Chimney Rock State Park
|Chimney Rock State Park|
|North Carolina State Park|
Chimney Rock, a 315-foot (96 m) granite monolith
|Named for: Chimney Rock|
|Elevation||2,880 ft (877.8 m)|
|Area||6,807 acres (2,754.7 ha) |
|Established||May 4, 2005|
|- Renamed||July 28, 2007|
|Management||North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation|
|Website: Chimney Rock State Park|
Chimney Rock State Park is a North Carolina state park in Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, North Carolina in the United States. The 6,807-acre (27.55 km2) park is located 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Asheville, North Carolina, and is owned by the state of North Carolina.
It offers hiking trails for all skill levels, spectacular views, the Devil's Head balancing rock and a 404-foot (123 m) waterfall, Hickory Nut Falls. Its most notable feature is a 315-foot (96 m) rock formation, a granite monolith, Chimney Rock, accessible by elevator and providing views of the park and surrounding countryside.
Early park development
In May 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly authorized the creation of the "Hickory Nut Gorge State Park." In August 2005 the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy purchased a 1,568-acre (6.35 km2) tract of land south of Lake Lure known as "World's Edge" for $16 million with the intention of transferring the land as the first to be added to the new state park. World’s Edge contains a mile-long set of steep slopes on the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment (an escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains), with more than 20,000 feet (6,100 m) of streams and waterfalls. From an overlook point, the land falls away to provide a stunning view of the Piedmont. The area provides habitat for rare flowers, diverse forest communities, endangered bats and salamanders, unique cave-dwelling invertebrates, and birds such as peregrine falcons and migratory neotropical species. Transfer of the World's Edge tract to state ownership was completed in 2006.
State acquisition of Chimney Rock Park
In 1902, Dr. Lucius B. Morse purchased 64 acres (260,000 m2) at Chimney Rock Mountain, including the Chimney and cliffs. Morse and his family owned and operated "Chimney Rock Park" as a privately managed park from 1902 to 2007. Many small tracts purchased over the years expanded the Park to 996 acres (4.03 km2). In 2006 the land was put up for sale. Many feared the park might fall into the hands of private developers, but in early 2007 the State and the Morse family reached an agreement, and on May 21, 2007, Governor Mike Easley announced that the park is now fully owned by the state of North Carolina. The park will continue to be managed by Chimney Rock Management LLC through at least 2011. The state will begin receiving licensing fees based on a percentage of gross revenues. During this time, the state will continue its efforts to acquire land and develop a master plan for the new park, which is now 4,531 acres (18.34 km2).
In July 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly recognized the former Chimney Rock Park as the centerpiece of the larger state park to which it was added when it formally approved the renaming of Hickory Nut Gorge State Park to Chimney Rock State Park.
In popular culture
Areas within the park as well as surrounding the park were featured prominently in the 1984 film A Breed Apart and most of the final scenes of the 1992 adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans, including the Huron negotiation, the chase along the cliff, the fight between Uncas and Magua, Alice's decision, and the climactic fight between Magua and Chingachgook.
- "Size of the North Carolina State Parks System" (XLS). North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. January 1, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- "Sale Frequently Asked Questions". Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.
- Randolph, JW (August 31, 2006). "Chimney Rock now for sale". The Appalachian Online.
- "Gov. Easley Announces State Agrees to Purchase Chimney Rock Park" (Press release). N.C. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources. January 29, 2007.
- "Gov. Easley Announces State Now Owns Chimney Rock Park" (Press release). N.C. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources. May 21, 2007.
- "New Park Designations for Dismal Swamp, Elk Knob, Chimney Rock" (Press release). N.C. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources. September 5, 2007.