Friday, May 25, 2012

Chimney Rock Offers Family Fun & Free Tower Climbs Memorial Day Weekend

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park's climbing tower on the
Meadows will be open to guests, weather permitting, for a free climb
Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. with paid Park
admission. Check out the new, stunning elevated views on the rebuilt
Outcroppings trail to the Chimney, now easier to hike with a gentler
slope and more places to rest.

Enjoy a family picnic at the Park with a $6 special (plus tax) for a
grilled hot dog, bag of chips and 20-oz. soft drink or bottled water
in front of Cliff Dwellers Gifts over the three-day weekend. Park
musician John Mason will be playing music from old time to ragtime on
a hammered dulcimer, weather permitting. The Park elevator and Sky
Lounge are expected to open by mid-June. Chimney Rock is open every
day 8:30am to 7pm; Ticket Plaza closes at 5:30pm. Admission is $12/
adults, $5/youth ages 6-15 and children under six are admitted free.

Get a Taste of Rock Climbing. Climbers who want a taste of real rock
climbing can head to the top parking lot and climb below the Chimney
with the expertise of Fox Mountain Guides, who offer the only AMGA-
Certified program in the Southeast. The 15-minute "tasters" cost $20
per person, no experience necessary. Two-hour climbing clinics and
half- and full-day climbs with Fox Mountain are available by
appointment. Get more information at (888) 284-8433 or

Live Critters Make for Family Fun. Chimney Rock was named one of the
top 5 "best summer activities for families" in North Carolina by
GeoParent last year. The Park's Memorial Day weekend offers great
hiking and activities for kids. While in the Meadows, families will
enjoy Grady's Animal Discovery Den, where children can meet Grady the
Groundhog, the Park's animal ambassador, and have fun eyeing live
critters such as turtles, snakes and an opossum. These critters are
stars in some of the Park's education programs for schools,
homeschoolers and scouts. The adjacent Great Woodland Adventure offers
an easy 0.6-mile winding hike with 13 interactive discovery stations,
where Grady illustrates how his forest friends live, including
chipmunks, frogs, owls and butterflies. Larger-than-life wood and
metal sculptures bring to life the nation's second TRACK Trail
(Trails, Ridges and Active Caring Kids), created in collaboration with
Kids in Parks, an initiative of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
TRACK Trail adventures are designed to help kids explore nature
through the use of self-guided brochures.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international
outdoor attraction located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway
64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It has been recognized as one of the
Southeast's most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than
100 years. In 2012, the Park is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of
the release of The Last of the Mohicans, which was filmed in Chimney
Rock. The Park's 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock
offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake
Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east
of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. A
destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park
also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers,
scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock's website at More information on current Capital Improvement
projects at or by calling 800-277-9611.