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Saturday, January 1 - Monday, February 28

Winter Photo Contest – “Winter Trees”
Time: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Cost: Included with Park Admission
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It’s the Year of the Tree in North Carolina State Parks, and we are encouraging guests to celebrate trees all year long! Start off in the winter months while branches are bare and capture some unique tree shapes or the beauty of frosty evergreens. You may win a prize for your efforts!


1st Prize: The winning photo will be our Facebook cover photo for two weeks, and the photographer will receive two annual passes to Chimney Rock State Park, two boat tour tickets from Lake Lure Tours, and dinner for two at the Old Rock Café.

2nd Prize: After the first place photo, the second place photo will be our Facebook cover photo for one week. The photographer will receive two annual passes to Chimney Rock State Park and dinner for two at the Old Rock Café.

3rd Prize: The third place photographer will receive two adult day passes (or one family pack of day passes) to Chimney Rock State Park and dinner for two at the Old Rock Café.


  1. There is no fee to enter the contest. All photographs must be taken of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park only in areas accessible to guests between January 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022.
    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:
    • Facebook: First, like the Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park page. Next, send us a private message including your contact information specified in rule #3.
    • E-mail: If you don’t have access to social media, you may email your digital photo with your contact information specified in rule #3 to communications@chimneyrockpark.com.
  3. Every entry should be clearly labeled with the photographer’s name, city & state, a brief photo caption, 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 the theme. 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. Finalists will be chosen by Chimney Rock staff and the winner will be voted on by the public. Decisions regarding winners are final.

Winners will be notified personally and announced on Chimney Rock’s social media. For more information, call 1-828-625-9611, ext. 1812 or email us at communications@chimneyrockpark.com.

Wednesday, February 2

17th Annual Virtual Groundhog Day Celebration
Time: 10:00 am - 10:30 am
Cost: Free
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Join Chimney Rock’s naturalist and our favorite NC rodent virtually to find out if spring is coming early or if we have six more weeks of winter. Join us on Facebook Live at 10am or tune in at 10:30am on our YouTube channel to see our resident groundhog, Pumpkin, make his debut prediction!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChimneyRockParkNC

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChimneyRockNC

*Teachers without access to Facebook or YouTube in the classroom can contact communications@chimneyrockpark.com for the video.

Saturday, February 5

Night Sky Photography Class
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Cost: $25 Adult, $8 Adult Annual Passholder. Advance registration required.
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Experience the beauty of the Park after sunset as you learn from professional photographer Buddy Morrison how to capture the stunning clarity of the winter’s night sky. This class will discuss and review panoramic shots, types of scenic photography and the equipment needed to make a night photo pop. You’ll also have the benefit of enjoying the view of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge after sunset, a rarity that few people get to enjoy.

Workshop attendees are responsible for bringing their own camera and warm clothing for this outdoor photography class.

Saturday, February 12

Mindfulness Series: Love and Warmth
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Cost: Includes Park admission: $35 Adult, $25 Annual Passholder. Advance registration required.
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Join Namaste in Nature for a reflective meditation walk in the Park. De-stress during this peaceful hike focused on reconnecting with nature and yourself. Bring your partner or a friend and enjoy this mindfulness experience focused on the season of love and warmth.

Wednesday, February 16

2022 Winter Homeschool Day
Time: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Put on your winter jackets, gloves, hats and join us for Chimney Rock’s Winter Homeschool Day. Nature is pure magic in the winter and it’s a time when we generally don’t explore the world around us. Come observe the quiet and stillness of the Park during this slower season. We are not going to let a little cold weather slow us down!

Click here for program information.

Registration closes February 11, 2022.


Saturday, February 19

Naturalist Niche: Winter Tree ID Hike
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cost: Includes Park Admission: $25 Adult, $8 Annual Passholder, $15 Youth (ages 5-15), $6 Rockin’ Discovery Passholder. Advance registration required.
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Keep celebrating NC State Parks Year of the Tree season after season. Trees may be tricky to identify in the winter without their foliage, but you can learn to differentiate them by their bark, twigs and buds. Enjoy stunning winter Park views as a Chimney Rock naturalist shows you the tricks of the trade. 

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