admission, no charge for adult annual passholders, $14 youth (ages 5-15) admission and programs, $8 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. Program details can be found online.

Registration required; call (828) 625-9611.

Sunday, April 21

64th Annual Easter Sunrise Service (No Tickets Left)
Time: Gate opens 5am-6am for 6:30am service
Cost: Admission to the Sunrise Service is free. A Ticket is required.

We appreciate your enthusiasm for our Easter Sunrise Service. Unfortunately, all available tickets for parking have been issued. We encourage you to check the ticket link frequently to see if some tickets have been returned. 

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.

5 – 6 am – Gates open for visitors with a ticket

6 am – Gates close for admittance

6:30 – 7am – Easter Sunrise Service

Please Note: Due to limited parking capacity caused by recent heavy rain storms, this year’s Easter event will be ticketed. Rather than cancel the event or alienate guests who come down to the Park in the early morning hours only to be turned away, we are going to issue advance tickets. Tickets are complimentary and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning April 1. The number of tickets are limited. Park a couple of cars in Chimney Rock Village and come into the Park together. A ticket is required. Vehicles can be no larger than a 16-passenger van. Vehicles without a ticket will not be admitted. Only one ticket is allowed per household; even those with a handicapped placard will be required to have a ticket for their vehicle. Tickets will be released at 9am on Monday, April 1. Thanks for your understanding.

A breakfast buffet will be offered at the Old Rock Café following the service for $11.75 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.

Reserve Your Tickets Here 

Saturday, April 27 - Sunday, April 28

Dusk-to-Dawn Photography Workshop
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Cost: $250 fee. Camping is an additional $8 per person. Lunch on Saturday and Sunday included in price. All other meals and lodging are at the expense of participants.

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. You’ll also have the option to camp overnight in the Park, a rarity that few people have enjoyed. Preregistration for this event is required.

Event Schedule

Saturday, April 27

9-11:30am- Class begins. Review of photography equipment and  editing software

11:30am-12:30pm-Lunch from Old Rock Cafe

12:30-3:30pm- Travel to the Rock to shoot photos

3:30-4:30pm- Return to classroom for a break

4:30-7:15pm- Travel to Hickory Nut Falls and take photos

7:15-8pm- Return to classroom/Setup tent

8-9:30pm- Dinner on your own

10pm-?-Astrophotography in the Meadows

Sunday, April 28

5:30-7am- Sunrise shoot at the top of the Rock

7am-10am- Breakfast/Free time to edit photos in the classroom/Take down camping gear

10am-11:30am- Class resumes/Review of editing programs

11:30am-12:30pm-Lunch from Old Rock Cafe

1pm-4pm- Q&A Session/ Free time to explore park


Workshop attendees are responsible for bringing their own camera, computer with photo editing software, camping equipment and food outside of lunch during this workshop. 

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