Some of North Carolina’s most dramatic mountain scenery is found at Chimney Rock State Park, with the signature 315-foot spire overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Admission is charged at the principal Chimney Rock Access, though the nearby Rumbling Bald Climbing Access is admission-free and offers one of the park’s six trails. Visiting Chimney Rock Access offers opportunities for picnicking and hiking on trails that range from child-friendly nature explorations to moderately strenuous treks to the top of Chimney Rock Mountain and to the edge of Hickory Nut Falls. Concessions and gift shops are available. The Rocky Broad River is a destination for trout anglers. Other access areas into the park—now encompassing more than 5,700 acres—are to be developed.
The park is a great place for a hike!
Mountain biking is permitted on the Weed Patch Mountain Trail. This 17-mile round-trip trail is operated in a partnership between Chimney Rock State Park and the Town of Lake Lure. Parking can be accessed at Buffalo Creek Park near Rumbling Bald Resort in Rutherford County and the Eagle Rock Reserved Parking Area near Shumont Mountain in Buncombe County. Both areas have limited parking.
Ply your line along the Rocky Broad River, so named after several floods deposited rocks and boulders mid-stream and along the banks. The river, regulated as undesignated trout waters, can be accessed from the front gate in Chimney Rock Village. For season dates and regulations for each type of trout water, contact the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC). A valid North Carolina fishing license and trout license are required for all streams, and regulations of the WRC are enforced throughout the park.
Scattered along the Chimney Rock access road are tables and grills for picnicking. Groups of tables are located in the Meadows area and at the top of the access road. Drinking water and restrooms are located near the group areas. Use of the tables requires no extra fee and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Climbing is permitted in designated areas on the south face of Rumbling Bald Mountain and on Eagle Rock. Because of the dangers of bouldering, rock climbing and rappelling, these activities are not recommended for beginners unless they are accompanied by an experienced climber. A registration and permit system has been implemented for the climbing areas in the park. The free permits can be found on the trailheads. The permit system contributes to climber safety and also provides information for the park’s climbing management plan. Participants are responsible for their own personal safety, including securing proper training and equipment and adhering to safe practices. Basic safety equipment and techniques must be used at all times.
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