Under the new Executive Order taking effect as of Friday, March 26 at 5 p.m., indoor gathering limits have increased. Indoor facilities such as community buildings, auditoriums, and classroom are now open for reservations, with a maximum limit of 50 people. These facilities will be available to reserve on the reservation system. Outdoor gathering limits have increased to 100 people.
Visitor centers and park offices are open. Exhibit halls will open as soon as protective measures can be put in place. Masks or face coverings are required inside all buildings.
Picnic shelters and group campsites are available for reservations. Swim beaches and concession stands will be opening for the season — see each park's page for details.
Reservations are no longer required to park at Eagle Rock access. The gate at the access is open to all visitors during regular park hours. We hope this new procedure allows better access to Eagle Rock. Please note that there are only eight parking spaces at Eagle Rock access, so please be prepared to make alternate plans if the parking area is full when you arrive. Weed Patch Mountain Trail connects to Buffalo Creek Park, which is managed by the town of Lake Lure. Please do not park on private property or block any gates.
January 1 to
10:00am to 6:00pm Ticket sales and admission end at 4:30pm
March 10 to
8:30am to 7:00pm Ticket sales and admission end at 5:30pm
November 3 to
8:30am to 6:00pm Ticket sales and admission end at 4:30pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
PLEASE NOTE: Operating hours for Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park are subject to change throughout the seasons. Visit this website or chimneyrockpark.com for up-to-date information when planning your visit.
There is no fee for these accesses.
January to February:
8:00am to 6:00pm
March to April:
8:00am to 8:00pm
May to August:
8:00am to 9:00pm
September to October:
8:00am to 8:00pm
November to December:
8:00am to 6:00pm
Closed Christmas Day
Each of North Carolina’s state parks has special events during the year and news about facilities, trails, staff and park supporters. And, visitors are frequently finding new ways to explore a park’s unique cultural and natural resources. Check these pages to keep abreast of the news at your favorite parks.
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will reopen to visitors on Friday, November 25, at 8:30 am just in time for folks to walk off their Thanksgiving Day dinner.
The attraction area was evacuated on November 11 due to the Party Rock Fire that has burned over 7,000 acres in the Hickory Nut Gorge area. Thanks to the incredible support of firefighters from across the state and country, the area was protected, no one was injured and no structures were lost.
As of 9:00 am on Tuesday, November 15, the Party Rock Fire is 3,744 acres in size and remains at 15 percent containment. The weather has not been conducive for large fire growth the past couple days, but those conditions will change later this week. The passage of a strong cold front this Saturday will bring little to no moisture to the fire. The approaching front will bring strong gusty winds from the southwest starting on Thursday. This wind event has the potential to push the fire to the north and northeast toward Weed Patch Mountain and the Gray Rock community.
Chimney Rock, NC (November 10, 2016) - While the current forest fire in Lake Lure is not affecting Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, the North Carolina Forest Service asked state park officials to close the Chimney Rock attraction area to ease congestion in Chimney Rock Village.
The Incident Command Team from NC Forest Service made the request to help ease traffic congestion while firefighters continue to fight the growing fire in Lake Lure. Air quality in the Park is also a concern for guests and associates.
Lake Lure, NC: (2 pm) - In an ongoing battle to contain the forest fire at Party Rock on Rumbling Bald Mountain that broke out Nov. 5, the NC Forestry Service reports that there has been no loss of structures. However, due to changing wind conditions, additional standby evacuation notices have gone out in the previously identified areas of Rumbling Bald Resort.
North Carolina’s state park system welcomes more than 17.3 million visitors each year to enjoy more than 230,000 acres. Its centennial celebration this year provides an opportunity to recognize the visionary leaders who set the wheels in motion.
It all started with Elisha Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who set out to prove that Mount Mitchell was the highest peak in the eastern United States. Using barometric pressure calculations, he determined it as the highest peak at 6,684 feet—and the U.S. Geologic Survey agreed with him in 1882.