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August 18, 2013

Chimney Rock State Park

Filed under: Travel — Lesli Peterson @ 8:04 am

Chimney Rock Kids

 

{{This article is part of our Asheville With Kids series.}}

Chimney Rock State Park

Travel about 30 minutes east of Asheville to Chimney Rock State Park.  Your reward: 75-mile panoramic views from atop this 535-million year old icon of North Carolina! The drive up the mountain takes about 10 minutes, and the stunning tree- and rock- lined road doesn’t begin to prepare you for the scene at the top.  The view from the parking lot is magnificent, and it is worth the trip even if you are not prepared to climb the 500 stairs to the actual Rock.

But, climb we did.  The stairs have plenty of resting platforms, and they were secure on the sides, as well.  I made my 5-year old hold the railing and we put the baby in a sling; it took about 15 minutes to ascend.  We were in awe with each step from the breathtaking views of Lake Lure (featured in Dirty Dancing) to the gorgeous mountain vistas.

Once at the top, visitors can pose on the rocks for photos, or sit peacefully to take in the slight breeze that accompanies the view.  If you are weary from the walk, as we were, take your rest with a cup of ice cream; there is a gift and snack shop.  My young son was thrilled with his lapel pin purchase, eager to show off his accomplishment. While we savored the flavors, Dad and the older kids continued to the Skyline Trail, the highest peak in the park with an elevation of 2,480 ft, overlooking Chimney Rock.

If you are looking to explore Chimney Rock further, there are multiple trails for hiking, including kid-friendly trails near the entrance.  There is also a trail to the mountain’s waterfall, but it is closed due to a mudslide brought on by the unusually wet summer this year. Great Woodland Adventure Trail features discovery stations for kids, each showcasing a locally-made sculpture.  The trailhead is just beside the Animal Discovery Den, which houses several live animals for kids to enjoy.

Chimney Rock State Park Kids

 

Disclosure: Thank you to the city of Asheville for assisting us on our family adventure. Thank you, also, to Asheville Treetops Park, Biltmore, Tupelo Honey Café and Doubletree Hotel for their complementary contributions to our Asheville adventure.   While we appreciate their kindness, it never deters us from reporting our honest opinion. Find Lesli on Google+.


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