Local Scoop

Categories

Asheville, North Carolina News


Posts Tagged ‘chimney rock’

Birders “Flock to the Rock” Fall Migration

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock is known for its colorful fall and stunning 75-mile views overlooking Lake Lure, but the Park is also a well-known destination for year-round birding. Birding enthusiasts often visit the Park to look for birds such as warblers, vireos and Peregrine Falcons. The region’s premier fall migration birding event, Flock to the Rock, hosted by Chimney Rock for the past six years, has brought more attention to the Park’s abundant birding opportunities. Flock to the Rock will be held on Saturday, September 19. This prime birding weekend coincides with the annual hawk migration when dozens, sometimes hundreds, of hawks can be seen during their flight south.

The weekend is packed full of bird walks guided by Park naturalists, including a Naturalist Niche: Early Bird Walk from 7:30-9:30am and educational birding activities for families, live bird programs and a hawk count at the top of Chimney Rock. Special to the event are Wings to Soar Birds in Flight shows in the Indoor Classroom on the Meadows.

“Chimney Rock is one of the most spectacular locations in Western North Carolina to spot a wide range of birds throughout the year, from countless warblers and vireos to tanagers and birds of prey. Flock to the Rock is held during the peak of fall migration and draws enthusiastic birders of all levels to the Park,” said Emily Walker, Chimney Rock Management, LLC Education Manager.

Flock to the Rock is included with paid Park admission, which is $13 for adults, $6 for youth (ages 5-15) and free for kids 4 years and under. An additional fee applies only to the Naturalist Niche: Early Bird Walk, which requires advance registration. Chimney Rock is an official site on the N.C. Birding Trail. For more details and a schedule of birding activities, visit http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=394.

A Premier Birding Destination

From its winding riverbanks to its dramatic cliffs, Chimney Rock is a haven for North Carolina resident birds, migrating birds and, of course, bird lovers. From beginner to experienced, people have long been flocking to the Rock to catch glimpses of their favorite birds. Chimney Rock is home to more than 130 species of birds throughout the year, including over 25 warbler species, vireos, tanagers, woodpeckers, thrushes, owls and a wide selection of birds of prey, including Peregrine Falcons. For more information on birding at the Park, visit chimneyrockpark.com/park/nature/northcarolinabirds.php.

Home to World’s Fastest Bird of Prey

While at Chimney Rock, train your binoculars along the Park’s soaring cliffs and up into the surrounding sky for a chance to see the amazing acrobatics of a Peregrine Falcon high above Hickory Nut Gorge. Peregrine Falcons (Falco Peregrinus) may slice through the air at more than 60mph or dive on smaller birds in flight at speeds up to 200mph. By the early 1960s, no Peregrines were found in this area, but these magnificent birds have made a comeback thanks to captive-breeding programs. Since 1990 when three of these young birds fledged in the Park, Peregrines have been sighted here almost every year.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock can be accessed via a 499-step Outcroppings Trail and offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species. The Rumbling Bald section of the greater State Park off of Boys Camp Road in Chimney Rock is the only other area of the Park that is currently open to the public. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Chimney Rock section of the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com.

About Wings to Soar

Wings to Soar is a nonprofit organization based in Trenton, GA. Their mission is to create awareness about the vital role birds of prey play in the natural world. Their free-flying raptor program gives audiences a unique opportunity to view and interact with birds of prey up close. Their goals are to facilitate a connection to the natural world, to spark curiosity and to create a sense of value for all forms of life.

Chimney Rock Events August and September

Monday, July 6th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock Park announces August and September events.

Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time: August 1-31; daily at 2pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl! Our resident animal ambassadors are the stars of the family-friendly programs every day at 2pm, which explain each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=559

 

Mushroom walk group w KarenWild Mushroom Walks
Date/Time: Fridays, August 14 & August 28; 11am-12pm
Description: You’ll be amazed at the variety of fascinating fungi growing along the Park’s trails. Whet your appetite on this guided hike as we identify and learn about a dozen or so of the most common mushrooms of more than 1,000 species that could be growing in Western N.C. Led by “mushroom maniac” Karen Johnson, member of State Parks and the Asheville Mushroom Club. Limit first 15 people; meet at Grady’s Den. Important: collecting or removing mushrooms and plants from Chimney Rock and all N.C. State Parks is NOT allowed without a permit.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=540

 

11th Annual Lake Lure Olympiad
Date/Time: Friday, August 14-Sunday, August 16
Description: This 3-day family sports festival showcases the beautiful scenery of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. Compete in a sprint triathlon, junior Olympiad, 10K Dam run, Race to the Rock and a 2Mile Open Water Swim. Try 3 races in 3 days! Plus, there’s plenty to do and see for families and non-athletes. Watch the Olympiad’s promo video to see what it’s all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QKjX1lJwSQ.

Cost: Varies; register at lakelureolympiad.com.

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=389

 

5_Olympiad-CR9th Annual Race to the Rock (5K run or 25-mile bike)

Date/Time: Sunday, August 16; 7:45am bike, 8am run

Description: A challenging 5k run or 25-mile bike race that climbs 900 feet in the last 3 miles (a 7-9% grade) to finish at the base of Chimney Rock. The rewarding 75-mile views from the finish line overlooking Lake Lure are enough to take your breath away… or what’s left of it. This is the ONLY TIME ever you can run or bike up to Chimney Rock.

Cost: Varies; register at lakelureolympiad.com.

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=390

 

Naturalist Niche: Wild Edibles
Date/Time: Saturday, August 22; 9:30am-12:30pm
Description: Ever wondered what might be growing in the wild or even in your backyard that you could turn into a tasty dish? Let our team help you identify some edibles that can be found in our region. This hike is moderate to strenuous, and advance registration is required. Important: collecting or removing mushrooms and plants from Chimney Rock and all N.C. State Parks is NOT allowed without a permit. Wild Edibles is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology and other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=581

 

SEPTEMBER EVENTS

 

Rock with FlagLabor Day Weekend Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time: Saturday, September 5 – Sunday, September 6; Programs 2pm, Climbing Tower open 11am-4pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl! Our resident education animals are the stars of the 2pm program, which explains each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Plus, try to outwit gravity with a free climb per person on our climbing tower open 11am–4pm.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=567

Photo courtesy of G.W. Weber Photography

 

Wild Mushroom Walks
Date/Time
: Fridays, September 11 & 25; 11am-12pm
Description: You’ll be amazed at the variety of fascinating fungi growing along the Park’s trails. Whet your appetite on this guided hike as we identify and learn about a dozen or so of the most common mushrooms of more than 1,000 species that could be growing in Western N.C. Led by “mushroom maniac” Karen Johnson, member of State Parks and the Asheville Mushroom Club. Limit first 15 people; meet at Grady’s Den. Important: collecting or removing mushrooms and plants from Chimney Rock and all N.C. State Parks is NOT allowed without a permit.

Cost: Free with paid admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=540

 

PROMO: Grandparents Day Weekend Special Admission

Date/Time: Sunday and Monday, September 13 & 14
Description: Grandparents love spending time with the grandkids, and what better way to spend time together than at Chimney Rock? Enjoy one free youth (ages 5-15) admission when you purchase one regularly-priced adult admission. Special coupon must be downloaded from our website and presented on your mobile device or in print at the Ticket Plaza at time of purchase. Valid September 13 & 14 only. Kids ages 4 and under are always free at Chimney Rock.

Cost: Buy one adult admission at regular price and get one free youth admission (ages 5-15)

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=411

 

simon on hnf trailNaturalist Niche: “Simon Says” Early Bird Walk
Date/Time
: Saturday, September 19; 7:30-9:30am
Description: Kick off our Flock to the Rock event with an early bird walk to see which of our feathered friends is out on trails before the Park opens. Led by renowned ornithologist Simon Thompson. Advance registration is required. After the walk, stay for Flock to the Rock, which is included with Park admission.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=575

 

 

DSC_06217th Annual Flock to the Rock
Date/Time: Saturday, September 19; 11am-3pm
Description: The region’s premier fall migration birding event is held at Chimney Rock, an official site on the NC Birding Trail. Features live Birds of Prey programs (a Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl), bird walks and more. Event coincides with the annual hawk migration. Chimney Rock is home to 130+ species year-round, including warblers, vireos, tanagers, woodpeckers, thrushes, owls and birds of prey, like the Peregrine Falcon. For an event schedule, visit chimneyrockpark.com.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=394

 

Take A Child Outside Week (TaCO)
Date/Time: Thurs., Sept 24 – Wed., Sept 30; Family Campout Sat, Sept. 26
Description: Take a Child Outside Week is a national movement started in NC that features special Ranger-led programs at N.C. state parks. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to camp beneath the stars on Saturday September 26. In addition, daily fun hikes or nature education programs will introduce children and families to the outdoors and healthy activities. On Saturday, September 26, join us for Writers on the Rock for Kids, featuring children’s books about the natural world and an interactive presentation by a local author.

Cost: All activities except Family Campout are included with Park admission; Camping cost TBD

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=552
Writers on the Rock for Kids

Date/Time: Saturday, September 26; 1-4pm

Description: Part of Take a Child Outside Week, Writers on the Rock for Kids will feature children’s book author Janie DeVos, author of How High Can You Fly?, Barthello’s Wing and other books. Janie will give an interactive presentation for kids where they’ll learn about discovering their special gifts. A selection of her titles will be available for sale and autographs.

Cost:  Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=594

 

Writers on the Rock June 28 Chimney Rock

Friday, June 12th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – On June 28 from 1-4pm, ten renowned authors who have written about Appalachia will gather at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park to autograph books, give presentations and be available for one-on-one chats with fans. A range of books by each author will be available for sale at a table manned by event sponsor Fountainhead Bookstore of Hendersonville. Writers on the Rock is included with Park admission, which is $15 for adults, $7 for youth ages 5-15 and free for children ages 4 and under.

“Writers on the Rock give guests a unique opportunity to see their favorite authors in person and to meet new ones,” says Shannon Quinn-Tucker, Public Relations and Promotions Manager. “Appalachia is rich with history and culture, and we’ve invited authors who have made their mark in the literary world, using Appalachia as a backdrop for their stories. We’re excited to be able to offer this event to the public and give folks the chance to meet some of the authors they’ve read and loved for years.”

Bibliophiles can view the soaring cliffs and stunning valleys of Chimney Rock and the surrounding Hickory Nut Gorge as they browse dozens of titles; they can also purchase books the authors have signed. Genres ranging from memoirs to cookbooks, suspense to poetry will be available.

Fans are encouraged to come early, as authors will begin speaking shortly after 1pm.

Ken Butcher

Ken was born in Washington DC and grew up mostly in Ohio. His father was an avid reader of science fiction and would pass along stories to Ken. Ken went to Ohio State University, where he majored in engineering. In 1988, he and his wife moved to Hendersonville NC where they raised their two sons. The Middle of the Air is Ken’s first novel and is intended to be the first of a trilogy about the Colebrook family. He’s currently working on the second novel in the series with a working title of The Face of the Water. Ken’s family has been involved in many local projects, including baking the world’s largest cookie (chocolate chip, 100 feet in diameter) and hosting the Olympic swim team from New Zealand for the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.

Sheri Castle

Sheri is the author of several cookbooks, including The Southern Living Community Cookbook, released in October 2014, and The New Southern Garden Cookbook, which was named the 2012 Cookbook of the Year by the Southern Independent Booksellers Association and made the New York Times list “25 More Notable Cookbooks.” Her recipes and writing have been published in The Kitchn, Garden and Gun, Epicurious, Southern Living and My Recipes. You’ll find scrumptious southern dishes both familiar and revamped in her cookbooks, such as Ozark Pudding, Peach Iced Tea Sorbet, Real Skillet Cornbread and Chicken Stew with Fluffy Dumplings.

Julia Nunnally Duncan

Julia grew up and still lives in McDowell County in Western North Carolina. Her published books include two novels, two short story collections, and three poetry collections, which have been reviewed or featured in Our State Magazine, North Carolina Literary Review, Southern Literary Review, Literary Trails of the North Carolina Mountains, and many other journals and newspapers. Her fiction books are set in a WNC textile mill town based on her home town Marion, and her poetry often explores her experiences growing up in 1960’s WNC. Awards and honors include a Blumenthal Writers & Readers Series Award in Fiction; finalist in the Novello Literary Award for her novel Drops of the Night; finalist in the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for her collection An Endless Tapestry; selected poet for Winston Salem’s POETRY IN PLAIN SIGHT program; and poetry winner in the Joyce Kilmer Poetry Contest and the Carolina Woman Magazine Writing Contest. Her short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in scores of literary journals and anthologies for the past three decades. Julia holds a B.A. in English/Education and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. She teaches English and Southern Culture at McDowell Technical Community College in Marion, NC, where she resides with her husband Steve, a wood carver, and their daughter Annie.

Tommy Hays

Tommy Hays’s first middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You, now out in paperback, was chosen as a Fall 2013 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and was selected for the 2014 SIBA Book Award Long List as well as for the American Booksellers 2014 ABC Best Books for Children Catalog. His adult novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award in 2006, and has been chosen for numerous community reads, including the One City, One Book program in Greensboro and the Amazing Read in Greenville, SC. The novel was read on National Public Radio’s “Radio Reader” and South Carolina ETVRadio’s “Southern Read”. His other adult novels are Sam’s Crossing, which has been recently re-released, and In the Family Way, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Lecturer in the Master of Liberal Arts program at UNC Asheville. He teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Murray State University. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He lives in Asheville with his wife, Connie, and their children, Max and Ruth.

Carol Heilman

Carol Heilman, a coal-miner’s daughter, married a farmer’s son, her high school sweetheart, over fifty years ago. She and her husband live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Their children and grandchildren live near the east and west coasts where they often visit. Carol enjoys traveling, reading, writing, hiking, and cooking for friends. She is a recipient of two Carrie McCray Awards for writing excellence. Carol’s debut novel, Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar, was inspired by her mother’s spunky spirit and her dad’s Appalachian humor.

Cindy McMahon

Unplanned youngest daughter of activist hippies in the turbulent South, Cindy Henry McMahon survived family violence, fire, flood, poisonous mushrooms, and an ice-cold outhouse. She now lives a decidedly normal life in Asheville, North Carolina. Cindy’s family history is a slide show of the turbulent South: a thwarted lynch mob on a Georgia preacher’s front porch; the integration of Mercer University and Macon, Georgia’s Vineville Baptist Church; Birmingham, 1963; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march to Selma; Koinonia Farm and the germination of Habitat for Humanity; inner-city activism and counter-culture communities in the woods. After a lifetime of hearing these stories but never fully understanding them, McMahon set out with a map and tape recorder to learn three things: (1) how the Civil Rights Movement and its aftermath shaped—or misshaped—her father; (2) how growing up in a family with this embittered, violent, and then absent father shaped her; and (3) how she survived it all remarkably intact. The result is her memoir, Fresh Water from Old Wells. It weaves together the regional and national events of the volatile 1960s and 70s, her family’s tumultuous Southern saga, and the stories of her own quest, which finally allows her to unclench her fist and release years of resentment and anger.

Ann B. Ross

Ann B. Ross is the author of the popular Miss Julia series, the first of which was published in 1999. The latest and 16th book in the series, Miss Julia Lays Down the Law, was released in April of this year and prompted a 12-city tour. Last year’s Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover was a 2014 Okra Pick and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List at #10. Ann graduated Magna cum Laude from UNC-A in Literature and earned her Master’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill and a PhD from UNC Chapel Hill in Medieval Studies. She is the proud parent of three children and grandparent of six.

The Miss Julia series is available English, Japanese, Italian and German and is can also be found on CD, e-book and in large print editions.

Randy Russell

Randy Russell is the Edgar-nominated author of six published novels, three books of short stories about ghosts in the South, and two volumes of southern Appalachian folklore. His most recent work, The Ghost Will See You Now, was published by John F. Blair in 2014. Randy regularly presents True Ghosts programs across the South and has conducted hundreds of interviews of people who have experienced ghost encounters. Randy also leads workshops on writing book-length fiction. He routinely provides story critiques for new authors shaping their work for the commercial marketplace. Randy’s most recent novel, Dead Rules, originally published by Harper Collins, has sold in translation to publishers in Germany and China. The novel received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews and was brought out in England, Australia and New Zealand by Quercus Books, Ltd. He is currently represented by Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House in NYC. Randy and his bride Janet Barnett live with their dog Princess Grace on a haunted cove road outside of Asheville, North Carolina. “Gracie lets us know when the ghosts are up and about,” he said. “It keeps us from walking smack into one.”

Susan Snowden

An Atlanta native, Susan Snowden moved to the mountains of western NC in 1995 to have more time to write. Since then her work—fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry—has been published in more than forty literary journals and anthologies. She has received seventeen honors and awards for her writing, including a gold medal in 2013 for her novel Southern Fried Lies (IPPY Award for Fiction, Southeast Region). Archer Hill Publishing is bringing out her novella and story collection, A Closet Full of Masks, in August 2015. Susan works as a freelance book editor, editing fiction and nonfiction for publishers and authors.

Evan Williams

Evan’s book One Apple at a Time was born of family history which spans 240 years in the Henderson County area. His forthcoming novel, Ripples, features Chimney Rock, Lake Lure and the surrounding region as its setting. Evan still lives on the forty acres of orchard that has been home to multiple generations of his family. He often feels he grew up in a Grant Wood painting, experiencing rural America at its finest. An author, novelist and poet, Evan holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University, Charlotte and currently lives a self-described schizophrenic life, torn between his two passions – writing and cultivating heirloom apple trees.

About Fountainhead Bookstore

Locally owned and operated, Fountainhead Bookstore can be found at 408 North Main Street in Hendersonville, NC. Fountainhead carries an eclectic mix of books, including quality local and regional authors in both fiction and nonfiction, outdoor sports particular to the Western North Carolina region, general fiction and nonfiction, mysteries, science, history, books for tweens and children, notecards, gifts and more. Fountainhead is a member of the American Booksellers Association and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and reports to the New York Times Bestsellers Department. Find Fountainhead online at www.fountainheadbookstore.com.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock can be accessed via a 491-step Outcroppings Trail or a 26-story elevator and offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species. The Rumbling Bald section of the greater State Park off of Boys Camp Road in Chimney Rock is the only other area of the Park that is currently open to the public. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Chimney Rock section of the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com.

Find the Goats at Chimney Rock State Park!

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Starting May 12, 2015, the ‘goats of the gorge,’ previously seen working along HWY 74-A last fall, will be working near the attraction at Chimney Rock State Park. The project is made possible by the partnership of Chimney Rock State Park (CHRO), Chimney Rock Management, LLC., the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park and the Weed Action Coalition of Hickory Nut Gorge (WAC-HNG). Goats, fence, and maintenance during the project are provided by KD Ecological Services (KDES), a local habitat management and restoration business out of Mill Spring, NC.

In order to accomplish this important conservation work, a partnership was formed. CHRO, Chimney Rock Management, LLC., and the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park were able to provide funds, advertising and approval of the project. WAC-HNG is a Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy-run program operating in HNG to support local landowners in managing non-native invasive plant species on their properties. WAC-HNG partners with CHRO frequently and presented and facilitated the project in an effort to further their mission of protecting “the natural communities and scenic beauty of the HNG by managing… non-native invasive plant species”.

Fifteen goats will be hard at work on a 2 acre plot near the upper parking lot of the attraction, beginning May 12, for about 3-4 weeks. This area of the park is a dense monoculture of non-native invasive species that out-compete native plants and contribute to hazards like erosion and landslide. Monocultures of non-natives prevent soil stability normally provided by a diverse group of native plants. The HNG is susceptible to such events because of steep slopes and heavy rain events.

CHRO falls into a significant natural heritage area (SNHA) known as Chimney Rock Natural Area, a SNHA of “outstanding” significance, the highest level of ranking. SNHAs are evaluated on the basis of the occurrences of rare plant and animal species, rare or high quality natural communities and special animal habitats, determined by the NC Natural Heritage Program within NCDENR. Because of this classification, it is imperative to preserve these natural communities and the animals and plants present.

The goats will devour anything in their sight, which was an important factor in choosing an area for treatment. The determined plot is home to mostly kudzu, one of the goats’ favorite meals, but also other invasive plants including Princess Tree, Oriental Bittersweet, Multiflora Rose and more. Goats are excellent candidates for this project because of their small body size, agility in navigating the uneven hillsides of the HNG, and preference for feeding on woody vegetation, including thorny plants. The goats will clear the 2 acres in about 3-4 weeks in May and June, and will re-treat the area again in the fall. The site will then be monitored for regrowth and the project will be reassessed for next year.

To learn more about herbivory, and to donate to support future projects like this, please visit www.wachng.org. To learn how you can donate to adopt a goat, go to www.wachng.org/Goats/adopts.

About Weed Action Coalition of Hickory Nut Gorge (WAC-HNG)

WAC-HNG is an initiative of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy that works as a coalition of area partners to protect the native habitat of the Hickory Nut Gorge. WAC-HNG does this by eradicating invasive species which threaten our natural communities.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock can be accessed via a 491-step Outcroppings Trail or a 26-story elevator and offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species. The Rumbling Bald section of the greater State Park off of Boys Camp Road in Chimney Rock is the only other area of the Park that is currently open to the public. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Chimney Rock section of the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com.

Chimney Rock State Park Earth Day Celebration

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock State Park will host an Earth Day Celebration in Chimney Rock Village on Saturday, April 25, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Local environmental educators, including Chimney Rock State Park Rangers, Chimney Rock Management, LLC naturalists, biologists and other environmentalists will host a number of exhibits on the RiverWalk at 431 Main Street in Chimney Rock, near the Old Rock Café. Admission to the event is free, and youth ages 5-15 who collect six stamps through the event’s Discovery Trail program will earn a Grady’s Kids Club Membership, which allows them free admission to the Chimney Rock section of Chimney Rock State Park for one full year.

“Chimney Rock has a long history of caring for our environment,” said Stephen Tillotson, event organizer and Chimney Rock State Park Ranger. “The exhibitors at our Earth Day Celebration will offer a wealth of information that people of all ages can use to better protect and preserve the world around them. It’s going to be a great way for the whole family to get involved in celebrating our planet.”

Chimney Rock State Park’s annual Earth Day events have become a popular attraction, with attendance growing steadily in the last six years to approximately 600 visitors in 2014.

Park musician John Mason will play the hammered dulcimer. Presenters will include NC Wildlife Resources Commission, who will display “Rocky,” an Eastern Hellbender; Chimney Rock Management, LLC, who will present Grady the Groundhog’s live animal ambassador friends and Falconers of Falling Creek Camp, who will have a live Peregrine Falcon and American Kestrel. Friends of Chimney Rock State Park will be giving away tree seedlings. Other presenters will include KidSenses Museum, Friends of WNC Nature Center, NC Arboretum, NC Clean Air, and local conservation partners The Nature Conservancy, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, Weed Action Coalition of Hickory Nut Gorge and the Friends of Hickory Nut Gorge. Many event exhibitors have maintained an ongoing, active partnership in the Park’s resource conservation, including building positive support for state ownership of Chimney Rock in 2007.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock can be accessed via a 491-step Outcroppings Trail or a 26-story elevator and offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species. The Rumbling Bald section of the greater State Park off of Boys Camp Road in Chimney Rock is the only other area of the Park that is currently open to the public. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Chimney Rock section of the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com.

Spring Events and Happenings at Chimney Rock

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock announces Spring events.

Selfie in the Park: What’s Your View?

Date/Time: April 1- April 30

Description: When you think about Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, what do you picture? Grady munching a sweet potato? The top of the Chimney on a rainy day? Scaling Vista Rock with Fox Mountain Guides? Or feeling the cool mist of the Hickory Nut Falls on your face? It seems everyone has a favorite place at the Park, and whatever your view, we want you to share it. Snap a selfie at your favorite spot in Chimney Rock (uniqueness and creativity encouraged), post it to Instagram at chimneyrockatchimneyrockpark, and tag us for the chance to win some amazing prizes, including free Park passes, an overnight stay at The Esmerelda Inn, lunch for two at the Old Rock Café and more! For a complete list of rules and guidelines, visit our website at www.chimneyrockpark.com/events.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=591

 

 

IMG_1427 (1)60th Annual Easter Sunrise Service
Date/Time: Sunday, April 5; gate opens 5am-6am for 6:30am service
Description: Celebrate the glory of Easter with song, scripture and spiritual music as a spectacular sunrise ascends over Lake Lure. Chimney Rock’s annual Easter Sunrise Service has become a legendary event in WNC, attracting more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast each year. This special 60th Anniversary year will feature live music, including special songs sung by Chimney Rock employees and their family members, spiritual songs, Park musician John Mason on the hammered dulcimer and breathtaking scenery. Guests are invited to eat breakfast at the Old Rock Café and stay to enjoy the Park all day.

Cost: Free admission for entry to Sunrise Service

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=467

 

Spring Homeschool Day
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 15; 9:30am-12:30pm
Description: Have a field day at Chimney Rock! Join our education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre classroom where learning comes alive. All programs are designed to meet NC and SC curriculum standards. Optional afternoon activities will be offered. Registration required; call (828) 625-9611 to register. For rates and program descriptions, visit http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $12 Adults (includes Park admission), No charge Annual Passholder; $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $7.50 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=468

 

Naturalist Niche: Spring Wildflower Walk
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18; 9:30-11:30am

Description: Identify a variety of spring wildflowers with renowned naturalist and author Ron Lance. Grab your cameras and field guides for this informative, moderate hike to find blooming beauties like trillium, mountain laurel, flame azaleas and more unique species. Limited to 15; advance registration required. Location of hike may vary depending on where the most flowers are blooming. Spring Wildflower Walk is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=574

 

Kids ClimbSpringtime Kids’ Rock Climb

Date/Time: Saturday, April 18; 11am-3pm

Description: Get a taste of rock climbing and experience Chimney Rock from a new perspective with the Southeast’s leader in rock climbing education, Fox Mountain Guides. Kids (ages 7-15) climb for half price with 20-minute “tasters” on Vista Rock at this fun, family-friendly event, weather permitting. Convenient, walk-up access to climbing for the whole family to try! Beginners welcome, and no experience is necessary. All equipment is provided. Additional kid-friendly activities focusing on health and wellness will be offered throughout the day.

Book a 2-hour or longer climbing lesson anytime with Fox Mountain Guides at (888) 284-8433.

Cost: $10 for a kids’ taster climb (half price!) or $20 per adult, plus Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=592

 

 

Earth DayEarth Day
Date/Time
: Saturday, April 25; 11am-3pm
Description: Join Chimney Rock State Park rangers, biologists and other environmental educators to learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape. Booths will be located in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Café. Kids have the chance to earn a Grady’s Kids Club annual pass to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.  Bring the whole family!

Cost: Free

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=556

 

Spring Break Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time: Monday, April 6-Sunday April 12; daily at 2pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl. Our resident animal ambassadors are the stars of our 2pm program led by a Park naturalist, who will explain each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Don’t forget your camera!
Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=551

 

MAY EVENTS

 

20140518_094603_resized_1Naturalist Niche: Waterfall Exploration
Date/Time: Sunday, May 3; 9:30–11:30am
Description: Hickory Nut Falls is not only one of the highest falls east of the Mississippi River,  it’s also full of plants and animals are easy to miss if you aren’t watching closely! Join a Park Naturalist to explore the Falls and search for life hiding among the rocks. Advance registration required. Waterfall Exploration is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=576

 

Cub scout - snakes prog cropSpring Boy Scout Day & Campout
Date/Time
: Saturday May 2- Sunday May 3; 9:30am Saturday-9am Sunday
Description: Description: For years, Boy Scouts of all ages have enjoyed their own special days at Chimney Rock State Park. Our nearly 1,000 acres make an incredible backdrop to a variety of programs that are educational and fun! Scouts will enjoy morning programs, have the chance to become a North Carolina State Parks Junior Ranger, then join us for a campout beneath the stars. Programs details at http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children,$8 per camper  Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=474

 

2_CR flag at sunrise_Chuck HillAnnual Passholder Spring Sunrise Breakfast
Date/Time: Saturday May 9; gate opens 5am for 6:30am sunrise
Description: Few sights in Western North Carolina are as spectacular as watching the sun rise over Lake Lure. Weather permitting, the Park opens early for Annual Passholders with a tasty continental breakfast and the best seats in the area. Post your sunrise pictures to our Facebook page. To RSVP, please call 800-277-9611. Check out area accommodations at chimneyrockpark.com if you plan to stay overnight.

Cost: $5 Annual Passholder, free for kids under 5. Advanced registration required.

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=534

Photo credit: Chuck Hill Photography

 

PROMO: Mother’s Day Weekend Special

Date/Time: Saturday-Sunday, May 9-10

Description: Get your family together and treat mom to beautiful scenery with spring wildflowers. Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and mom or grandma receives one free with online coupon. Download the coupon from chimneyrockpark.com and present it (in print or on your mobile device) at the Ticket Plaza at time of purchase. Valid May 9-10, 2015.

Annual Passholders can start the day out with a spectacular sunrise view at our Annual Passholder Spring Sunrise Breakfast. Not a Passholder? You can upgrade your paid admission ticket; it’s just $13 for adults and $5 for youth.

Cost: Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and Mom or Grandma receives one free

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=409

Spring Girl Scout Day & Campout
Date/Time: Saturday May 16-Sunday May 17; 9:30am Saturday-9am Sunday
Description: For years, Girl Scouts of all ages have enjoyed their own special days at Chimney Rock State Park. Our nearly 1,000 acres make an incredible backdrop to a variety of programs that are educational and fun! Scouts will also have the opportunity to become a North Carolina State Parks Junior Ranger. And the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down—our 5-acre Meadows is the perfect place to spend a night under the stars. Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required. Programs details at http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children, $8 per camper

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=471

 

Grady & Kids at Chimney RockMemorial Day Weekend Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time
: Saturday-Monday, May 23-25; 11am-4pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl! Our resident education animals are the stars of the program, which explains each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Family wildlife programs at 2pm. Try to outwit gravity with a free climb per person on our climbing tower open 11am–4pm.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=558

 

 

Chimney Rock in the Moonlight

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – On Saturday, March 7, from 7-10pm, visitors to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park can view the Park after hours during Park in the Moonlight. A family-friendly nocturnal event, Park in the Moonlight is a fundraiser to benefit Friends of Chimney Rock State Park. The Friends organization supports Chimney Rock State Park projects, including State Parks’ efforts to reopen the portion of the popular Skyline trail that leads to the top of Hickory Nut Falls. The event will feature campfire stories by the Park’s superintendent, Creatures of the Night(a program by Chimney Rock Mgmt. naturalists), stargazing with the Asheville Astronomy Club and a hike to and from the top of the Chimney with State Park Rangers. The Outcroppings trail and the elevator will be open so everyone can experience the beauty of Chimney Rock under the stars.

Guests will be admitted by vehicle, and space is limited to the first 50 cars to pre-register. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will open its gates at 7pm to admit event-goers. Gates will remain open for 30 minutes, after which no admittance will be permitted. Activities and hiking will take place at the Chimney from 7:30-10pm. A minimum donation of $10 per car is suggested. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly and bring a flashlight. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled. Call 800-277-9611 to pre-register.

 

About Friends of Chimney Rock State Park

Friends of Chimney Rock State Park is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to partner with the state park to sustain and cultivate the rich diversity of the Hickory Nut Gorge region for generations to share and enjoy. Its primary goal is to support the reopening of Chimney Rock’s Skyline trail, which leads to a view of the top of the Hickory Nut Falls. Membership to the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park is $35/year for an individual, $60/year for a family. Additional corporate and other sponsorship levels are also available. Visit friendsofchimneyrockstatepark.org for more information and to join.

 

 

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock can be accessed via a 491-step Outcroppings Trail or a 26-story elevator and offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species. The Rumbling Bald section of the greater State Park off of Boys Camp Road in Chimney Rock is the only other area of the Park that is currently open to the public. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Chimney Rock section of the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com.

Chimney Rock Announces 2015 Events

Monday, January 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock announces 2015 events.

FEBRUARY EVENTS

10th Annual Grady’s Groundhog Day
Date/Time: Monday February 2; 10:30am-12pm

Description: Last year, Grady saw his shadow, correctly predicting six more weeks of winter. Will he be right again this year? Join our furry Park mascot on Groundhog’s Day to find out! Kids’ crafts will be offered; you can make it a day of fun for the whole family by rounding it all out with a hike to the top of Chimney Rock or down the Hickory Nut Falls trail. Go to Grady the Groundhog’s Facebook page and tell us whether you think we’re in for six more weeks of winter; you could win a free stuffed animal Grady!
Cost: Included with Park admission

PROMO: Valentine’s Day Special: Buy 1, Get 1 Free

Date/Time: Friday-Sunday, February 13-15

Description: What better way to show your sweetheart some love than by bringing him or her to see beautiful, 75-mile views from the top of Chimney Rock? (Hint – we’ve had quite a few proposals on the Rock over the years; Valentine’s Day might be your day!) Download the special coupon from our website. Coupon must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase. Valid February 13-15, 2015, if Park is open.

Naturalist Niche: Winter Tree ID & Book Signing
Date/Time: Saturday, February 21; Hike 10:30am-12:30pm, Book signing 1pm-3pm
Description: Think leaves are the only way to identify trees? Think again! Local naturalist Ron Lance leads this moderately difficult guided hike where he’ll explain how to use twigs, bark and buds to identify trees. Advance registration required. Afterward, meet Ron at Cliff Dwellers Gifts where he’ll be discussing and signing his latest book, Haws: A Guide to Hawthorns of the Southeastern United States. Participants in the hike will receive a special price of $19.95; $10 off the regular price of the book! Additional books by Ron, including Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States: A Winter Guide, will also be available.

Cost: Hike: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member. Book signing is included with Park admission.

MARCH EVENTS

Park in the Moonlight
Date/Time: Saturday, March 7
Description: A non-scary nocturnal family event to support the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park. Activities may include Storytelling, Campfires, Night Hiking, Wildlife Encounters, Costumed Characters, and More! Visit chimneyrockpark.com for more details.

Cost: TBD

Naturalist Niche: Creating a Nature Journal
Date/Time: Saturday, March 14; 9am-12pm
Description: A journal allows you to explore your relationship with the great outdoors by providing a place for interpreting observations and thoughts. Local artist Nora Mosrie, a visual artist who has over 30 years of experience in developing and leading educational programs for folks of all ages, will demonstrate how to create a journal you can use to document your discoveries in the natural world. Advance registration required. Creating a Nature Journal is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

APRIL EVENTS

60th Annual Easter Sunrise Service
Date/Time: Sunday, April 5; gate opens 5am-6am for 6:30am service
Description: Celebrate the glory of Easter with song, scripture and spiritual music as a spectacular sunrise ascends over Lake Lure. Chimney Rock’s annual Easter Sunrise Service has become a legendary event in WNC, attracting more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast each year. This special 60th Anniversary year will feature live music, spiritual songs, Park musician John Mason on the hammered dulcimer and breathtaking scenery. Guests are invited to eat breakfast at the Old Rock Café and stay to enjoy the Park all day.

Cost: Free admission for entry to Sunrise Service

Spring Homeschool Day
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 15; 9:30am-12:30pm
Description: Have a field day at Chimney Rock! Join our education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre classroom where learning comes alive. All programs are designed to meet NC and SC curriculum standards. Optional afternoon activities will be offered. Registration required; call (828) 625-9611 to register. For rates and program descriptions, visit http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $12 Adults (includes Park admission), No charge Annual Passholder; $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $7.50 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Naturalist Niche: Spring Wildflower Walk
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18; 9:30-11:30am

Description: Identify a variety of spring wildflowers with renowned naturalist and author Ron Lance. Grab your cameras and field guides for this informative, moderate hike to find blooming beauties like trillium, mountain laurel, flame azaleas and more unique species. Limited to 15; advance registration required. Location of hike may vary depending on where the most flowers are blooming. Spring Wildflower Walk is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Springtime Kids’ Climb

Date/Time: Saturday, April 18; 11am-3pm

Description: Get a taste of rock climbing and experience Chimney Rock from a new perspective with the Southeast’s leader in rock climbing education, Fox Mountain Guides. Kids (ages 7-15) climb for half price with 20-minute “tasters” on Vista Rock at this fun, family-friendly event, weather permitting. Convenient, walk-up access to climbing for the whole family to try! Beginners welcome, and no experience is necessary. All equipment is provided. Additional kid-friendly activities focusing on health and wellness will be offered throughout the day.

Book a 2-hour or longer climbing lesson anytime with Fox Mountain Guides at (888) 284-8433.

Cost: $10 for a kids’ taster climb (half price!) or $20 per adult, plus Park admission

Earth Day
Date/Time
: Saturday, April 25; 11am-3pm
Description: Join Chimney Rock State Park rangers, biologists and other environmental educators to learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape. Booths will be located in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Café. Kids have the chance to earn a Grady’s Kids Club annual pass to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.  Bring the whole family!

Cost: Free

Spring Break Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time: Monday, April 6-Sunday April 12; daily at 2pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl. Our resident animal ambassadors are the stars of our 2pm program led by a Park naturalist, who will explain each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Don’t forget your camera!
Cost: Included with Park admission

MAY EVENTS

Naturalist Niche: Waterfall Exploration
Date/Time: Sunday, May 3; 9:30–11:30am
Description: Hickory Nut Falls is not only one of the highest falls east of the Mississippi River,  it’s also full of plants and animals are easy to miss if you aren’t watching closely! Join a Park Naturalist to explore the Falls and search for life hiding among the rocks. Advance registration required. Waterfall Exploration is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Spring Boy Scout Day & Campout
Date/Time
: Saturday May 2- Sunday May 3; 9:30am Saturday-9am Sunday
Description: Description: For years, Boy Scouts of all ages have enjoyed their own special days at Chimney Rock State Park. Our nearly 1,000 acres make an incredible backdrop to a variety of programs that are educational and fun! Scouts will enjoy morning programs, have the chance to become a North Carolina State Parks Junior Ranger, then join us for a campout beneath the stars. Programs details at http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children,$8 per camper  Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Annual Passholder Spring Sunrise Breakfast
Date/Time: Saturday May 9; gate opens 5am for 6:30am sunrise
Description: Few sights in Western North Carolina are as spectacular as watching the sun rise over Lake Lure. Weather permitting, the Park opens early for Annual Passholders with a tasty continental breakfast and the best seats in the area. Post your sunrise pictures to our Facebook page. To RSVP, please call 800-277-9611. Check out area accommodations at chimneyrockpark.com if you plan to stay overnight.

Cost: $5 Annual Passholder, free for kids under 5. Advanced registration required.

PROMO: Mother’s Day Weekend Special

Date/Time: Saturday-Sunday, May 9-10

Description: Get your family together and treat mom to beautiful scenery with spring wildflowers. Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and mom or grandma receives one free with online coupon. Download the coupon from chimneyrockpark.com and present it (in print or on your mobile device) at the Ticket Plaza at time of purchase. Valid May 9-10, 2015.

Annual Passholders can start the day out with a spectacular sunrise view at our Annual Passholder Spring Sunrise Breakfast. Not a Passholder? You can upgrade your paid admission ticket; it’s just $13 for adults and $5 for youth.

Cost: Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and Mom or Grandma receives one free

Girl Scout Day & Campout
Date/Time: Saturday May 16-Sunday May 17; 9:30am Saturday-9am Sunday
Description: For years, Girl Scouts of all ages have enjoyed their own special days at Chimney Rock State Park. Our nearly 1,000 acres make an incredible backdrop to a variety of programs that are educational and fun! Scouts will also have the opportunity to become a North Carolina State Parks Junior Ranger. And the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down—our 5-acre Meadows is the perfect place to spend a night under the stars. Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required. Programs details at http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children, $8 per camper

Memorial Day Weekend Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time
: Saturday-Monday, May 23-25; 11am-4pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl! Our resident education animals are the stars of the program, which explains each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Family wildlife programs at 2pm. Try to outwit gravity with a free climb per person on our climbing tower open 11am–4pm.

Cost: Included with Park admission

JUNE EVENTS

National Trails Day
Date/Time: Saturday, June 6; 11am-3pm. Program and hike times vary.
Description: What better way to celebrate National Trails Day than to take a hike! Join a Park naturalist on adventurous guided hikes throughout the day. Check our website, chimneyrockpark.com, for specific trails and times.

Cost: Included with Park admission

National Get Outdoors Day
Date/Time: Saturday, June 13; 11am-3pm. Program and hike times vary
Description: Get outside with your family or friends to promote active adventures in the great outdoors. Park naturalists will offer family-friendly guided hikes throughout the day as well as kids’ activities, then join us in the evening for a fun-filled outdoor movie event! Check our website, chimneyrockpark.com, for trails and times.

Cost: Included with Park admission

4th Annual Movie on the Meadows
Date/Time
: Saturday, June 13; Gate opens at 7:30pm, Movie begins at 9pm
Description: After our family-friendly guided hikes and programs for National Get Outdoors Day, join us for America’s favorite pastime to watch an outdoor movie on the big screen. Don’t forget to pack a blanket or camping chair and a flashlight. See chimneyrockpark.com for more details.

Cost: $10 per car, $8 per car Annual Passholders

National Pollinator Week

Date/Time: June 15 – June 21; daily 2pm programs

Description: Appreciate our pollinators with special walks led by a Park naturalist through our pollinator garden and programs to learn why these busy creatures are so important and what we can do to protect them.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Naturalist Niche: Simon Says Summer Birding
Date/Time: Sunday, June 21; 8:30-10:30am
Description: During the summer, dozens of species of warblers breed in Chimney Rock. Join world-traveled expert Simon Thompson on a moderate hike to see and hear these feathered friends, including Worm-eating, Swainson’s, Black-and-white, Hooded and Yellow-throated Warblers. The summer-resident Scarlet Tanagers and Wood Thrushes will likely be singing and establishing their territories. Limited to 15; advance registration required. Simon Says Summer Birding is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Writers on the Rock
Date/Time: Sunday, June 28; 1-4pm
Description: The culture and heritage of Appalachia is an experience like no other, and it serves as the perfect backdrop for a variety of storytelling. View the soaring cliffs and stunning valleys of Chimney Rock and the Hickory Nut Gorge as you get to know your favorite author and meet new ones as they give readings, share their experiences and autograph copies of their books. A selection of titles by each author will be available for sale. See chimneyrockpark.com for a complete list of authors.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time: June 1-30; daily at 2pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl! Our resident animal ambassadors are the stars of the program, which explains each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife.

Cost: Included with Park admission

JULY EVENTS

Naturalist Niche: Mountaintop Excursion

Date/Time: Saturday, July 18; 9:30am-12:30pm

Description: Hickory Nut Gorge is home to 36 rare plants and 14 rare animals, making it one of North Carolina’s most significant centers of biodiversity. Follow naturalist Clint Calhoun Off the Beaten Path to see some of his favorite areas in the Park and learn about species living there. Bring your camera and lace up your boots for this moderately strenuous hike. Advance registration is required. Mountaintop Excursion is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time
: July 1-31; daily at 2pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl! Our resident animal ambassadors are the stars of the program, which explains each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Beats, Burgers and Brews
Date/Time
: Fridays and Saturdays, July 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 31-Aug 1; 6-8pm
Location: Old Rock Café
Description: Relax outdoors to the beat of bluegrass, Americana, folk, blues or other genres while enjoying a regional craft brew or glass of wine on our riverside deck. Talented local musicians and singer-songwriters liven up the scene on Friday & Saturday evenings in July at this popular burger joint in Chimney Rock Village. The Old Rock Café features one of the 2014 Zagat-rated “Must-Try Burgers Across the Country” with Hickory Nut Gap Meats’ 100% grass-fed beef burger. The full menu includes grilled sandwiches, salads and fresh baked fruit cobbler. Get more band details at chimneyrockpark.com.

Cost: Free

July 4th Weekend Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time
: Friday-Sunday, July 3-5; 11am-4pm; programs daily at 2pm

Description: Meet some of Grady’s live woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl. Our resident animal ambassadors are the stars of the programs, which explain each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Programs vary. One free climb per person on our Climbing Tower, open 11am-4pm.

Cost: Included with Park admission

World Ranger Day
Date/Time: Friday, July 31
Description: World Ranger Day commemorates rangers who have been injured or killed in the line of duty and celebrates the work rangers do to protect our resources. In honor of rangers worldwide, we’re offering special programs and activities all day on July 31. Kids will have the opportunity take part in Junior Ranger activities, and we’ll be showing The Thin Green Line throughout the day.

Cost: Included with Park admission

AUGUST EVENTS

Mushroom Walks
Date/Time: Fridays, August 14 & August 28; 11am-12pm
Description: You’ll be amazed at the variety of fascinating fungi growing along the Park’s trails. Whet your appetite on this guided hike as we identify and learn about a dozen or so of the most common mushrooms of more than 1,000 species that could be growing in Western N.C. Led by Karen Johnson, member of State Parks and the Asheville Mushroom Club. Limit first 15 people; meet at Grady’s Den. Important: collecting or removing mushrooms and plants from Chimney Rock and all N.C. State Parks is NOT allowed without a permit.

Cost: Included with Park admission

11th Annual Lake Lure Olympiad
Date/Time: Friday, August 14-Sunday, August 16
Description: This 3-day family sports festival showcases the beautiful scenery of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. Compete in a sprint triathlon, junior Olympiad, 10K Dam run, Race to the Rock and a 2Mile Open Water Championship. Try 3 races in 3 days! Plus, there’s plenty to do and see for families and non-athletes, including games, a beach BBQ, free water ski show and fireworks display. Watch the Olympiad’s promo video to see what it’s all about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0zgoz7VNvw Register for racing events at lakelureolympiad.com.

Cost: Varies; save up to $10 on early registration at lakelureolympiad.com.

9th Annual Race to the Rock (5K run or 25-mile bike)

Date/Time: Sunday, August 16; 7:30am bike, 8am run

Description: A challenging 5k run or 25-mile bike race that climbs 900 feet in the last 3 miles (a 7-9% grade) to finish at the base of Chimney Rock. The rewarding 75-mile views from the finish line overlooking Lake Lure are enough to take your breath away… or what’s left of it. This is the ONLY TIME ever you can run or bike up to Chimney Rock.

Cost: Save up to $10 on early registration at lakelureolympiad.com.

Naturalist Niche: Wild Edibles
Date/Time: Saturday, August 22; 9:30am-12:30pm
Description: Wild edibles have always been a popular topic among naturalists and enthusiasts. Let our team help you identify some local edibles that you might even find in your backyard. This hike will be moderate to strenuous; advance registration is required. Important: collecting or removing mushrooms and plants from Chimney Rock and all N.C. State Parks is NOT allowed without a permit. Wild Edibles is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

SEPTEMBER EVENTS

Labor Day Weekend Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time: Saturday, September 5 – Sunday, September 6; Programs 2pm, Climbing Tower open 11am-4pm
Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl! Our resident animal ambassadors are the stars of the 2pm program, which explains each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Try to outwit gravity with a free climb per person on our climbing tower open 11am–4pm.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Mushroom Walks
Date/Time
: Fridays, September 11 & 25; 11am-12pm
Description: You’ll be amazed at the variety of fascinating fungi growing along the Park’s trails. Whet your appetite on this guided hike as we identify and learn about a dozen or so of the most common mushrooms of more than 1,000 species that could be growing in Western N.C. Led by Karen Johnson, member of State Parks and the Asheville Mushroom Club. Limit first 15 people; meet at Grady’s Den. Important: collecting or removing mushrooms and plants from Chimney Rock and all N.C. State Parks is NOT allowed without a permit.

Cost: Included with Park admission

PROMO: Grandparents Day Weekend Special Admission

Date/Time: Sunday and Monday, September 13 & 14
Description: Grandparents love spending time with the grandkids. What better way to spend time together than at Chimney Rock? When you purchase one regularly-priced adult admission, receive one youth admission free. Coupon must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase. Valid September 13 & 14 only.

Cost: Buy one adult admission at regular price and get one free youth admission (ages 5-15)

Naturalist Niche: Early Bird Walk
Date/Time
: Saturday, September 19; 7:30-9:30am
Description: Kick off our Flock to the Rock event with an early bird walk to see which of our feathered friends is out on trails before the Park opens. Advance registration is required. After the walk, stay for Flock to the Rock, the region’s premier fall migration birding event that features live Birds of Prey programs (a Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl), bird walks led by local experts, workshops like bird photography and hummingbirds, plus family nature walks. Event coincides with the annual hawk migration. For an event schedule, visit chimneyrockpark.com.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Flock to the Rock
Date/Time: Saturday, September 19; 11am-3pm
Description: The region’s premier fall migration birding event is held at Chimney Rock, an official site on the NC Birding Trail. Features live Birds of Prey programs (a Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl), bird walks led by local experts, workshops like bird photography and hummingbirds, plus family nature walks. Event coincides with the annual hawk migration. Chimney Rock is home to 130+ species year-round, including warblers, vireos, tanagers, woodpeckers, thrushes, owls and birds of prey, like the Peregrine Falcon. For an event schedule, visit chimneyrockpark.com.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Take A Child Outside Week
Date/Time: Thurs., Sept 24 – Wed., Sept 30; Family Campout Sat., Sept. 26
Description: Take a Child Outside Week is a national movement started in NC that features special Ranger-led programs at N.C. state parks. Fun hikes or nature education programs introduce children and families to the outdoors and healthy activities. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to camp beneath the stars on Saturday September 26.
Activities offered daily and open to the public, including a special event, Writers on the Rock for Kids, featuring children’s books about Appalachia and the natural world and readings by a local author. Full schedule at chimneyrockpark.com.

Cost: All activities except Family Campout are included with Park admission; Camping cost TBD
Writers on the Rock for Kids

Date/Time: Saturday, September 26

Description: Part of Take a Child Outside Week, Writers on the Rock for Kids will feature children’s books about Appalachia and the natural world and readings by a local author. More details to come; visit chimneyrockpark.com

Cost:  Included with Park admission

OCTOBER EVENTS

Annual Passholder Fall Sunrise Breakfast
Date/Time
: Saturday, October 3; gate opens at 6:15am for 7:25 am sunrise
Description: Few sights in Western North Carolina are as spectacular as watching the sun rise over Lake Lure in the fall! The Park opens early for Annual Passholders with a tasty continental breakfast and the best seats in the area. Post your sunrise pictures to our Facebook page. New Passholders are welcome. To RSVP, please call 800-277-9611 by October 1. Check out area accommodations at chimneyrockpark.com if you plan to stay overnight.

Cost: $5 Annual Passholder, free for kids under 5. Advance registration required.

Fall Homeschool Day
Date/Time
: Wednesday, October 14; 9:30am-12:30pm
Description: This is Chimney Rock’s most popular homeschool event of the year! Join Park education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre classroom where learning comes alive. Multiple programs are offered for your students to experience a day of “fun learning” they won’t soon forget. All programs are designed to meet NC and SC curriculum standards. Optional afternoon activities will be offered. Program details and rates online at www.chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $12 Adults (includes Park admission), No charge for Annual Passholders, $13 non-member student; $7.50 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill

Date/Time: Thursday, October 15; 10:15am
Description: Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will be participating in this nationwide drill and will encourage our guests to take part in the important event.
Cost: Included with Park admission

Fall Leaf Peeping

Date/Time: October 15 – November 15
Description: Witness Western NC’s legendary fall colors from high atop Chimney Rock with up to 75-mile panoramic views overlooking Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills. Some of the region’s most stunning autumn foliage appears here from late-October to early-Nov. due to the lower elevation. A premier leaf peeping destination, the Park offers scenic hiking trails, ancient geological features, nature programs and guided rock climbing that attracts visitors from around the world. Get weekly fall foliage updates at http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/visit/fallcolor.php.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Naturalist Niche: Simon Says Fall Birding
Date/Time: Sunday, October 18; 8:30 – 10:30am
Description: Now is the perfect time to start preparing for winter birding. Grab your binoculars and field guide to join world-traveled birding expert Simon Thompson for an early look at which of our feathered friends are staying around for winter. Limited to 15; advance registration required.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Beats, Burgers and Brews
Date/Time
: Fridays and Saturdays, October 9-10, 16-17, 23-24; 6-8pm

Location: Old Rock Café
Description: After leaf peeping, relax outdoors to the beat of bluegrass, Americana, folk, blues or other genres while enjoying a regional craft brew or glass of wine on our riverside deck. Talented local musicians and singer-songwriters liven up the scene on Friday & Saturday evenings in October at this popular burger joint in Chimney Rock Village. The Old Rock Café features one of the 2014 Zagat-rated “Must-Try Burgers Across the Country” with Hickory Nut Gap Meats’ 100% grassfed beef burger. The full menu includes grilled sandwiches, salads and fresh baked fruit cobbler. Get more band details at chimneyrockpark.com.

Cost: Free

Park in the Dark
Date/Time: Saturday, October 24
Description: A non-scary nocturnal family event to support the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park. Activities may include Storytelling, Campfires, Night Hiking, Wildlife Encounters, Costumed Characters, and More! Visit chimneyrockpark.com for more details.

Cost: TBD

NOVEMBER EVENTS

Fall Girl Scout Day
Date/Time: Saturday, November 7; 9:30am-12:15pm
Description: Chimney Rock’s Fall Scout Days are among the Park’s most popular annual events. Fall is a beautiful time to seek adventure outdoors and learn more about our natural world. With ever-changing programs and expert presenters, Park naturalists continue to offer new programs to meet your scouting needs. Scouts will also have the opportunity to earn a patch specific to Chimney Rock and to work with North Carolina State Parks to become a Jr. Ranger. Looking for a little more adventure? Try out rock climbing in the Park or zip lines nearby! For program details, go to chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children

Shutterbugs Nature Photography Workshop
Date/Time: Sunday, November 8; 8:30am-4pm
Description: Capture vibrant fall foliage, a 404-foot waterfall and up to 75-mile views with your camera at near-peak colors. It’s one of the region’s most affordable workshops. Led by pro photographer Chuck Hill, this workshop is tailored to individual experience and will benefit novices and advanced photographers alike. Topics include wide-angle, telephoto, macro and intimate landscapes; composition, inspiration, post-processing, critique and sharing your photos. Cost includes an Annual Pass (for non-Passholders) and lunch. For more about Chuck, visit http://chuckhillphotography.com.

Cost: $110 or $100 Passholders (fees include an Annual Pass and lunch) *Save $5 off full price if you register by September 30! Advance registration required.

Fall Boy Scout Day
Date/Time: Saturday, November 14; 9:30am-12:15pm
Description: Chimney Rock’s Fall Scout Days are among the Park’s most popular annual events. Fall is a beautiful time to seek adventure outdoors and learn more about our natural world. With ever-changing programs and expert presenters, Park naturalists continue to offer new programs to meet your scouting needs. Scouts will also have the opportunity to earn a patch specific to Chimney Rock and to work with North Carolina State Parks to become a Jr. Ranger. Looking for a little more adventure? Try out rock climbing in the Park or zip lines nearby! For program details, go to chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children

PROMO: Veteran’s Day Special: Free Admission

Date/Time: Wed. – Sun., November 11-15

Description: Veterans, reservists, retired and active military personnel are our American heroes, so Chimney Rock would like to honor your service with a free visit to Chimney Rock State Park during November 11-15, 2015. Must present military ID or proof of service. Free admission only for military members with ID, not for entire party.

Naturalist Niche: Survival Skills
Date/Time: Saturday, November 21; 10:30am-12:30pm
Description: When heading off the beaten path, it’s important to stay oriented and know what useful resources you can find in the woods if you happen to get lost. Join local naturalist Clint Calhoun for an adventure into Chimney Rock’s Old Growth Forest where you’ll learn about helpful survival tips, techniques and essential gear. Plus, you’ll discover what makes this forest ecologically remarkable. Limited to 20; advance registration required. Survival Skills is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about wild edibles, plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

DECEMBER EVENTS

Santa on the Chimney
Date/Time: Saturdays, December 5 & 12; 11am-2pm

Description: How is Santa able to climb down millions of chimneys around the world in a single night? He practices, of course. Witness Santa’s daring stunt as he practices on one of the world’s largest chimneys with multiple 200-foot rappels! Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities, plus meet live critters. Sponsored by Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village. This rappelling Santa was recently ranked as one of the “8 Most Extreme Santas in the World” by Buzzfeed.

Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3XO_DyFtuU

Win a Free Climb with Santa’s Elves! Each day, one lucky guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides.

Cost: Included with Park admission

 

Naturalist Niche: Papermaking and the Natural World
Date/Time: Saturday, December 12; 10:30am-12:30pm
Description: Nature provides us with living beauty; however, some plants and flowers serve as wonderful materials once dried. This workshop will show you how to use natural and recycled materials to make your own handmade paper. Be sure to bring some dried, pressed flowers of your own to add to your creation! Advance registration is required. Papermaking and the Natural World is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about wild edibles, plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

January and February Events at Chimney Rock State Park

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Winter is the perfect season to explore all Chimney Rock has to offer; from catching miles of views to seeing which birds are nesting here during the colder months, learning how to identify trees without their leaves to kicking off the New Year with an invigorating hike, there’s no need to suffer from cabin fever during these chilly days!

JANUARY EVENTS

HNF half frozen cropFirst Day Hikes
Date/Time: Thursday, January 1; 1pm hike at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, 3pm hike at Rumbling Bald
Location: 1:00pm hike meet at Hickory Nut Falls trail; 3pm hike meet at Tunnel Entrance at 2:30pm for shuttle to Rumbling Bald. Shuttle will return to the Park at 4:30pm.

Description: Did you make a 2015 resolution to exercise more? Get off to a great start with an inspiring hike at Chimney Rock State Park, and see what makes winter the perfect time to explore our area. First, discover the beauty of the Hickory Nut Falls trail at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Afterward, catch a shuttle at the Tunnel Entrance for a hike at Rumbling Bald, where you’ll be treated to views of Lake Lure and see the progress being made as State Parks works to reroute this trail. Be sure to bring water and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Both hikes will be led by a Park naturalist or State Park Ranger and are considered moderately difficult.
Cost: Included with Park admission

Naturalist Niche: Winter Birding
Date/Time: Saturday, January 17; 10:30am-12pm
Location: Meet at Tunnel Entrance
Description:  Not all of our feathered friends fly south for the winter! Colder months are an excellent time for birding; leafless trees and open viewsheds provide ample opportunity to observe birds that don’t mind chilly temperatures. Grab your binoculars and a field guide and join a Park naturalist to see which birds have stuck close to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park for the winter season.
Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

FEBRUARY EVENTS

Grady sweet potato10th Annual Grady’s Groundhog Day
Date/Time: Monday February 2; 10:30 – 12:00
Location: Meadows
Description: Last year, Grady saw his shadow, correctly predicting six more weeks of winter. Will he be right again this year? Join our furry Park mascot on Groundhog’s Day to find out! Kids’ crafts will be offered; you can make it a day of fun for the whole family by rounding it all out with a hike to the top of Chimney Rock or down the Hickory Nut Falls trail.
Cost: Free with Park admission

PROMO: Valentine’s Day Special: Buy 1, Get 1 Free

Date/Time: February 13-15

Description: What better way to show your sweetheart some love than by bringing him or her to see beautiful, 75-mile views from the top of Chimney Rock? (Hint – we’ve had quite a few proposals on the Rock over the years; Valentine’s Day might be your day!) Download the special coupon from our website. Coupon must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase. Valid February 13-15, 2015, if Park is open.

Naturalist Niche: Winter Tree ID
Date/Time: February 21; 10:30am-12:30pm
Location: Meet at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den
Description: Think leaves are the only way to identify trees? Think again! Local naturalist Ron Lance leads this guided hike where he’ll explain how to use twigs, bark and buds to identify trees. Hike will be moderately difficult.
Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

 

 

 

 

Santa Climbs Down the Chimney December 6 and 13

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Despite his doctor’s orders, Santa is at it again! Jolly old St. Nick will be visiting Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park to climb down one of the world’s largest natural chimneys from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 6 and 13. For more than 20 years, Santa Claus has practiced at Chimney Rock for his big evening when he climbs down millions of chimneys worldwide delivering Christmas presents to little boys and girls.

Each weekend, one lucky guest will win a two-hour rock climbing lesson for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides. The winner of each drawing will be announced at 1:30 p.m. and you must be present to win. Chimney Rock has been named one of “10 great places to catch up with Santa” and one of the 10 Best High Places in the World by USA Today. For Park hours, rates and in case of inclement weather, visit chimneyrockpark.com.

Fearless St. Nick will descend from the top of Chimney Rock on a nearly 200-foot rappel about every 30-45 minutes, weather permitting. When Santa isn’t climbing, kids are invited to visit with him and Mrs. Claus for photo opportunities and enjoy holiday cookies, hot cocoa and kids’ activities. Weather permitting, you can also meet Grady the Groundhog or other live woodland critters that wouldn’t survive at the North Pole. Local poet Eddie Cabbage will be on hand typing “made to order” poems for kids and their parents on his vintage typewriter; donations for the poems are requested. There is no additional cost for the event with paid Park admission.

“Santa on the Chimney has become a much-anticipated annual event that draws folks from all over the region,” said Shannon Quinn-Tucker, PR and Promotions Manager at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. “It’s a very unique and fun way for families to enjoy time together during the holiday season.”

Check off your holiday shopping list with a discount on Annual Passes and a special sale of 25 percent off retail for Annual Passholders on December 1 to 15 at the Sky Lounge Gift Shop. Guests who upgrade their admission to Annual Passes are also eligible for this sale.

For a limited time, new adult Annual Passes are available for only $25 ($3 off regular price) and Grady’s Kids Club Passes for only $10 (a $2 savings) at the Park and in the online store November 28 through December 23. Start saving with discounts on Park retail and dining, along with savings at Biltmore, Mast General Store and many local favorites. To learn about Passholder benefits and buy your upgrade online, visit chimneyrockpark.com.

The event is sponsored by Fox Mountain Guides and Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village.

Watch Santa’s extreme stunt in a 50-second video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3XO_DyFtuU

Winterfest. After Santa’s big climb on the Chimney, join him for an old-fashioned Christmas in Chimney Rock Village beginning at 3 p.m. Bring your kids for photo opportunities with Santa on Main Street, trolley and hay rides and live music performances. Shops in the Village will stay open late for holiday shopping, and the Old Rock Café will be open for dinner until 7 p.m.

Other community holiday events open to the public include the Annual Chili Cook-off and Tree Lighting from 5-9 p.m. on December 5 at the Chimney Rock Volunteer Fire Department and The Gathering Place in Chimney Rock Village, and the Annual Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge Holiday FunRaiser Gala at 6:30-10 p.m. on December 11 at the Lakeview Restaurant at Rumbling Bald resort.

Best known for its stunning 75-mile views overlooking Lake Lure and a 26-story elevator that whisks you to the top of Chimney Rock, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers scenic hiking trails, guided rock climbing, nature 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. To learn more about Fox Mountain Guides or book a rock climbing lesson, visit foxmountainguides.com or call (888) 284-8433.