The High Country-Part 2- Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Falls, Chimney Rock, NC

We left Asheville towards Chimney Rock. It was a beautiful drive. Took us through the small enclave of Bat Cave. how can you go wrong with that! Chimney Rock used to be a privately owed attraction but recently in 2007 it was purchased by the State, combined with the neighboring Hickory Nut Gorge State Park as the new Chimney Rock State Park. It is the only N.C. State Park that charges an admission fee. There is also a fee free area at Rumbling Bald and a trail.

But we paid so we could go up to the rock and see the view. Now keep in mind that Momma is afraid of heights so I don’t know how this could turn out. She made it to the top of the rock but that was it.

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock rises 315 feet from the parking area. Through a series of steps you ascend the bluffs. There is an elevator also but it was broken at the time of our visit. I wouldn’t have taken it anyway but momma…. I don’t know…… We passed through a formation known as “The Subway”. It’s not necessary…. a trail goes around it…. but it’s here so why not!?

The Subway…it took a crab crawl to get through
Sign on Chimney Rock

2280 Feet not even as tall as Moore’s Knob back in the Sauratowns but high enough to give outstanding views of the surrounding mountains Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge.

Lake Lure was formed by the damming of the Broad River.

Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge from Chimney Rock
Looking down on the village of Chimney Rock
The Blue Ridge and Hickory Nut Gorge from Chimney Rock.

But the trail doesn’t end here! After a few minutes of trying to coax Momma higher I set out on my own to see what else was up here. After another half mile or so I came to Exclamation Point! It is about 200 feet higher.

Exclamation Point!

View from Exclamation Point!

I hiked back down the bluffs to Chimney Rock where momma was waiting. We decided to do the hike to Hickory Nut Falls. Hickory Nut Falls is a 404 foot horse tail falls on Falls Creek, into Hickory Nut Gorge. It is one of the highest falls east of the Mississippi River.

There are two ways to the falls. From Exclamation Point you can catch the Skyline Trail to the top of the falls. Well since I couldn’t get Momma any higher then the Chimney Rock that was out of the question. So we descended and took the trail through Hickory Nut Gorge to the base of the falls.

First view of Hickory Nut Falls.

“Look with open eyes, and you will see the beauty of the waterfall”

Anthony Hincks

If you are a movie buff this has to look familiar to you. Hickory Nut Falls is where the final battle scene in “The Last of the Mohicans ” was filmed.

Hickory Nut Falls

After our hike we found the greatest little café in the village of Chimney Rock, run by the park system. The food was simple but great and cheaply priced and we ate on a patio overlooking the Broad River.

Old Rock Café
The Broad River

What a great vacation trip. From our outstanding cabin with views to everywhere we visited this is one of our better travel memories……………………..

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