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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.

Experience Food, Wine and Fall Foliage at Biltmore

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – A mix of colorful outdoor beauty, wine appreciation and sumptuous culinary offerings populate Biltmore’s fall calendar starting in September.

Biltmore’s autumn landscape presents a prime opportunity for fans of changing leaf color. In addition to tours through the 250-room Biltmore House, “leaf-peepers” can explore the estate’s mum-filled gardens; miles of hiking and biking trails; craft demonstrations and friendly farm animals at Antler Hill Farm. Guided outdoor experiences include horseback riding, Segway tours, sporting clays, fly fishing, the Land Rover Driving School and river float trips. No matter your selection of activities, Biltmore’s panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes for an ideal immersion in vivid fall color.

“Taste of Biltmore” in September

This September, food and wine takes center stage as we celebrate NC Wine Month with “Taste of Biltmore.” Interactive culinary events showcasing the estate’s winemakers, chefs and farmers  include tours, demos, tasting events and grand dinners. Beginning August 1, find the complete event schedule online and make advance reservations.

• Tours
Go behind-the-vine with complimentary and exclusive winery experiences, such as the Vineyard Tour which takes guests to the estate’s vineyard to sample wines and learn about Biltmore’s North Carolina grape-growing and winemaking program. Also available is the Winery Production Tour for a behind-the-scenes peek at production areas, including fermentation and barrel rooms, along with the bottling line. Guests will discover how our award-winning wines make the journey from the grape into the glass. Reservations required for select events.

• Demos
Guests can stop by an Artisan Food Tent in Antler Hill Village for tips, insights and quick demos of the season’s bounty. Complimentary, hands-on chef’s workshops are being offered on various topics such as handmade pasta and fresh sauces using estate tomatoes, and professional grilling techniques with tips on marinades and grilling meats and vegetables, highlighting estate-raised beef, lamb and freshly harvested produce. Reservations required for select events.

• Tastes
Savor Biltmore’s handcrafted wines with multiple complimentary or a la carte tastings. Enjoy regular Village Wine Strolls including estate wine paired with small plates. Taste and compare different oyster varieties from coast-to-coast along with sparkling and white wine during a special Oysters, Sparkling & White Wine event with Chef Mark DeMarco and Winemaker Sharon Fenchak. Reservations required for select events.

• Feasts
Signature feasts are being hosted in beautiful outdoor locations throughout the estate in many sites where guests have never visited. On Sept. 12, Biltmore will host a Moveable Feast wine dinner on Dry Cow Hill. Estate Chefs Kirk Fiore and Paul Klaassen, along with Winemaker Bernard Delille, will prepare a multicourse dinner including wine pairings. A Beermaker’s Dinner on Sept. 19 features a collaboration between Biltmore Chef Mark DeMarco and Master Brewer Oscar Wong of Highland Brewing Company. On Sept. 25, meet and greet with Biltmore’s winemakers, chefs and farmers at the Taste of Biltmore Grand Finale: A Roaming Tasting, featuring chef-manned stations with Biltmore wines and Biltmore Cedric’s beer pairings, as well as live music. Reservations required.

Live After Five

On Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 5 p.m., Biltmore hosts Live After Five in Antler Hill Village with live music on the Village bandstand. Families will enjoy the nearby farm, where kids can run off energy, play at Pisgah Playground and visit with the farm’s friendly resident goats, chickens, horses, sheep and other small animals.

Fall and Halloween at Inn on Biltmore Estate

The Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering specials throughout the fall season. Call 866-336-1245 or book online at www.biltmore.com/stay.

Labor Day Celebration Package (Sept. 5-7): Includes celebration dinner at Antler Hill Barn with live music, games, a bonfire and fireworks.

Fall Celebration Package (Oct. 30-Nov. 1): Coinciding with the Inn’s Halloween Weekend, this package includes dinner at Antler Hill Barn with live music, games and a bonfire on Oct. 31. Additional Halloween activities during the weekend include a pumpkin carving contest (the winner receives a two-night stay next year on the same weekend) and the “lighting of the pumpkins” on the Grand Terrace. A candy bar in the Inn’s lobby will offer Halloween treats.

Fall travel deals at Biltmore

Save $10 on daytime admission if tickets are purchased online seven days or more prior to visiting. Book within six days of visiting and save $5. Children ages nine and younger are FREE. Youth ages 10 to 16 are half-off the adult admission price beginning Sept. 8. Visit www.biltmore.com for more information.

Chimney Rock Nature Photography Workshop for Peak Leaves

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will host its biannual Shutterbugs Nature Photography Workshop led by award-winning WNC photographer Jeff Miller on Saturday and Sunday, November 1-2, 2014, from 8:30am-4:00pm on both days in the Park. Chimney Rock’s fall colors are expected to peak around this time, presenting a vibrant landscape with yellow, red and orange hues for leaf peeping shutterbugs. Unique geological rock formations, up to 75-mile views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge and a 404-foot-tall waterfall, along with diverse plant and animal life, mark Chimney Rock as a top destination for photography in Western North Carolina. Miller’s two-day comprehensive workshop is designed for beginner and experienced photographers and costs $90 ($65 for Annual Passholders) for day one; $100 ($75 for Annual Passholders) for day two, or $170 ($135 for Annual Passholders) for both days. Fees include instruction, lunch and an Annual Pass for non-Passholders. To register, call (800) 277-9611 or register online at chimneyrockpark.com/events.

“Chimney Rock is one of WNC’s most spectacular backdrops for photographers, from its kaleidoscope of fall colors to its dramatic landscapes. It’s not every day your lens can frame an iconic 535-million-year-old rock with long-range panoramic views or the second highest waterfall on the east coast,” said Jeff Miller.

Expert Instruction.  Jeff Miller’s award-winning work has been published in regional, state and national publications and exhibited in galleries and landmark buildings throughout central and western NC. Miller’s two-day, comprehensive workshop will offer an intimate class size with 1-on-1 personal attention, guidance and critiquing to maximize learning opportunities and personal growth. His format strikes a thoughtful balance of classroom instruction with in-the-field guided photography sessions. Topics vary from camera equipment and photography techniques to post-production and exhibition, tailored to individual levels of experience. Participants will learn how to shoot scenes from wide-angle to telephoto, including traditional flower portraits, intimate landscapes and vistas. They will also learn about some of the post-processing tools available to organize, optimize and print digital images.

It is highly recommended that photographers bring a digital SLR camera (with media cards, extra batteries, and user manuals), a tripod, and their favorite lenses to the workshop.

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 offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. 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, and the second highest waterfall of its kind in the eastern United States. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com. More information on current Capital Improvement projects at chimneyrockpark.com/progress or by calling 800-277-9611.

About Jeff Miller and Mountain Lens Photography

Renowned WNC photographer Jeff Miller’s award-winning work has appeared in regional, state and national publications, including cover photos for Our State, The Laurel of Asheville and the National Park Service publications. Miller’s photos have been displayed at more than a dozen venues and galleries in Asheville and around central and western North Carolina. Additionally, his work can be seen on display in hotels, offices, restaurants and landmarks around Western NC. Miller is actively involved in photography groups in Asheville, Hendersonville and Brevard, NC, and has given many technical and artistic presentations on photography. He is actively immersed in photography, from workshops and field trips to judging and consulting. He also offers commercial photography and printing services through Mountain Lens photography. Visit Miller’s online gallery at www.mountainlens.com.

Get Local Gets in the Fall Spirit, Celebrates Apples This October

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Local apples are at the core of our region’s agricultural economy. So what a better way to celebrate fall in the Southern Appalachians than with local apples? Area farmers grow them all – Arkansas Black, Cameo, Fuji, Mutsu, Pink Lady, and the list goes on. Chefs at Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants take advantage of the abundance of local apples for sweet and savory dishes all month for ASAP’s Get Local campaign.

This month The Market Place is featuring two delicious specials on their menu with apples from Barber Orchard – an apple and goat cheese salad with almonds, shaved roots, apple mostarda, and aged sherry vinaigrette as well as an apple crisp with cinnamon crumble and buttermilk ice cream. At Early Girl Eatery their menu is packed with local apples from Odell Barnwell & Sons including an apple, walnut and goat feta salad as well as a special apple stack cake. Need more apple sweets? Over at King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffles try some fried apple pie topped with Looking Glass Creamery Carmelita with local apples also from Odell Barnwell & Sons. The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is featuring apples from Creasman Farms in their sweet treats this month including an apple trifle with bourbon apple compote and a seasonal vanilla cake with apple compote and salted caramel buttercream.

Join Chef Jason Brian of Jack of the Wood on October 19 from 1:30 to 5:30 pm for Get Local on the Mountain – a multi-course small plate event on top of Little Pisgah Mountain in Fairview. The menu will feature rabbits and apples from Imladris Farm. Tickets are $60 per person, which includes food, beer, wine, and the view! Proceeds of the event benefit ASAP. To purchase tickets visit asapconnections.org

Can’t make it to Fairview? Then head to Black Mountain on October 19 from 3 to 7 pm to celebrate Foothills Deli and Butchery’s anniversary with a block party featuring live music, food, drink, and local apples from Moss Farms. Foothills Deli and Butchery is also featuring local apples in the deli case with apple based sausages and apple glazes on deli hams. They are hosting the Butcher’s Table dinners through October. To RSVP contact Casey at [email protected].

Visit ASAP’s website at asapconnections.org/getlocal to find details on what’s happening this month. You can also Get Local at home: Find each month’s featured food—and other seasonal products—at your neighborhood farmers tailgate market, roadside stand, or grocery store. Browse for markets, stands, and stores via ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

WCU’s Fall Foliage Forecaster Says Outlook Improving for WNC Leaf-Peepers

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The outlook for a bright leaf season is improving, as Western Carolina University fearless fall foliage forecaster Kathy Mathews has updated her prediction about the quality of the annual color show, based on changing conditions in the mountains.

“The weather patterns that we have been having in Western North Carolina in recent weeks should mean a brighter display of fall colors than originally thought,” said Mathews, an associate professor of biology at WCU who specializes in plant systematics. “The drier, sunnier weather improves our chances of a brilliant fall color season.”

Mathews bases her color forecast in part on weather conditions. She believes that the formation of higher levels of pigments in the leaves correlates with dry weather throughout the year, especially in the spring and September.

Although a wet spring with above-average amounts of rainfall originally pointed to an autumn with spotty colors across the mountains, the development of dry conditions in late August and September should improve the overall outlook and produce vibrant bursts of color, she said.

In addition, the seasonal forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for slightly above-average temperatures this fall in the Southeast. If that prediction pans out, the color season could be longer than normal, extending well into November, Mathews said.

The timing of “peak color” is difficult to nail down and is dependent on the decreasing amount of sunlight that comes with the passing days, plus the elevation of a particular location, she said. The peak of fall color typically arrives during the first and second week of October in the highest elevations – above 4,000 feet – and during the third week of October in the mid-elevations of 2,500 to 3,500 feet. An early frost could accelerate the timing of peak color, Mathews said.

In any event, visitors to WNC always will find a pleasing leaf display somewhere in the mountains from September into November, with a vast palette of color made possible by the region’s more than 100 tree species, she said.

US Forest Service Web App Features Trails for Leaf Viewing

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The U.S. Forest Service invites national forest visitors to use the new NCtrails.org web application for planning their fall foliage adventures.

Unveiled in May 2014, the searchable web application (web app) offers details on three popular trail systems in western North Carolina, as well as state-of-the-science information on the region’s forests.

The Browse Trails section of the web app includes information on trails in the Tsali (pronounced “SAH-lee”) Recreation Area, located in the Nantahala National Forest Cheoah Ranger District, and the Jackrabbit Recreation Area in the national forest’s Tusquitee Ranger District. The site also features two large sections of the Appalachian Trail that pass through the Nantahala National Forest.

The Forest Service’s Southern Research Station and National Forests in North Carolina produced the web app in cooperation with the University of North Carolina Asheville National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center.

Enjoy Fall Foliage in the Mountains

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina unveiled its Fall Foliage 2014 webpage, which features scenic drives and other activities for enjoying autumn‘s colorful splendor in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.

The feature is posted at http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc, click on “Fall Foliage in Western North Carolina – 2014.”

The webpage describes scenic drives and popular locations for viewing mountain plants at high, middle and low elevations this fall. For example, driving along NC 28 and 143 in Graham County from Fontana Village to Stecoah Gap will allow visitors to see vibrant fall colors at the mid-elevation level. The webpage also includes links to webcams, maps and other useful online sources.

Chimney Rock Announces November and December Events

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Join Chimney Rock for exciting events in November and December.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

Shutterbugs Nature Photography Workshops

Date/Time: Saturday & Sunday, November 1-2; 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 Jeff Miller, these two one-day workshops are tailored to individual experience, with more advanced concepts on day two. Topics include wide-angle, telephoto, macro and intimate landscapes; composition, inspiration, post-processing, critique and sharing your photos. Mr. Miller is an award-winning photographer published in regional, state and national publications with work exhibited throughout N.C. Cost includes an Annual Pass (for non-Passholders) and lunch each day. For more about Jeff, visit www.mountainlens.com.

Cost: Day 1: $90 or $65 Annual Passholders; Day 2; $100 or $75 Passholders; Both days: $170 or $135 for Passholders (fees include an Annual Pass and lunch each day) *Save $5 per day off full price if you register by September 30! Advance registration required.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=11#E494

 

2nd Annual Climbin’ the Chimney

Date/Time: Saturday, November 8, 11am-3pm

Description: Experience Chimney Rock from a rope with the Southeast’s leader in rock climbing education, Fox Mountain Guides. For beginners, try climbing Vista Rock and rappelling, or for experienced climbers, test your skills on two difficult routes up the Chimney. For a big thrill, try rappelling 200 feet down the Chimney like Santa does every December (costs extra, expert rappellers only)! Profits benefit a local non-profit. All equipment is provided. Book a climbing lesson anytime with Fox at (888) 284-8433.

Cost: Up to four climbs or rappels offered for only $20 plus Park admission.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/park/climbing/index.php

 

Fall Girl Scout Day

Date/Time: Saturday, November 8; 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. 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: Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Link to Event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/education/scout.php

 

Veteran’s Day Admission Special

Date/Time: November 7-11

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 7-11, 2014. Must present military ID or proof of service. Free admission only for military members with ID, not for entire party.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=11#E456

 

 

Naturalist Niche Series: Simon Says Bird Walk

Date/Time: Saturdays, November 8; 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), $10 Annual Passholder

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/year_view.php?monthYear=2014&category=32

 

 

Naturalist Niche Series: Survival Skills

Date/Time: Saturday, November 22; 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.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/year_view.php?monthYear=2014&category=32

 

Fall Boy Scout Day

Date/Time: Saturday, November 15; 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. 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: Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Link to Event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/education/scout.php

 

DECEMBER EVENTS

Santa on the Chimney

Date/Time: Saturdays, December 6 & 13; 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

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=12#E402

October Events at Chimney Rock

Friday, August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock announces October events.

Annual Passholder Fall Sunrise Breakfast

Date/Time: Saturday, October 4; gate opens 6:15am for 7:25am 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.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=10#E464

Rockin’ Naturalist Guided Hikes

Date/Time: Saturdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25; 11am-noon

Description: Explore Chimney Rock’s trails with a Park naturalist or State Park Ranger to learn about plants, wildlife, geology and more along the way. Or, we’ll head “off the beaten path” to discover less-traveled areas of the park. Topics vary; included with park admission. Limited to the first 15 people. Offered every Saturday at 11am from May-October, weather permitting. More details at chimneyrockpark.com.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=10#E557

Grady’s Wildlife of WNC

Date/Time: Every Sat. & Sun. in October; 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26; 2pm

Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s live 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. Programs vary. Held in the Outdoor Classroom on the Meadows, weather permitting.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=10#E550

Beats, Burgers & Brews at the Old Rock

Date/Time: Fridays & Saturdays, Oct. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25; 6-8pm

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

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=10#E568

Naturalist Niche Series: Fall Big Basswood Hike

Date/Time: Saturday, October 11; 9:30-11:30am

Description: Up and down a bit of slope, between a few boulders and shrubs and weaving beneath towering fall foliage, hike into a hidden forest cove. Renowned naturalist Ron Lance will guide you to where the state’s largest basswood tree lives, with a circumference of more than 13 feet! Several other large trees are its neighbors and wildflowers carpet the forest floor. This 2-hour-plus hike is moderately-strenuous and not suitable for children under 12. Limited to 15; advance registration required.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/year_view.php?monthYear=2014&category=32

Naturalist Niche Series: Fall Ridge Hike with Ron Lance

Date/Time: Saturday, October 25; 9:30-12:30pm

Description: Soak up Western NC’s legendary fall colors on the most scenic hike all year long! Venture high atop the ridges of Chimney Rock State Park some 1,500 feet above the valley floor, where you’ll enjoy dramatic views surrounded in a sea of stunning fall leaf colors. Led by renowned naturalist Ron Lance, this 3-hour hike is moderately strenuous. Limited to 15; advance registration required. (Photo by Stacy Redmon, www.redrockphoto.zenfolio.com)

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/year_view.php?monthYear=2014&category=32

Fall Homeschool Day

Date/Time: October 15; 9:45am-noon

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. Program details and rates online at www.chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Fall Leaf Peeping at Chimney Rock

Date/Time: October 15 – November 7

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 color updates at http://chimneyrockpark.com/visit/fallcolor.php.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/visit/fallcolor.php

Don’t Forget to Fall Back on November 3

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Don't forget to fall back on November 3!ASHEVILLE NC – Spring forward… Fall back… It’s ingrained in our consciousness almost as much as the A-B-C’s or our spelling reminder of “i before e…” and it’s a regular event!

This year, Daylight Saving Time ends for those of us in North Carolina at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 3. So – don’t forget to fall back!

While you are at it – check the batteries in your smoke detector!