ASHEVILLE NC – Leaf colors have exploded at Chimney Rock State Park in the past several days. The maples are most impressive with bright yellows, reds and some oranges. The sassafras trees are turning orange, and the red oaks are just starting. Leaf peepers’ best views are from the Chimney and along the Skyline trail to Exclamation Point. There are vibrant colors along the Park road and on the mountain peaks in Hickory Nut Gorge, with autumn foliage expected to peak over the next 7-10 days. Get in-depth weekly fall color reports and current photos at www.chimneyrockpark.com/visit/fallcolor.php.
Chimney Rock was voted the “best beautiful fall foliage spot” by readers of Blue Ridge Country in the 2013 Best of the Mountains poll. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure have a large variety of colorful tree species and an elevation ranging from 1,100 to 2,500 feet, and these conditions create a long window for optimal viewing. Peak colors arrive at the Park’s higher elevations around late-October and typically spread down to the lower elevations through the first couple weeks of November.
Leaf Peeping Adventures. Chimney Rock State Park offers fun, adventurous ways for visitors to admire beautiful autumn foliage. Here are a few of the Park’s favorite fall outings.
Soak up 75-mile panoramic views on top of the Chimney via the elevator or a scenic 25-minute hike up the Outcroppings trail. This is the most dramatic and popular way to get your fall color fix.
View stunning fall colors from a rope high above the Gorge. Sign up in advance for a rock climbing adventure with Fox Mountain Guides. Or check out the Chimney Challenge on Nov. 9 for multiple climbs and rappels for only $20 plus Park admission, including difficult routes up the Chimney for experienced climbers. Profits will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County.
Capture autumn colors on your camera and submit your photos of the Park by Nov. 30 for a chance to win great prizes in the “Many Faces of Chimney Rock” photo contest. Prizes include a two-day getaway with a stay at the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, Park annual passes, zip lining, boat tours and more. Read the contest rules. Then upload your fall photos to a personalized Chimney Rock photo book with stories, history and stunning professional photography so you can share your memories with family and friends. Get started at http://picture.com/chimney-rock.
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers scenic hiking trails, guided rock climbing, live animal education programs and ancient geological features that attract visitors from around the world. Chimney Rock is located only 45 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or go to chimneyrockpark.com to plan your visit.