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Tuesday, January 1 - Wednesday, March 20
Winter can be the most beautiful time of the year at Chimney Rock. Leafless trees make for expansive views of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge. The sky is clear; you’re likely to find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the peacefulness. You may even see a critter scamper by you in the forest. Capture that special moment or scene on your camera, enter it in our Winter Wonders 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.
Cost: No additional cost to enter.
The first-place winner will receive an overnight getaway to Hickory Nut Gorge with a stay at the Historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, two passes to the Park, brunch for two at the Historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa and two tickets for a tour with Lake Lure Boat Tours.
Chimney Rock’s Facebook followers will select the People’s Choice Award winner. Followers will have a week to like and share their favorite photo from an album of Winter Photo Contest entries posted on the Park’s Facebook page at facebook.com/chimneyrockparknc. The People’s Choice Award Winner will receive two passes to the Park, lunch for two at Old Rock Cafe and their photo will be featured on the Park’s Facebook page.
Shutterbugs interested in capturing Mother Nature’s wintry beauty can do so by entering Friday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the Park’s winter hours.
All entries must be submitted to email@example.com or to the Parks’ Facebook page through Facebook messenger.
Tuesday, January 1
Kickoff a new year at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park during this First Day Hike. A Park Ranger will lead visitors from the front entrance of the park along the 3-mile main road to the base of the Rock. Hikers will learn about the Park’s fascinating history during their trek. A shuttle service will be provided back to the front gate at the end of the hike. Hike participants can return to the Park for the day at no charge. Hikers should wear comfortable shoes, dress appropriately for the weather and bring plenty of water.
Meet at the Old Rock Café at 8am. Advance registration is not required. Please call the State Park office at 828-625-1823 if you have any questions.
Thursday, January 17
Great food and football games were made for one another. Join Old Rock Café’s Chef Randall Spencer for this two-hour class focused on making the perfect appetizers for your Super Bowl Party. You’ll learn how to make crispy, mouth-watering wings, savory Chili and an amazing dip with homemade chips that’ll impress even the pickiest eater. Samples of each recipe and an adult beverage is included in the price of this class.
Recipes you’ll learn during this class:
Chimney Rock Chili
Old Rock Spinach Dip with homemade chips
Old Rock Wings with homemade Old Rock Buffalo Sauce
Old Rock Blue Cheese Dressin
Cost: $35 per couple or $20 per individual. Advance registration required. Limited to 20 people. Call 828-625-9611 to register.
Saturday, February 2
Greta the Groundhog waits all year for a chance to predict whether spring will come early or not. Bring the whole family to witness if Greta sees her shadow and this fun event. Following the prediction, stick around for crafts, a guided hike along the Great Woodland Adventure trail or to meet more of our animal ambassadors.
Thursday, February 14 - Sunday, February 17
Share an intimate moment with your sweetie on top of the Rock, or better yet, in the Opera Box enjoying expansive views. (We’ve had quite a few proposals in the Park over the years; hint, hint!) Purchase one adult admission ticket and receive a second adult admission ticket free.
Coupon (below) must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase (in print or on your mobile device). Valid February 14-17, 2019.
February weather can be fickle. Be sure to check our website for weather alerts before you visit. If we have inclement weather, the Park may be closed.
Wednesday, March 20 - Thursday, June 20
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.
GREAT PRIZES FOR THE WINNERS:
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For entries showing human faces, you must list their name(s) and have written permission from any photographed person(s) to use their image.
- 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.
- Digital images can be optimized but not dramatically altered with photo editing software. Black and white photographs are welcome.
- Decisions of the judges are final.
Saturday, March 30
Put down your smart phone and join us for National Take A Walk in a Park Day. Our Naturalist will lead several guided hikes throughout the day, we’ll have Kids in Parks onsite sharing information about their Track Trail Program and Frugal Backpacker sharing tips about packing the perfect hiking bag and choosing the right hiking gear for your adventure.
A portion of Park admission on this day will go to the Kids in Parks program.
11 am. – Event kicks off with family hike along Hickory Nut Falls trail
11am-2pm- Kids in Parks hosts informational session about Track Trail Program
11am-2pm- Frugal Backpacker “How to Pack a Day Pack” and “Hiking Pole Basics” demonstrations
1-2 pm- Hike with a Doctor from Rutherford Regional Health along the Great Woodland Adventure trail
Monday, April 1 - Tuesday, April 30
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, April 27 - Sunday, April 28
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.
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.
Saturday, May 4 - Sunday, May 5
Scouts have explored and investigated Chimney Rock for decades. Our annual Spring Boy Scout Day is one of the best ways to see all that the Park has to offer. Enjoy morning programs, optional afternoon activities and the rare opportunity to spend the night beneath the stars with other scouts.
Visit our website for detailed program information. Call 828.625.9611 to register. Registration closes April 28 and is limited to 150 scouts.
Thursday, May 9
Ground beef isn’t the only meat you can use to make the perfect burger. Join Old Rock Café’s Chef Randall Spencer for this two-hour class focused on using non-traditional meats like ground elk, duck and boar to create burgers your guests won’t forget. You’ll also learn how to Old Rock Onion Rings, fries and aioli. Come hungry, because you’ll get more than just a sample of each dish and a glass of soda or craft beer or wine as part of this class. Call 828-625-9611 to register.
Saturday, May 11 - Sunday, May 12
Moms will do anything for their children. Why not return the love by treating your mom to a beautiful day at Chimney Rock to enjoy a wonderful hike with stunning views?
Coupon (below) must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase (in print or on your mobile device). Valid May 11-12, 2019 only.
Thursday, May 16
Enjoy views of the Rocky Broad River and local acoustic music by Kirk Gollwitzer from Tryon, NC, while relishing the taste of specially-crafted buffet items inspired by the region.
Here’s our Grillin’ and Chillin’ Buffet Menu:
- BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ Cilantro Lime Sauce
- Crudité’s w/ Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Ranch Dip
- Baby Back ribs w/ Blueberry Balsamic BBQ Sauce
- Chipotle-Lime Grilled Tenderloin
- Ginger and Chili Grilled Shrimp
- Grilled Asparagus w/ Caper Salsa
- Grilled Corn w/ Cilantro-Lime Butter and Cotija Cheese
- Roasted Potatoes w/ Rosemary and Garlic
- Watermelon Feta and Mint Salad w/ Balsamic Reduction
- Banana Pudding
- Strawberry Shortcake
***Vegan option available upon request.
Buffet cost: $16.95
Saturday, May 18
We consider our Annual Passholders family. That’s why we’re opening the Park early, so that they can enjoy a delicious, hot breakfast prepared by Chef Randall Spencer of Old Rock Café as the sun rises over Lake Lure. Afterwards, passholders are welcome to head out on the Outcropping and Hickory Nut Falls trails before the Park opens to the general public.
Advance registration is required. Please use the link below to register. You must show your pass at the gate. New Passholders are welcome; purchase an annual pass for less than the cost of two regular visits at the Park today. Registration closes on Wednesday, May 15.
Saturday, May 18 - Sunday, May 19
Troops of all ages will enjoy our annual Spring Girl Scout Day. Your scouts will love the hands-on morning programs, adventurous afternoon activities and the incredible opportunity to camp overnight in the Park.
More information on programs and activities can be found on our website. Call 828.625.9611 to register. Registration closes May 15 and is limited to 150 scouts.
Saturday, May 25 - Monday, May 27
Memorial Day is often thought of as the kickoff to summer fun, and Chimney Rock has all the activities to make that happen. Saturday through Monday your family can enjoy exploring the Park’s trails and visiting with our Animal Educators in the Animal Discovery Den.
Saturday, May 25
Due to forecasted inclement weather on Saturday, May 11, this event has been resceduled for Saturday, May 25 from 9:30-12:30pm.
Treat mom to a morning of wildflower exploration. This moderate will help you learn 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.
Saturday, June 1
Enjoy breakfast, lunch or an early dinner at Old Rock Cafe and support Conserving Carolina, a nonprofit that helps protect land across Western North Carolina and here in the Gorge. A portion of proceeds from each meal sold will be donated to Conserving Carolina.
Saturday, June 1
The Hickory Nut Gorge is home to iconic landmarks like Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, but did you know it’s also host to an assortment of locally-crafted foods and drinks? Enjoy an intimate evening celebrating the Gorge’s natural features and locally-made gourmet appetizers by the Old Rock Cafe, artisanal cheese made by The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant, craft beer from Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery and wine from Burntshirt Vineyards as the sun sinks behind the mountains.
What’s on the menu?
From The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant
Shrimp & grits spring rolls
House-made cheese and charcuterie with cracks
From Old Rock Cafe
Mini crab cakes topped with Cajun remoulade and micro greens
Tortellini skewers with a pesto vinaigrette
Bison sliders with bacon onion jam and caramelized onions
Pours of two of the brewery’s flagship beers.
From Burntshirt Vineyards Tasting Room & Bistro – Chimney Rock
Tastings of Rock Bottom Red and Lake Lure White Blend
Call 828-625-9611 to register. Preregistration is required. Deadline to register is Tuesday, May 28.
Saturday, June 8
Hickory Nut Falls is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. A common question we often get from Park guests is “where does the water come from.” This hike offers the rare opportunity to explore the origination of the feeder creek, Fall Creek, and follow it as it leads to the upper cascades of this beautiful waterfall. This hike is considered strenuous.
Call 828-625-9611, ext. 1810 to register.
Saturday, June 8
Celebrate the beginning of summer vacation by seeing day turn to night from the top of the Rock. Your family will enjoy hands-on activities, nature stations, storytelling around the campfire, smores and more during this fundraiser for the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park, who support the Park by helping build and maintain trails, and purchase educational supplies for outreach programs.
Saturday, June 15 - Sunday, June 16
Celebrate dad and all he’s done for you with a getaway to Chimney Rock to enjoy incredible views and scenic hiking with the family. We’ll even make it easy for you–buy one regular-price adult admission and dad’s or granddad’s admission is free with our online coupon.
Coupon (below) must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase (in print or on your mobile device). Valid June 15-16, 2019 only.
Thursday, June 20
Enjoy views of the Rocky Broad River and local acoustic music from Riyen Roots while relishing the taste of specially-crafted buffet items inspired by the region.
Grillin’ and Chillin Buffet
• Crab Pizza
• Steamed Mussels in Tomato Broth
• Seafood Alfredo with Fresh Herbs
• Broiled Trout with Lemon Butter
• Tenderloin Steak Pizzaiola
• Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
• Honey-glazed Carrots
• Bacon Maple-glazed Brussel Sprouts
• Avocado and Tomato Salad
• Apple Brown Betty
• Peach cobbler