Portions of the cliff-side trail system at Chimney Rock State Park were closed in 2008 as a result of an ongoing trails and facilities assessment by staff of the state parks system. The closure affects the Cliff Trail and much of the Skyline Trail that create a loop across the upper portion of the Chimney Rock section of the park and which represent about 20 percent of the existing 5.3-mile trails system. All of the park's principal natural features remain accessible to the public on alternate trails.
The trail loop incorporated more than 40 structures necessary to navigate the sheer rock faces, including boardwalks, handrail systems and platforms. The decision to close these sections of the trail system was made jointly with Chimney Rock Management LLC, which operates Chimney Rock.
The state parks system has begun the development of a formal master plan for the greater Chimney Rock State Park. A comprehensive trails system that will present the scenery of the Hickory Nut Gorge and link various segments of the park will be an integral part of that plan. As part of the master planning process, the state park will seek public input on recreation facilities and activities.
The state parks system also will continue with plans already in place to improve the overall infrastructure of Chimney Rock using funding from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and legislative appropriation.
Your comments and questions regarding Chimney Rock's trails system are welcome.
Send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org where they will be shared with the leadership team of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
Information about visitor amenities, operations and special events at the park can be found at www.chimneyrockpark.com; and visitors can request a regular e-newsletter.
Further developments concerning Chimney Rock and its trails system will be reported on this page.