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Sunday, January 1 - Tuesday, February 28

Winter Photo Contest: “Winter Trails”
Time: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Cost: Included with Park admission.
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2023 is NC State Parks’ Year of the Trail, and we’ll be celebrating with our photo contests all year long. This winter, take some pictures as you hit the trails and send us your best and most creative shots of the Park in the colder months. Each season transforms the six trails of Chimney Rock, and we can’t wait to see the awesome photos you get.


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 and lunch for four 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 one annual pass to Chimney Rock State Park and lunch 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 lunch 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, 2023 – February 28, 2023.
    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. E-mail: You may email your digital photo with your contact information specified in rule #3 to [email protected].
    2. Facebook: Send us a private message including your contact information specified in rule #3.
  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. Winners will be chosen by a team of Chimney Rock staff. 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 [email protected].

Wednesday, February 8

Passholder Experience: Old Growth Forest Expedition
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Cost: $8 Adult Annual Passholder, $6 Youth Rockin’ Discovery Passholder. Advance Registration Required.
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Our first passholder-exclusive event of the year! Join a naturalist for an intimate hike with fellow passholders in an area of the Park not typically open to the public. This moderate hike traverses our own old growth forest and gives you the opportunity to learn what makes this ecosystem unique. This event is exclusively for Annual Passholders.

Wednesday, February 15

Winter Homeschool Day
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: $10 Adults (Park admission), no charge for Adult Annual Passholder; $14 Youth (ages 5-15), $8 Rockin’ Discovery Passholder. Advance Registration Required.

Experience the Park during our quieter months on Chimney Rock’s Winter Homeschool Day. Morning programs seasonally focused on winter in the natural world are designed to engage students through a variety of topics and hands-on learning. Plus, plan to stay after lunch for a guided hike or to explore the Park at your own pace.

Registration Closes February 10.


Saturday, February 25

Naturalist Niche: Winter Trees
Time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: Includes Park admission: $25 Adult, $8 Adult Annual Passholder, $15 Youth, $6 Youth Rockin’ Discovery Passholder. Advance Registration Required.
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Chimney Rock is full of a variety of tree species, deciduous and evergreen alike. But, can you identify our forest trees when they have no leaves? Investigate shape, height, bark type, and more with a naturalist as you learn more about the winter woods.


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