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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.

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

Chimney Rock Offers Favorite Ways to See Fall Colors in the Mountains

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock’s panoramic 75-mile views capture the full spectrum of Western North Carolina’s legendary fall foliage, and it’s getting easier to know when to catch it at the peak. Weekly fall color and wildflower reports are available at chimneyrockpark.com to help you know where and when to find the best color. Peak fall colors are expected to appear in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure between mid-October and early November. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers a handful of favorite ways to admire autumn colors this year, from expert- and self-guided hikes to rock climbing and a photography workshop. The Park was voted the “best beautiful fall foliage spot” by readers of Blue Ridge Country in the 2013 Best of the Mountains poll, along with a gold award for “best scenic photo opportunity.”

“The Blue Ridge Mountains feature one of most vibrant and longest fall color displays in America, attracting visitors from around the world. In late September to early November, from popular destinations along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, Western North Carolina is among the most beautiful places to go leaf peeping, hiking and auto touring,” said Emily Walker, Park Naturalist & Education Manager.

Catching Peak Colors.  Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains rewards leaf peepers with brilliant displays of leaf colors, from deep red and maroon to fiery yellow and orange. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure have a large variety of colorful tree species and an elevation ranging from 1,100 to 2,500 feet, which are ideal conditions to create a long window for optimal viewing. Peak colors typically arrive at the Park’s higher elevations around mid-October and spread down to the lower elevations through early November.

Fall Color Report – October 7: Early leaf colors are starting to show on the higher-elevation roads leading to Chimney Rock State Park and are sprinkled on the ridges and upper trails in the Park. Splashes of red are appearing in the dogwood and sourwood trees, along with yellows in the poplars. This is a very good wildflower season for goldenrod, snakeroot, Wingstem and a variety of asters. Brown-eyed Susans and sunflowers are also blooming, with some Pink Turtlehead remaining.

The early presence of red foliage at the highest elevations in Western N.C. suggests we could experience an above-average fall leaf season. If the drier weather and cool nights from the last several weeks continue, autumn colors should be very good this year.

Below is a list of Chimney Rock’s favorite outings that will reward leaf peepers with an eyeful of autumn foliage.  Advance registration is required for most guided hikes and workshops; register online at chimneyrockpark.com.

Get an Expert Guide

  • Head Off the Beaten Path and take a guided Fall Color Ridge Hike on Chimney Rock Mountain with internationally renowned naturalist Ron Lance on October 19 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. This is the Park’s most scenic guided hike of the year.
  • Discover an Old Growth Forest where trees have been living for up to 200-300 years. Meet a Park naturalist in the Meadows at 11 a.m. on Saturdays in October for this one-hour moderately strenuous hike. Included with Park admission.
  • View stunning fall colors from a rope high above the gorge. Sign up for a rock climbing adventure with Fox Mountain Guides on two-hour, half- and full-day clinics for beginner to advanced climbers. Bring friends to save money with a group rate. Or check out the Chimney Challenge on November 9 for multiple climbs and rappels for only $20 plus Park admission, including difficult routes up the Chimney for experienced climbers.

Follow the Locals

  • Soak up 75-mile panoramic views on top of the Chimney via a rewarding 20-25 minute hike. This is the most dramatic and popular way to get your fall color fix! If you’re unable to hike up, driving along the Park road and Meadows offers convenient viewing with a similarly spectacular view from the top parking area.
  • Chimney Rock offers a colorful variety of fall wildflowers. Pick up a local wildflower guidebook from the Park’s gift shop to identify many blooming beauties along Chimney Rock’s trails, including asters, goldenrod and Pink Turtlehead, to name a few.
  • Beats, Burgers & Brews adds a local soundtrack to the colorful autumn scene with live folk, bluegrass, blues and Americana music at the Old Rock Café at 6-8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in October starting Oct. 11. Located at the Park’s entrance, the restaurant offers regional craft beer and local burgers from Hickory Nut Gap Meats. Relax on the riverside deck with a great view of the Chimney framed by fall foliage.

Capture Colors on Camera

  • Shutterbugs looking for expert tips and tricks to frame peak fall colors will find them at the Park’s Shutterbugs Nature Photography Workshop on October 26-27, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Award-winning photographer Jeff Miller leads one of the region’s most affordable workshops.
  • Submit your fall photos of the Park by Nov. 30 for a chance to win great prizes in the “Many Faces of Chimney Rock” photo contest. Prizes include a two-day getaway with a stay at the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, Park annual passes, zip lining, boat tours and more. Contest rules and entry instructions listed at chimneyrockpark.com.

 

Due to the Hickory Nut Falls trail being closed for repairs from rock slide damage, park admission is reduced to $12 adult, $6 youth ages 5-15 and free for under five. Guided hikes, rock climbing and workshops cost extra.

For more information on fall color, scenic drives and events throughout Western North Carolina, visit fallinthemountains.com

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers scenic hiking trails, guided rock climbing, live animal education programs and ancient geological features that attract visitors from around the world. Chimney Rock is located only 45 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or go to chimneyrockpark.com to plan your visit.

Bagged Leaf Collection: What you need to know

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Reusable leaf bags are now available at City of Asheville fire stations on a first come first served basis.

For residents with a Monday and Tuesday trash collection, bagged leaves will be collected the first and third week of each month.  For residents with a Wednesday and Thursday trash collection will have bagged leaves collected during the second and fourth week of each month.   Bagged leaves are collected year round.

To ensure collected, leaves should be placed in untied bags or a reusable container marked “leaves”. Bagged leaves are collected twice per month and should be placed to the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the Monday of the assigned collection week. Residents can find curbside leaf collection weeks by visiting the city’s website.

Composting is another alternative for the loose leaves to be placed and is great for the soil in your garden.

For further information contact the City of Asheville at 251-1122 or visit www.ashevillenc.gov/sanitation.

Get Close to Fall Color at Biltmore

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Fall road trips through the western North Carolina mountains offer what very few areas in the country can: a chance to drive on roads canopied in golden autumn leaf colors. Stopping at Biltmore along the way is a great fall travel idea since the estate’s 8,000 acres give the chance to stretch the legs and explore that color close up.

Park the car and wander through Biltmore’s formal gardens, filled with colorful mums and other seasonal blooms; hike through forests; or even climb to the rooftop of America’s Largest Home, the 250-room Biltmore House. Whatever you choose, Biltmore’s sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes the estate a sweet spot for taking in vivid fall color.

Fun for families

Families will enjoy Antler Hill Village where children can run off energy in the Village Green, or play in Pisgah Playground. The playground is a new addition this year and features a ferry that children can navigate across a small lagoon. A Children’s Maze offers a pathway through a forest of 500 trees. The Village also features a kid-sized Land Rover Course complete with small Land Rover carts and a track populated with small hills and other obstacles to drive over. The course is part of the estate’s Land Rover Driving School.

NEW inside Biltmore House
Two rooms inside Biltmore House – the Second Floor Living Hall and the Salon – will re-open this fall after the estate’s Museum Services team restores them to their appearances as they were when George Vanderbilt opened the home in 1895. To bring the rooms back to their original states, the team has spent the summer conserving all the furnishings, recreating elaborate window treatments and making structural changes.

As appropriate for such a grand space, several notable paintings are being returned to their original locations in the Hall. John Singer Sargent’s portraits of Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted and Anders Zorn’s painting “The Waltz,” which have been hanging temporarily in the Salon, will once again hang where George Vanderbilt intended. The restored room will re-open Sept. 1.

Relocating the paintings from the Salon has led to its reinterpretation. Curators decided to tell the story of how the room has changed through the years. Removal of a wall revealed an original firebox and brick walls. A section of the fabric ceiling treatment is being removed to show the terra cotta tiled ceiling above. Information panels will explain the new interpretation of the room when it re-opens Oct. 1.

Extend your stay – experience more of the estate
You may linger on the estate by staying a night or more at the award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate. Several specials are available through the season, including a Labor Day Celebration Package which includes two nights, access to Biltmore House and estate, a Celebration Dinner with Fireworks and more.

Guided outdoor experiences include horseback riding, Segway tours, sporting clays, fly fishing, archery, river float trips and bike riding. Guided indoor activities take you behind the scenes of Biltmore House to explore more about how the home operated when the Vanderbilt family lived in it more than a century ago. A special exhibition, “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad,” provides an intimate look at the time the Vanderbilts spent as a family and features objects they collected during their world travels. Many of these items have never been displayed until this exhibition.

Winery
Biltmore’s Winery feature self-guided tours and a tasting room offering free samples of the estate’s many award-winning varieties. Special guided tours and seminars include the new weekend Vine to Wine Tour; Red Wine & Chocolate seminar; and Biltmore Bubbles, a look at how Biltmore produces its sparkling wines.

Dining
Biltmore’s Field to Table Program focuses on growing – and finding – the best, freshest foods in season for the estate’s restaurants, which range from barbecue to fine dining. Fresh produce is supplied to the restaurants by the estate’s agricultural services, and the award-winning culinary teams incorporate this bounty into recipes featuring estate-raised products and locally-sourced foods.

Fall travel deals at Biltmore
Save $15 on daytime admission if you purchase tickets seven days or more prior to your visit on www.biltmore.com. Booking within six days of your visit, save $10. Youth ages 10-16 are half off the adult admission price.

More information about Fall Color at Biltmore is available at www.biltmore.com.

Forest Service Offers Tips for Fall Foliage Fun in the Mountains

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina unveiled its fall foliage 2013 webpage, featuring scenic drives and others areas in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to enjoy leaf viewing this autumn. With more than a month before the fall foliage season begins, the feature will help visitors plan their fall adventures.

The feature is posted on the National Forests in North Carolina website, http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc, click on “Fall Foliage in the Mountains.”

“Fall Foliage in Western North Carolina – 2013” describes popular locations for viewing mountain plants at high, middle and low elevations during peak season. For example, the Big Butt trail in the Mount Mitchell area of Yancey County enables travelers to enjoy a variety of colorful, high-elevation plants in late September and early October. Visit the webpage to see more featured locations and, remember, always practice safety when visiting the national forests.

Fall Colors Peak at Chimney Rock, Lower Elevations Peak Next Week

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Peak fall colors are on the horizon in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Leaf peepers aiming their sights on the best color should plan a visit to see the area’s higher elevations over the next week. Lower elevations are expected to reach peak during the first week of November and could last into the second week if weather conditions are ideal. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers 75-mile views overlooking Lake Lure, five scenic hiking trails with vistas like Exclamation Point and the Opera Box, rocking climbing and an annual fall photography workshop. Park admission is only $15 adult, $7 youth (ages 6-15) and free for kids under six. Weekly fall color and wildflower reports are available to help you plan your visit at chimneyrockpark.com.

Fall Color Report, 10-24-2012:

The higher elevations of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure have exploded with vibrant leaf colors, displaying remarkable color around the Chimney level.  Hiking the Skyline trail from the Chimney to Exclamation Point is quite spectacular! Golden yellows have appeared in the buckeyes, birch, beech and walnut trees.  The hickories are also starting to turn yellow. Sourwoods and some dogwoods are still bright red, and the maples are adding red to the mountains.

Some fall wildflowers, such as goldenrod and asters, continue to dot the Park’s colorful landscape. The remaining areas of green in lower elevations should benefit from an ideal 10-day forecast of sunny days and cool nights, causing a beautiful transformation of autumn colors to spread down the mountainsides. Leaf peepers visiting Chimney Rock over the next week will be rewarded with peak color at the higher elevations, with lower elevations reaching peak around the first week of November.

Fall Colors Surge – Peak Foliage Coming Soon To Asheville, NC

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The latest fall leaf report shows peak color beginning to descend on the mountains around Asheville. Biologists, attractions and climate experts are reporting a crescendo of color on the way as fall leaves move toward prime conditions.

“There is strong color now in and around Asheville, which is increasing every day toward peak conditions. We should see great color through late October,” said Parker Andes , director of horticulture at Biltmore. “Red maples, sourwoods and gum trees are beautiful right now with birches, hickories and sugar maples beginning to join the autumn array.”

“The highest elevations in Western North Carolina experienced their optimal color during the first week of October,” said Jake Crouch , climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville. “Over the next two weeks, peak fall color will continue to migrate down the mountain slopes into the Asheville area at 2,100 feet. Peak leaf color tends to move into the middle and lower elevations at a rate of about 1,000 feet of elevation every five days.”

Weekly Fall Color Reports

To help visitors locate where the autumn color is peaking from week to week, the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau is working with fall foliage experts to compile weekly color reports for the mountains of Western North Carolina. Foliage updates, fall events and travel booking information is available at FallintheMountains.com.

Chimney Rock Offers Six Ways to View Peak Fall Colors

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Leaf peepers aiming to catch fall colors during their peak won’t have to look far to find it now. Weekly fall color and wildflower reports are available to help you plan your visit to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure at chimneyrockpark.com (see the latest below). Peak fall colors are expected to appear in Chimney Rock for up to a couple weeks between mid-October and early November. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers six spectacular ways to view autumn foliage this year, from expert- and self-guided hikes to rock climbing and a photography workshop. The Park has been voted one of the top three Readers’ Choice “Best Scenic Views” by Southern Living magazine.

“The Blue Ridge Mountains feature one of most vibrant and longest fall color displays in America, attracting visitors from around the world. In late September to early November, from popular destinations along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, Western North Carolina is among the most beautiful places to go leaf peeping, hiking and auto touring,” said Emily Walker, Park Naturalist & Education Manager.

Fall Color Report, 10-9-2012: Fall colors are appearing at the highest elevations and creeping down into Hickory Nut Gorge. Highway 74A from Asheville, Hwy 64 from Hendersonville and Hwy 9 from Black Mountain to the Park offer beautiful drives sprinkled with reds and yellows right now. In Chimney Rock some leaves are already starting to change, including the poplars, dogwoods, buckeyes, birch, beech, walnuts, sourwoods and sassafras. Meanwhile, the most vibrant colors are in our blooming fall wildflowers, including goldenrod, Pink Turtlehead, Small Wood Sunflower, snakeroot, gerardia, jumpseed and several types of asters. See Chimney Rock’s leaf and wildflower colors, current and last year’s, in our online photo gallery. Follow our Facebook page for up-to-date fall photos.

Catching Peak Colors.  Fall in the mountains rewards leaf peepers with brilliant displays of leaf color, and Chimney Rock shows the full spectrum—from deep red and maroon to fiery yellow and orange. Thanks to its range in elevation from 1,100 to 2,500 feet and a large variety of deciduous trees in Hickory Nut Gorge, peak colors can last up to a couple weeks. Below are six of Chimney Rock’s favorite outings that will reward guests with an eyeful of fall color.  Advance registration is required for guided hikes and workshops; register online at chimneyrockpark.com/events.

Get an Expert Guide

  1. Head Off the Beaten Path and take a guided Fall Color Ridge Hike on Chimney Rock Mountain with internationally renowned naturalist Ron Lance on Saturday, October 20 from 1-3 p.m. This is the Park’s most scenic guided hike of the entire year!
  2. View stunning fall colors from the end of a rope high above the Gorge. Sign up for a rock climbing adventure with Fox Mountain Guides, and bring your friends to save money with a group rate.
    No prior experience is necessary. Two-hour, half- and full-day clinics are available.

Take a Hike

  1. Soak up 75-mile panoramic views on top of the Chimney some 900 feet above the valley floor.  Get there by the modernized elevator or upgraded Outcroppings trail. This is the most dramatic and popular way to get your fall color fix!
  2. Fall wildflowers add bright splashes of color along our trails. This season brings blooming beauties from goldenrod and Pink Turtlehead to several types of asters.
  3. Immerse yourself in the vibrant leaf colors by hiking along the Hickory Nut Falls trail. Study the diverse range of leaf colors from oak and hickory to red maple and enjoy marveling at the 404-foot waterfall, one of the highest of its kind east of the Mississippi River, at the trail’s end.

Capture Colors on Camera

  1. Shutterbugs looking for expert tips and tricks to frame peak fall colors will find them at Chimney Rock’s one- or two-day Shutterbugs Nature Photography Workshops on Saturday and Sunday, October 27-28 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.. Award-winning photographer Jeff Miller leads one of the most affordable workshops held in one of the most beautiful parks in Western N.C.

Park admission is $15 adult, $7 youth ages 6-15 and free for under six. Guided hikes, rock climbing and workshops cost extra. For more information on fall color, scenic drives and events throughout Western North Carolina, visit fallinthemountains.com

Fall into Live Local Music. The Old Rock Café is rocking on fall weekend nights with Beats, Burgers & Brews, featuring live music performances by local artists. Live music will be held Fridays and Saturdays, 7-9 p.m. from October 12 through November 4; go to chimneyrockpark.com for a list of upcoming bands. After a few hours of leaf peeping in the Park, come enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine while relaxing outdoors on our riverside deck with views of the Rock. While we recommend the Old Rock’s delicious burgers, soups and local brews, we’ll be serving the full menu. The Café is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through November 4. Call (828) 625-2329 for weekly specials or view the online menu.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park has been recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. The 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views overlooking Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge. In 2012 the Park is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the release of The Last of the Mohicans, which features Chimney Rock’s 404-foot waterfall and mountain scenery during the film’s final 17 minutes. The Park is located 30 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or visit chimneyrockpark.com.