We know it’s tempting to sit on the porch of our cabins and gaze at Lake Glenville while taking the art of relaxing to a new level, but it’s also nice to explore the areas surrounding Cashiers NC. The state of North Carolina is filled with amazing parks, mountain trails, waterfalls and breath-taking views.
A favorite spot to visit – and just about 90 minutes from Cashiers – is Chimney Rock State Park. The park is named for the iconic 535-million-year-old monolith where visitors can take in the 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure.
The park is open daily throughout the summer and offers a range of activities for all ages. To reach Chimney Rock, visitors can climb 491 stairs up the Outcroppings Trail, which takes the average adult about 25 minutes. A 26-story elevator is also available to guests who want to experience the views from Chimney Rock without the climb.
In addition to the Outcroppings Trail leading to the top of the rock, the park has two other open trails and a Great Woodlands Adventure trail specifically for children. Adventurous guests can even try their hand at rock climbing through the park’s rock climbing partners, Fox Mountain Guides.
Pets are welcome at Chimney Rock, but must be on a 6-foot or shorter leash. Only service animals are allowed in the elevator, so Fido will have the climb the steps for his view from Chimney Rock.
Visitors can spend a couple of hours at the park or an entire day hiking the trails and snapping photos of the waterfalls. The park has two restaurants should you need to rest your legs and grab a snack.
As you’re hiking the mountainous park trails, you may see some spots that look worthy of the silver screen. Filmmakers have thought so too.
- The last 17 minutes of “The Last of the Mohicans” (1992) was filmed in the park.
- The 1984 thriller “Firestarter” features the park’s front entrance gate and bridge.
- The park’s wooded areas and trails were the backdrop for the 1984 drama “A Breed Apart.”
- Just the down the road at Lake Lure, Baby and Johnny filmed the 1987 romantic classic “Dirty Dancing.”
Spending an afternoon or a full day at Chimney Rock State Park is well worth putting on your list of things to do while during your North Carolina Mountain Vacation. Don’t forget your camera and be sure to wear your comfortable shoes – you’ll be taking lots of photos and just maybe climbing 491 stairs.