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Strains of the music from The Last of the Mohicans movie may fill your head as you climb the trails at Chimney Rock State Park, a part of the state park system since 2005. Prior to that time, it was a private attraction, with a history dating back to Native American times. It was first noted as a tourist attraction in 1885 when stairs were built to the summit.

The 1,000-acre park developed over the next 100 years under the leadership of Missourian Lucius B. Morse and his family, and the Chimney Rock area of the park continues to operate under a private contractor. Since the property became a state park, some trails and ...

Strains of the music from The Last of the Mohicans movie may fill your head as you climb the trails at Chimney Rock State Park, a part of the state park system since 2005. Prior to that time, it was a private attraction, with a history dating back to Native American times. It was first noted as a tourist attraction in 1885 when stairs were built to the summit.

The 1,000-acre park developed over the next 100 years under the leadership of Missourian Lucius B. Morse and his family, and the Chimney Rock area of the park continues to operate under a private contractor. Since the property became a state park, some trails and areas have been closed from time to time for upgrading, according to a master plan. Skyline Drive, which ascends from the 315-foot Chimney (monolith) past the Opera Box and Devil's Head to Exclamation Point (2,480 feet — the highest elevation in the park), reopened after extensive improvements. Trails that lead to the top of the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls have also been reopened. One of the highest waterfalls in the East, Hickory Nut Falls was featured in the Mohicans film. For those who don't want to climb to the top, there's an elevator inside the Chimney. At the summit is an observation deck offering a 75-mile panoramic view of the Hickory Nut Gorge and the surrounding landscape.

Rock-climbing and rappelling are very popular at Chimney Rock, with AMGA-certified Fox Mountain Guides offering equipment and instruction. The park also has a visitor center and nature center. In addition to its spectacular natural beauty, the park is known for its abundance of plants, especially wildflowers, and its birds. The park is located in the town of Chimney Rock (population 175), a short distance from Lake Lure and 25 miles southwest of Asheville in a region that has been attracting tourists and movie-makers for decades. It also lies in the designated Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, which is known for its mountain wilderness, waterfalls, Cherokee traditions, music, and crafts.

Carol Timblin
About the Expert

Carol Timblin has contributed to numerous guidebooks and authored four editions of Houghton Mifflin's Best Places to Stay in the South.

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Carol Timblin for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Southern United States. Located 86 miles southeast of Charlotte.
  • Research: Wikipedia
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