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 park and the line at the ticket box was the longest I have seen it. It took over 15 minutes to get through the gate. I parked in the lower lot and hiked up Four Seasons Trail to Hickory Nut Falls Trail. Then, I had a passing thought that I would do the stairs up to the Chimney, but when I got to the upper lot, the stairs were jammed with people. So, I just turned around and went back down.
I’m happy for the park that so many are visiting this year. When the state bought the property from the previous owner, one of the conditions was that the employees would be allowed to keep their jobs there. Increased visitors will help ensure that. This is all good.