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Chimney Rock NC

Chimney Rock NC “Jewel of the Carolinas”


Town of Chimney Rock North Carolina

Known as Chimney Rock Village, this little town with a population just below 200 people, is nestled in Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the most beautiful natural settings in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Directly above the village is the famous Chimney Rock Mountain. The Rocky Broad River runs almost three miles through the village and flows into the nearby Lake Lure. The town caters to tourists and is a convenient stop along the way to Chimney Rock Park or any destination nearby. A number of restaurants and souvenir shops are located here, many with views of the Rocky Broad River.




History of Chimney Rock Village
The history of Chimney Rock village can be traced back to the early 1900s, when physician Lucius B. Morse visited the mountains of Western North Carolina. Morse fell in love with the area, especially Chimney Rock Mountain. For $5,000, Morse purchased Chimney Rock Mountain and 65 surrounding acres. He formally established Chimney Rock Park in 1902. A little village formed at the base of the mountain to tend to the needs of tourists headed to the park. This village became known as Chimney Rock. As the next 50 years flew by, Chimney Rock Park grew in popularity, and the village became an automobile tourist town. The economy began to flourish as tourists visited the park and more souvenir shops popped up around the town. By the 1980s and ’90s, the local economy began to plummet. Local souvenir shops struggled to get by and the once popular business began to decimate. Chimney Rock’s mayor and other officials worked together to figure out ways to fix the problem. The strategy was to showcase the areas natural resources in an attempt to draw tourists to the area. Chimney Rock was selected by HandMade in America, a nonprofit organization promoting community development in Western North Carolina, to be part of its Rural Small Town Revitalization Project. The village established a volunteer-led community development association in 1996 which insured its ability for grant funding and extended the reach of local government. The village began creating attractions that would draw tourists to visit and stay longer in the downtown area of Chimney Rock. They began to improve the appearance of buildings and outdoor spaces. The next step was to bring a theme of nature-based tourism to the community and the nearby park. The town used grant money to build a river walk along the Rocky Broad River. This allowed easier and safer access to the river and was completed in 1997. As a result of all these efforts, Chimney Rock has made significant improvement in their economy. The number of tourists has increased and many new business have developed, creating new jobs for the community. Chimney Rock has grown into a popular tourist destination and a wonderful place to visit.


Chimney Rock State Park
The 4,531-acre park has plenty hiking trails, spectacular views, and a 404-foot waterfall, Hickory Nut Falls. But the most popular feature, for which the park is named after, is the 315-foot rock formation, Chimney Rock. Chimney Rock has a 75-mile panoramic view of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge. It is just a short hike to the peak of the rock and is also accessible by elevator. The park also has rock climbing lessons, a café, and an interactive “Animal Discovery Den”. The area is also famous for the many movies that have been filmed in and around the park. The last 17 minutes of The Last of the Mohicans were filmed in the Park, including the climactic fight scene at the top of Hickory Nut Falls. Stephen King’s Fire Starter features the Park’s front entrance gate and bridge. A Breed Apart features many of Chimney Rock’s wooded areas and trails. Dirty Dancing was also filmed down the road at Lake Lure.



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