What's Happening at the Rock!
We're excited to share what's new at the Park this season. 

What’s Going on at the Old Rock Café?

If you’ve been in Chimney Rock Village lately, you may have noticed that there has been a lot of activity in the back, out front and inside the Old Rock Café. But it’s not from people eating! State Park contactors have been fast at work since the beginning of the year doing some much-needed improvements. The dining room floor has already been completely replaced and the rest rooms have been reworked to become ADA-compliant. Before it's done, the kitchen will get an upgrade while the décor will get a nice facelift.

We’re also changing and adding some items on the menu, so you’ll have new things to try this season.

We’re not sure exactly when we’ll be ready to reopen. We’ll let you know as soon as we do. Follow our progress at OldRockCafe.com.

Peak Season Hours and Rates
The time is not the only thing that springs forward with Daylight Savings Time. This weekend, the Park will return to its regular hours and rates. On Sunday, March 14, the Ticket Plaza will be open from 8:30am – 5:30pm with the gate closing at 7pm. Peak season rates of $17 per adult and $8 for youth (ages 5-15) will go back into effect. A Family Day pass (good for 2 adults and up to 3 youth) will also be available online. Be sure to set your clocks ahead an hour on Saturday night. Get some rest so you’ll be ready to go even if you do miss an hour of sleep. 

Easter Sunrise Service

We were hoping to see many of you on the mountain this spring to celebrate the solemnity of Easter at the Annual Easter Sunrise Service. Unfortunately, with NC COVID 19 restrictions still limiting outside gatherings to 50 people, we won’t be able to have folks join us this year. But we want to keep the tradition alive and you to be able to enjoy an abbreviated event virtually. Go to our Facebook page early Easter Sunday morning and imagine yourself here as you listen to an inspirational message and hear bagpipes as the sun rises over Lake Lure. It won’t take the place of being in the Park, but, if the weather cooperates, it will still be pretty special. 

What’s Up…Naturally

Do not tell Greta, but it looks like her prediction about 6 more weeks of winter may have been wrong! Although we are a week out from the official start of spring it is certainly feeling like it outside and the first signs of seasonal rebirth are appearing.

Some of our spring ephemerals are starting to pop-up. On the roadside and along the Four Seasons Trail you can see our first Little-Sweet-Betsey Trillium of the season. Soon we will start to see Bloodroot and Cut-leaf Toothwort along our lower trails, too. If you are taking in the views you can see the Red Maple flowers adding hints of reddish orange to the still leafless forest. It will not be long until bright green leaves and more flowering trees fill the landscape. Keep up with what’s blooming by following our What’s in Bloom page.

Of course, it’s not all about the flowers and trees. Wildlife has taken notice of the warmer temperatures and longer days, too. Groundhogs have ventured out of their burrows to nibble along the roadside. Peregrine Falcons have returned to our cliffside and can be seen diving out over the gorge.

If you’re interest in learning more about the flora and fauna of Chimney Rock check out one of our Naturalist Niche’ walks or workshops

Our Wilder Teammates

Meet Mac and Lacy our two resident Eastern Box Turtles. These guys were kept as pets illegally in Georgia for over 25 years before finally being turned over to a nature center. Since they had not had to survive in the wild in so long and no one was sure where they were originally from, they were deemed non-releasable and placed with us. Although Mac and Lacy cannot to do their jobs as wild turtles they are wonderful ambassadors for turtles and other wildlife. They help our naturalist teach people of all ages about their fascinating traits and what we can do to help them in the wild. One fact that you might already know is that Eastern Box Turtles have a territory, or home range. If moved from this area they will spend their entire lives trying to return. An important thing to remember is if you see one of Mac and Lacy’s friends crossing the road please move them out of the way of cars but position them in the direction they were headed. We don’t want them to try to cross the road twice! If you attend one of our Animal Encounter programs over Spring Break you might see Mac or Lacy out doing their job and learn some more fun turtle facts to take home.

Capture your Memories and Win Prizes, too.

In a place like Chimney Rock, it’s hard not to be inspired. How can you explain what it’s like or remember the details without referring to a photo or two, or three, or more? Each season, we invite you to enter a themed photo contest so we can see, and possibly share, some of your best shots and hear about your experience, too. 

Congratulations go to Martha Greene from Forest City, NC, who took First Place in this winter’s “Nature’s Textures” contest with her photo of Lake Lure from the upper level in the Park. This April and May, the contest focus will be “Buds & Blooms.” There’s no cost to enter and no limit to the magic you can capture with your camera. You may just win a prize for your efforts.

If you’re a bit intimidated by your new (or old) camera phone, consider joining professional photographer, Buddy Morrison, for his Beginner “Photos by Phone” Photography Class on Saturday, April 10. If you’d just like some tips, consider taking his Advanced “Photos by Phone” Photography Class on Saturday, April 24.

Yoga Instructors: Miranda Peterson and Ceiara Cartony
Yoga Series
We're excited to offer a new program this spring that will not only give you exclusive access to the Park but also an opportunity to connect more deeply with nature. Instructors will lead yoga while watching the sun rise and set over Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Mountains. 
Ceiara Cartony, RYT200 & owner of Yoga in the Park Asheville, will lead two Spring sunrise yoga classes. Classes will start with intention setting & brief meditation then flow through postures with a focus on strengthening the body & mind through simple breathwork and movement sequences. The first one, Yoga at Sunrise, will be held on Saturday, April 17 from 6:457:45 am. The other sunrise class is scheduled with you and your mom in mind for Sunday, May 9, Mother’s Day Yoga at Sunrise, from 6:157:15 am.

Miranda Peterson, RYT500 & owner of Namaste in Nature will lead two Spring full moon yoga classes. The intention of these classes is to let go of something that no longer serves you: a thing, a habit, a relationship, etc. You’ll flow through traditional poses, sequences and some moon salutations. Plan to join Miranda on Monday, April 26, for Yoga under the Full Pink Moon from 7:45 – 8:45 pm or on Wednesday, May 26, for Yoga under the Full Flower Moon from 8:00 – 9:00 pm. Plan to take one class, or do them all!

Cost includes Park admission: $35 Adult, $25 Adult Annual Passholder OR
$100 Adult, $80 Adult Annual Passholder for all four classes in the Spring series. 
Advance registration is required since we have limited space and expect to sell out. 

Wear comfy clothes. The instructors will provide mats, but you are welcome to bring your own mat & yoga props. All levels are welcome including beginners. Classes are rain or shine. There is a covered area in case we need it.

Your Input Matters 

Your feedback is important to us. Our guests are the reason we’re here, and we listen and learn from you so we can improve. There are so many ways you can share your experience. When you visit, be sure to look for the survey signs in the Park. A quick snap of the QR code takes you directly to it. Leave a review on Trip Advisor, tag us on social media or email us. Thanks for your help in making us, the Park and the Old Rock Café better for everyone who comes to visit. 

Upcoming Events
April 1 – May 31

April 4, 7 – 7:30am

April 10, 9am – 12pm

April 17, 6:45 – 7:45am

April 17, 9 – 11am

April 24, 9am – 12pm

April 24, 7:30 – 9:30pm

April 26, 7:45 – 8:45pm

May 9, 6:15 – 7:15am

May 22, 10am – 12pm

May 26, 8 – 9pm

*Advance registration is required for this event. Visit ChimneyRockPark.com.