Hiking in Chimney Rock, NC

Chimney Rock southeast of Asheville serves as a gateway to the scenic countryside near Lake Lure. This region of Western North Carolina offers panoramic vistas and interesting geological formations.

Some interesting hikes through this fascinating rural landscape include several popular interconnected trails in Chimney Rock State Park. The park charges $15 admission. The Hickory Nut Falls Trail, the Great Woodland Adventure Trail, the Four Seasons Trail, the Skyline Trail, and the Outcroppings Trail await visitors.

The Hickory Nut Falls Trail

This easy trail extends through Hickory Nut Gorge for 0.75 miles. Visitors stroll through beautiful woods on a level track. They reach a bridge leading to the lovely Hickory Nut Waterfall, A 404-foot wide expanse of rock and falling water.

The Great Woodland Adventure Trail

This easy, gently winding trail extends through the foothills of Chimney Rock Mountain for 0.6 miles. It offers an educational experience for youngsters by providing 12 different “Discovery Stations” along the way, stopping points with exhibits highlighting wildlife in the Park.

The Four Seasons Trail 

Park officials have designated this trail as “moderate to strenuous“. The trailhead commences just above the Meadows and it offers a way to approach Chimney Rock Mountain on foot. During most seasons of the year, visitors who take this elevated 0.6 mile route enjoy lovely wildflowers in the meadow area, and then progress along a winding uphill track through thickets of pine and Mountain Laurel. You’ll even encounter sections of wild Carolina Rhododendron along this trail. Wildlife, such as squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums, deer and wild turkey inhabit the area.

The Skyline Trail

This “moderate to strenuous” trail figured prominently in scenes filmed for the movie The Last of the Mohicans (1992). To observe stunning vistas, prepare to hike up a steep 0.35 mile trail that includes sections of stairs. This trail begins at a high elevation and proceeds along a winding course all the way to the top of Exclamation Point. It offers sweeping views of Hickory Nut Gorge below.

The Outcroppings Trail

This brief but challenging section of trail on the top of Chimney Rock Mountain enables energetic observers to ascend to the pinnacle of the mountain. They need to proceed upwards for 315 feet using a 499-step staircase. In April, 2012, park officials widened and levels the stairs slightly to enable better access. At the top, you’ll discover an observation deck and some magnificent views.

This is post is a guest contribution from The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant.

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