Last week Chimney Rock State Park in Western North Carolina announced a series of capital improvements that will impact some of the hiking trails over the winter. On December 1st, the park will begin construction to improve accessibility and upgrade some of the trails at the higher elevations in the park.
Over the winter, a section of the Outcroppings, the trail that leads from the parking lot to the Chimney area, will be replaced providing easier access to the Chimney and points of interest above like the Opera Box, Devil’s Head and Exclamation Point. The section to be replaced is just below the Chimney and currently allows for only one-way traffic. After construction, the new trail and stairway will accommodate more guests and offer better egress from the Chimney area. Without a required secondary egress, the elevator will be out of service during Outcroppings construction making the Chimney inaccessible over the winter.
Areas of the park that remain accessible throughout improvements include: Hickory Nut Falls trail, Cliff Dwellers Gifts and Meadows area including the Great Woodland Adventure, Four Seasons trail, Grady’s Animal Discovery Den, Classroom on the Meadows and the covered picnic pavilion. Chimney Rock is also planning a variety of programs and events to enhance guest experience during improvements.
After this project is complete in early spring, the park’s 26-story elevator will be modernized, increasing reliability, speed and capacity, and the Sky Lounge facility will be renovated. Access by trail to the top of the mountain including the Chimney will return at this time.
You should also note that the Cliff Trail to the top of Hickory Nut Falls is also currently closed for improvements.
Chimney Rock park plans to reduce admission fees during improvements.