Thrill seekers can attend two unique events in the Hickory Nut Gorge on New Year’s Day. Starting at 8:00 am, visitors can join Chimney Rock State Park Superintendent James Ledgerwood for the park’s First Day Hike.
This trek begins at the park’s front gate and continues up Chimney Rock Road, which is normally off-limits to pedestrians. Hikers will learn about Chimney Rock’s rich history and unique features as they hike to the base of the Park’s Chimney.
“As we start a new year, I like to look back at what the Park has accomplished in previous years,” said Ledgerwood. “One of the greatest accomplishments was the construction of the 3-mile road that leads to the Chimney. This happened over 100 years ago. As we hike this road and remember the past, it also gives us time to think of the future.”
At the end of this hike, participants can enjoy views of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge as well as hot chocolate and coffee courtesy of the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park.
Hikers should meet at 8 a.m. in front of the Old Rock Café in Chimney Rock Village and wear comfortable shoes or boots, dress appropriately for the weather and bring plenty of water. Shuttle service will be provided back to Chimney Rock Village at the end of the hike.
Registration to attend this hike is not required, there is no charge for this special before hours First Day Hike and participants can return to the Park during normal Park hours at no charge. Park hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the winter.
(Photo by Chimney Rock Park.)