Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When Is The Best Time To Hike Chimney Rock Park?

If I could post just two words about Chimney Rock this fall they would be “Hikers Needed!”  When was the last time you hiked to a 400 foot waterfall and stood there all by yourself?  How about hiking a “skyline trail” that enabled you to actually look out at Hickory Nut Gorge, take some pictures of it, and then turn the other direction and have a gorgeous view of colored splendor? When was the last time you had a picnic lunch feeling like you were the only person on the planet at that particular moment?

Well, if any of those images resonate with you, then now is the perfect time for you to go visit Chimney Rock Park.  Why is a visit to the park any better now than any other time you ask?  Well, here’s why….under normal, everyday circumstances, Chimney Rock Park is like every other attraction out there…it’s BUSY.  But, this Autumn (and this Autumn only), the elevator that is normally in service to lift all those folks that cannot or do not want to hike up to the rock, is being refurbished and will not be in service throughout the autumn color season. 
What does that mean for those of you who are able to hike moderate or more strenuous trails?  A gorgeous landscape, a nearly perfect experience and because of the improvements being done at this time the rates to get into the park have been reduced also.

If you want to add to your experience the park has some classes also.  Survival skills workshops, guided nature hikes, crafts demonstrations and music programs are among some of the events.  You can even register for some of their classes such as photography and birding.  They even have rock climbing classes.  Could you have guessed that one?  All events are listed on the website at this page http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?monthYear=2011&month=10&category=8&catYear=2011
For those of you that are not familiar with Chimney Rock Park, a little bit of information might be in order.  The monolith, or chimney, is 535 million years old!   Guests have a 75-mile panoramic view of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure and it has been known to make hikers sit down and revel in the beauty. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species, as well as the second highest waterfall of its kind in the eastern United States.   This park has been entertaining guests for over one hundred years with all of the sights and wonders that nature can provide.  There are five different hiking trails and if you are really observant you will have the opportunity to see rare and indigenous plants, unusual geological formations and lots of native wildlife.
So…put on your hiking boots, grab your water bottle and bring lunch to Chimney Rock Park.  And as they say in their brochure:  Get ready to explore!
Reduced Admission: $12 for adults, $5 for youth (ages 6-15); other discounts still apply
Seasonal hours: Open daily from 8:30am to 7pm with the Ticket Plaza and front entrance gate closing at 5:30pm; hours change in November
We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

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