Chimney Rock State Park
REOPENING: Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park Reopening March 8 / PARKING ALERT: Limited Parking at Rumbling Bald Climbing Access
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Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park reopened to the public on March 8. The major road construction project is still in progress, but once complete it will restore the entrance road to two lanes.
Due to popularity, parking is limited this time of year at the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access. Visitors are asked to only park in the designated area: the gravel parking lot and on the left side only. Parking is not permitted along the entrance drive, on the grass or along the wooden bollards.
Please carpool, arrive early or later in the day to find adequate parking. The Town of Lake Lure has offered the municipal parking lot for use to climbers to carpool from as well. The Master Plan will address climbing access parking and capacity for this section of the state park.
Updated: 2014-03-10 08:09:00
White-Nose Syndrome Found in Local Bats / Round Top Mountain Area & Eagle Rock Park Lands
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White-Nose Syndrome has been found on bats in Hickory Nut Gorge. This deadly disease has decimated populations of bats across the eastern United States. In an effort to prevent the spread of the disease, visitors to the park, who may carry the disease on their shoes and equipment, are asked to stay out of the caves. The caves on Rumbling Bald Mountain in particular are closed to the public until further notice. ______________________________________________________________________________
At this time, there are no designated parking areas or public accesses for state park properties located on Round Top Mountain and Eagle Rock. Also, there are no designated hiking trails in these areas. Visitors are cautioned not to trespass and not to park on the private property adjoining these lands.
Presently, there is not a designated camping area at Chimney Rock State Park. Rock climbing and bouldering are currently only allowed at the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access where climbers may park in the designated parking area located off Boys Camp Road.
Updated: 2014-03-05 08:57:38
PO Box 220, Chimney Rock, NC 28720
GPS: 35.432799, -82.250260
In 2005, the N.C. General Assembly authorized a new state park in the scenic Hickory Nut Gorge area of western Rutherford and the surrounding counties of Polk, Henderson and Buncombe. Later that year, the first tract of land to form the state park was purchased. Since then many more acres have been added. The most notable was the 2007 transfer of Chimney Rock Park, a private nature park surrounding the striking 315-foot spire on the gorge's southern side, into the expanding park.
The daily services offered to visitors of the Chimney Rock Access of the state park are provided by a private contract managed by the Division of Parks and Recreation. This section is open year round with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Entry fees offset the cost of operating this popular tourist destination.
Currently, Chimney Rock and the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access are the only public accesses within Chimney Rock State Park. However, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will eventually develop other areas of the state park with facilities and recreation traditionally enjoyed in our Western North Carolina state parks.
The greater Chimney Rock State Park currently encompasses roughly 5,700 acres on both the north and south sides of the gorge and expansion efforts continue to bring more of the gorge's rich natural resources into conservation.
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park has been a tourist destination in western North Carolina since a simple stairway was built to the rock's summit in 1885. In 1902, Lucius B. Morse of Missouri bought the site. The Morse family developed park facilities including a tunnel and elevator to the rock summit, nature center and a network of hiking trails to geologic points of interest including the 404-foot-tall Hickory Nut Falls.
Please click here to link to the site of Chimney Rock (www.chimneyrockpark.com) to plan your exploration of one of North Carolina's most unusual natural wonders.
The park's master plan was recently completed. Please click the link on the left to view the master plan.