Chimney Rock State Park

Trails

  • Four Seasons Trail: 1.54 Miles Round Trip
    Woodland Trail from lower parking lot to main parking lot – Elevation Gain: 354′
  • Hickory Nut Falls Trail: 2.06 Miles Round Trip
    Branches off Four Seasons Trail to bottom of 400′ waterfall – Elevation Gain: 417′
  • Visitor’s Parking Lot to Exclamation Point: 1.1 Miles RT – Elevation Gain: 558′
  • Skyline Trail: 2.0 Miles Round Trip – Elevation Gain: 472′

The Outcroppings: .5 Mile Round Trip
Made up of staircases from upper parking lot to Chimney Chimney Elevation: 2280′

Skyline Trail: 2 Mile Round Trip
Begins at Chimney to top of Exclamation Point Exclamation Point Elevation: 2480′

1322 Steps at the Park!
( I think this number has changed due to new staircases, etc.)

Breakdown of steps:

  • 226 steps – Four Seasons Trail to bottom of Staircase
  • 76 steps  – Staircase from Four Seasons Trail to Hickory Nut Falls Trail
  • 176 steps – Hickory Nut Falls Trail to Upper Parking Lot
  • 194 steps – Parking Lot to Vista Point
  • 270 steps – Vista Point to Bottom of Chimney Steps
  • 76 steps – Bottom of Chimney Steps to the Opera Box
  • 80 steps – Opera Box to Devil’s Head
  • 224 steps – Devil’s Head to Exclamation Point at the top

Some of our Chimney Rock Hikes

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

I bought a new camera. Tired of the limitations of the iPhone and point-and-shoot cameras, Phil thought it was time to get a Nikon D3200 digital SLR with a couple of lenses. We go to so many beautiful places and now we can get higher quality photos. Today was such a glorious day! I had errands … Continue reading Chimney Rock

0 comments

Chimney Rock

This winter, the park has a lot of work going on. New construction will bring the re-opening of two long closed trails. It is great to see money being spent at the park. I couldn’t get to Exclamation Point because there is still some serious ice up there. I made it as far as the … Continue reading Chimney Rock

0 comments

Chimney Rock

Getting Back in the Swing of Things The beautiful, spring-like weather was very welcome after a busy, rainy winter. We haven’t had good weather on our off days that have allowed us to keep up our hiking routine. The BRP is still closed for the winter, but Chimney Rock is close to home and open. My … Continue reading Chimney Rock

0 comments
Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

It was a sunny day in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s, my favorite hiking weather.  I parked in the upper parking lot and started my hike in the middle.  First, I  climbed the stairs to the Chimney and then onto the Devil’s Head and up to Exclamation Point. It isn’t very far, but almost … Continue reading Chimney Rock

0 comments

Chimney Rock

This winter, the park has a lot of work going on. New construction will bring the re-opening of two long closed trails. It is great to see money being spent at the park. Here are a few pictures of some the working being done.  

0 comments

Chimney Rock

I guess it is a good thing that Chimney Rock State Park is so popular. To view the Chimney and get the most out of the park, you have to climb a whole lot of stairs. The forced exercise is all part of the experience. Today, I waited until around 11 am to go the … Continue reading Chimney Rock

0 comments
Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock in Autumn

Fall is beautiful and it is especially so from the top of Exclamation Point above the Chimney. I caught the light just right on these pictures.  I hope the web doesn’t blur out some of the beauty.

0 comments

Chimney Rock State Park

It was another great day at Chimney Rock. I feel so fortunate that this is practically in my backyard. I keep taking the same pictures each time I go.  I guess I keep thinking that each view is prettier than it was the day before. I’ve walked by these birdhouses for years and not really paid … Continue reading Chimney Rock State Park

0 comments
Hickory Nut Falls

Four Seasons Trail to Hickory Nut Falls

Four Seasons Trail: 1.54 Miles Round Trip Woodland Trail from lower parking lot to main parking lot Starting Elevation at the Meadows: 1400′ Hickory Nut Falls Trail: 2.06 Miles Round Trip Branches off Four Seasons Trail to bottom of 400′ waterfall – Elevation 2077′ Breakdown of steps on these 2 sections:  226 steps – Four Seasons Trail to … Continue reading Four Seasons Trail to Hickory Nut Falls

0 comments
Hickory Nut Falls

Hickory Nut Gorge

Over the past few days, we have gotten a lot of rain in Western NC. We thought we would drive down to Chimney Rock to check the condition of the river. The creek beside Hwy 64 going down to the gorge had a lot of water and was running really fast. The Rocky Broad River … Continue reading Hickory Nut Gorge

0 comments
Four Seasons Trail

Hikes, April 8-13, 2013

Monday, Chimney Rock State Park After taking Sunday off, I didn’t want to completely seize up. I ran over to Chimney Rock and did a quick up and down. This time, I counted the steps. I only counted an official step. Not all steps up were official steps. My feet were hurting after Saturday’s 10 … Continue reading Hikes, April 8-13, 2013

0 comments
Deer at Chimney Rock

Sightings at Chimney Rock

Mom and new little fawn with wobbly legs. Every once in awhile you get come across a neat little creature.  This doe and fawn was so peaceful until I interrupted them.

0 comments
Skyline Trailhead

Skyline Trail

September 9, 2017 2.0 Miles Round Trip from Exclamation Point – Elevation Gain: 472′ After several years of closure, the Skyline Trail was re-opened in September of 2017. Apparently, the original trail was closed after a toddler fell to its death.  Since then, the trail has been re-routed and fencing was added at the top … Continue reading Skyline Trail

0 comments
Chimney Rock on 911

Spending 911 in the Park

What Better Place to Spend this Solemn Day Listening to the news this morning and remembering 911 was more than I could bear. It has  been 12 years, but seems only like last week. With all of the craziness in the world, I just needed to be outside somewhere in a tranquil setting. What better … Continue reading Spending 911 in the Park

0 comments

Spring Comes to Chimney Rock

After driving home from Greensboro yesterday, I decided to take a short walk through the woods on the Four Seasons Trail to Hickory Nut Falls in Chimney Rock State Park. As it was Good Friday, the park was crowded. Families were out in droves in the park and at the shops in downtown Chimney Rock. … Continue reading Spring Comes to Chimney Rock

0 comments

College “M”

  • Distance: 2.9 Miles RT
  • Elevation Gain: 843 ‘
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The College “M” trail is a short but steep hike almost within the city limits of Bozeman. It starts at the nose of the Bridger Mountains. It climbs up the first peak to an area where Montana State University students have constructed a large “M” that can be seen for miles.

The view of Bozeman is breathtaking and it is well worth the hike. Note to self: make sure to carry water. The trail is almost totally exposed and it can get really hot in the summer.

Some of our College “M” Hikes:

The College “M”

The view of Bozeman is breathtaking and it is well worth the hike. Note to self: make sure to carry water. The trail is almost totally exposed and it can get really hot in the summer. I set off with heavy boots and my feet were HOT. The sun is daunting and although this is … Continue reading The College “M”

0 comments

Coon Tree Loop

  • 3.9 miles
  • 1033′ Elevation Gain
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Phil and I have been driving by the Coon Tree Picnic area on Hwy 276 for over 40 years! It is only this year (2013) that we have become interested in hiking around this area. The Coon Tree Picnic area has a nice safe parking lot next to bathrooms with flushing toilets. It is a convenient place to park and begin our short hike up to Coon Tree Gap where it intersects with Bennett Gap Trail.

The trail splits a few hundred yards in from the road. We took the right fork and hiked the loop counter-clockwise. There are several little creeks that eventually all come together to form Coon Tree Creek. It was difficult to know just which tributary was considered the main creek. As we hiked up, the smaller creeks joined together and then joined again with another small creek several hundred yards downstream. We hiked up the trail and then turned left onto Bennett Gap Trail for maybe a half mile before we turned down the second section of the Coon Tree Trail Loop back to the fork near the road where we started.

The loop trail circled a “bowl” where many springs and seeps come up out of every little fold of the land. Phil said that there were more springs and creeks in this small area than he had ever seen.  I concur. However, the trail or the forest floor wasn’t boggy like a lot of other trails near this area.

The trail wasn’t too steep as we hiked up to the Bennett Gap Trail junction. There were a few log stepped sections that raised our heart rate…nature’s step master!

It was an exceptionally pretty hike. Although there were a lot of standing dead hemlock, the forest floor was clean and dotted with dogwood and hardwoods including beech and poplar. There were no ridge line or vista views, but the spring wildflowers were in full swing. Purple violets were everywhere! The bluets were peeking out of every little crease and crevice. There were yellow Indian Strawberries, Wild Geranium, Trillium in blood red and white. Purple Crested Dwarf Iris had just begun to bloom. They are so pretty and delicate.

Since Phil had taken the day off, it was nice to hike a trail that was basically deserted on a weekday. We passed only one lady hiking alone. She stopped and talked and was excited over seeing the trillium in bloom. It is so short lived and really a treat to catch it blooming. Most hikers are friendly and excited about their surroundings. We don’t meet any nasty people in the woods.

I am so thankful that I could do this hike on a beautiful spring day when all of the wildflowers are at their peak. It feels so good to be on the trail and have my best friend and hiking buddy, Phil, with me.

Some of our Coon Tree Loop Hikes:

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Mountain Trail

Today was a very short hike up the right fork of the Coon Tree Trail.  We only hiked to the ridge junction and turned around and hiked down.  Nice day in low 40’s.  The trail was muddy and there were a lot of trees down after the wind and ice storms last month. We passed … Continue reading Coon Tree Mountain Trail

0 comments

Daniel Ridge Loop

Daniel Ridge Loop

  • Distance: 4 Miles RT (discrepancy with Ramblr mileage)
  • Elevation Change: 827 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This trail is easy to get to in winter months when the parkway is closed.

The trail begins on a gravel road for the first .1 mile, crossing a new “bridge to nowhere” then forks left at a carsonite sign.

The trail follows the creek for the first half of the loop, passing waterfalls and several campsites. Continuing on the loop around the 3.5 mile point where an old forest road crosses the trail. Daniel Ridge Falls is a few hundred feet to the left down the forest road. It is well worth the detour.

Best of Trail: Easy Access

Worst of Trail: Hot in Summer Months

Some of our Daniel Ridge Loop Hikes:

Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Loop

Finally! A sunny day on a weekend! We finally got some good weather to go hiking.  The high today was in the mid to upper 40’s and the sun was shining.  That is my favorite hiking weather. Last year, our logged hiking miles were abysmal. It was a rainy year and we had a lot … Continue reading Daniel Ridge Loop

0 comments