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Chimney Rock Park Blue Ridge Parkway Trip
June 23, 2007

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Mileposts:
(heading north)

Page 1 (MPs 400s)
  
Smokemont Campground
  Waterrock Knob
  Mount Pisgah CG

Page 2 (MPs 390-340)
  Asheville, NC
     Asheville KOA East
     Biltmore Estate
     Chimney Rock
  Craggy Gardens
  Crabtree Meadows CG

Page 3 (MPs 316-304)
  Linville Falls CG
  Grandfather CG
  Grandfather Mountain

  Linn Cove Viaduct

Page 4 (MPs 297-294)
  Julian Price CG
  Moses Cone Park

Page 5 (MP 292 exit)
  Boone
  KOA Boone
  Village of Blowing Rock
  Blowing Rock Attraction
  Mast General Store

Page 6 (MPs 291-190)
  West Jefferson
  Church of the Frescoes
  RiverCampUSA
  Virginia Creeper Trail

Page 7 (MPs 217-176)
  Puckett Cabin
  Meadows of Dan CG
  Mabry Mill
  Mayberry Campground
  Mount Airy
  Pilot Mt. State Park

Page 8 (MPs 169-61)
  Rocky Knob CG
  Roanoke Mountain CG
  Virginia's Explore Park
  Peaks of Otter CG
  Otter Creek CG

Page 9 (MP 62)
  KOA Natural Bridge
  Jellystone Natural Bridge
  Natural Bridge

Page 10 (MPs 45-0)
  Chimney Rock
  20 Minute Cliff
  Humpback Rocks

  Shenandoah NP
(MP 0!)

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Chimney Rock Park

P.O. Box 39
Chimney Rock, NC 28720
(828) 625-9611

This park has been owned and shared by the Morse family for over 100 years. Although I'm sure not an easy decision, they have recently sold the land for incorporation into a North Carolina state park. What a great thing for North Carolina, though - some of the most fantastic views in the state are here!
An elevator ride up through the mountain gets you just about up to Chimney Rock level. But to get all the way out to this point, there are several stairs that must be climbed. Mom couldn't manage those, so she waited here for me to do the hike I wanted to to. There's a gift shop and deli and an outdoor seating area as well.
I decided to do the Skyline-Cliff Trail Loop that lead to views like this and to the top of Hickory Nut Falls.
Before the big plunge down the mountainside, there's a small pool that's a perfect spot to cool your heels for a while before the trip back down. I enjoyed watching this little girl trying to catch the little minnows with her bare hands, giggling all the time.
I made it - the spirit was way too willing to keep going even when the bones sqeaked!

This is the area where scenes from The Last of the Mohicans was filmed. Can't tell from this pic, but there's a trail to the right about halfway down that takes you across this section. Amazing views, huh? It took me over 3 hours to do this entire trail, and I was absolutely exhausted when I was through, but I was so proud of myself for having managed it. There's a sign quoting Louis L'Amour along the way that says "The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for." I say "Amen to that!" Do whatever you can not to miss this fantastic landscape when you're in the area.

25 miles southeast of Asheville.
From Blue Ridge Parkway: Exit at Milepost 384.7 onto Highway 74A; 20 miles and the entrance is on the right.

 
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