Looking for a great trail in Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina? AllTrails has 10 great hiking trails, forest trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 6 moderate trails in Chimney Rock State Park ranging from 1.2 to 4.4 miles and from 1,368 to 2,995 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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In 2005, the N.C. General Assembly authorized a new state park in the scenic Hickory Nut Gorge area of western Rutherford and the surrounding counties of Polk, Henderson and Buncombe. The unit was designated as Chimney Rock State Park shortly after the state had acquired Chimney Rock Park, a private nature park surrounding the striking 315-foot spire on the gorges southern side. The Chimney Rock area of the state park is operated by a private contractor and is open throughout the year. Entry fees offset the cost of operating this popular tourist destination. Currently, Chimney Rock is the only public access within the greater Chimney Rock State Park. However, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will eventually develop other areas of the state park with more traditional park facilities and recreation. The greater Chimney Rock State Park currently encompasses roughly 4,000 acres on both north and south sides of the gorge and expansion efforts continue to bring more of the gorges rich natural resources into conservation. Ultimately, a master plan for the entire park will be developed to fully protect the natural heritage and offer outdoor recreation options. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park has been a tourist destination in western North Carolina since a simple stairway was built to the rocks summit in 1885. In 1902, Lucius B. Morse of Missouri bought the site. The Morse family developed park facilities including a tunnel and elevator to the rock summit, nature center and a network of hiking trails to geologic points of interest including the 404-foot-tall Hickory Nut Falls. Please click here to link to the site of Chimney Rock(www.chimneyrockpark.com)to plan your exploration of one of North Carolinas most unusual natural wonders. A park master planning public information session will be held on May 26 from 10am to 7pm. The drop-in planning session will involve a workstation format allowing people to attend at any time during the day and spend as much time as necessary to review and discuss design alternatives. Proposed design alternatives for the state park will be presented, and the public will be able to ask questions and offer comments to officials of the state parks system and Greenways Inc., a Durham-based environmental planning and landscape architecture firm responsible for completing the plan. Creating a world class state park at Chimney Rock has been and continues to be a partnership effort between the state parks system and the community, said Lewis Ledford, director of the state Division of Parks and Recreation. Chimney Rock State Park has benefited from strong support in the community, and its important that citizens continue to be involved in the process. A state parks master plan is essentially a blueprint for long-term development of facilities and recreation opportunities and a guide for protection of natural resources. It is meant to be an organic document, evolving as the park grows and as knowledge is gained about a parks natural resources and public use. Proposed designs also will be available beginning May 26 at www.greenways.com/chimneyrock. Written comments may be submitted through June 23 by using an online comment sheet or by mail to: General Management Plan Coordinator, N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, 1615 MSC, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1615.

Lots of steps to the top but beautiful views. At the top there is an extra 2-3 mile hike to view the top of the falls, this hike was pretty private and not at all crowded like the stair hike.

Decent trails with views. Everyone that works there seems strangely oblivious that chimney rock itself looks very reminiscent of a giant.. umm.... Trails often very very crowded.

Great trail... I hiked this trail with my husband, my parents, my 13 and 3 year old. Very easy trail and the water fall makes it all worth it in the end.

hiking
blowdown
12 days ago

There has been a recent storm that has caused downed trees. They are working on clearing them. Great trail for those who desire super bouldering and rock climbing sites. As far as the trail, it is marked fairly well although the trail maps along the way are slightly misleading, only one place it crosses a small brook and it has primarily wooded views.

Short, nice trail if you are looking to just get out! Great for pups to stretch their legs!

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail! We wanted to explore all of the trails in the park and this is the first trail from the parking lot. Moderate trail with the first of MANY sets of steps in the park but absolutely beautiful flora, rocks and outcrops!

hiking
15 days ago

Overall a nice short hike. Several trees down still, very hot yesterday. Very little breeze at the rock. First time hiking this trail, don’t think we will do it again but a nice time.

hiking
blowdown
washed out
16 days ago

Great trail if you want to get out for a good workout and even better views without spending half a day to get it!

Fun and not super busy! We got halfway through before realizing it would be quite a bit more uphill. Whoops! Dogs welcomed on leash. Bring water, we were parched thinking we’d made it further along than we had.

Been coming to this trail since i was little. Lots of steps leading to Chimney Rock. The Exclamation Point is fun for the family with a short hike and view of Lake Lure.

Very nice walk. Waterfall felt great.

hiking
16 days ago

Too many steps that are man-made.

Family friendly trail, gravel groomed, good for dogs. The waterfall was amazing. Combine this with the walk up to Chimney Rock, plus checking out the town at the entrance to the park, gives you an awesome day trip.

hiking
bugs
rocky
22 days ago

We loved this trail, only saw one other couple. It is easy to park by water tower by dirt road. It is strenuous uphill for sure, keep going keep going! You may get some good views and think to stop but don’t. It is so worth it at the top! Huge slate rock and east to walk on and gorgeous views and breezy. Absolutely stunning. Trail had some mud lots rocks and trees and brush down but very very easy to follow dirt trail. Don’t skip this one!

hiking
bugs
23 days ago

Easy trail lots boulders, only one other family on trail. Great view, could see lake and chimney rock. We plan to go again!!!

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
washed out
29 days ago

Giving this a 3 for the view, which is great. The trail is muddy, washed out, lots of trees blown down across the path and overgrown in spots. Extremely slippery in red mud when wet. We did this in a thunderstorm, had to bushwhack through several large trees across the path (which after busting branches has made the trail more accessible), and made sure of our footing on the wet slick mud and gravel on exposed rocks. Initially attacked by bugs until the thunderstorms came, one advantage of hiking this in the rain is no mosquitoes or gnats. View at the top gives you the panorama from across the gorge of Lake Lure, the Lake Lure Inn, and Chimney Rock. Lots of trail maintenance required. Feeling sorry for the poor chap who tried to drive up it many years ago and had to abandon their car, the remnants are near the top. Hike this at your own risk.

Easy uphill hike.

Not a bad hike. A good bit of stair climbing, but nothing too bad. Views during summer time are amazing with plenty of openings throughout the trail. An easy 30 min or less climb to Exclamation point if you are already at Chimney Rock.

Neat hike. Easy. Platform at the falls started getting pretty crowded.

Overall a great trail! The stair area is touristy but leads to some beautiful views! The additional trail at the top is less traveled and takes you to the top of the falls, which is gorgeous!

hiking
1 month ago

Good easy hike with kids. Incredible view at the base of the waterfall. Kids could get their feet wet in the calm, shallow pool at the base of the falls. Pretty heavy traffic on the weekend.

hiking
1 month ago

The waterfall is beautiful. It's a well-maintained gravel trail from Chimney Rock (you have to pay to use this part of the trail), a few rock crossing areas, mostly flat and a steady uphill on the way there. We went in the late afternoon, which I wouldn't do again—lots of traffic. The base of the falls has a viewing platform.

Gorgeous waterfall.

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