By Shannon Quinn
Greetings from Chimney Rock! I’m Fionna, a Virginia Opossum who lives at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den. I’m nocturnal and can appear fairly quiet when folks come visit me and my friends, so many people don’t realize that I overhear a lot of talk about what’s going on at the Park. But today, I’m going to share all the inside information with you about what’s happening this spring and summer at the Rock!
What’s Up With the Elevator?
There are more rumors swirling around our elevator than a celebrity who just made bail! Inquiring minds want to know what’s going on with this cantankerous piece of machinery. Here’s the scoop: April 11 & 12, the Park was closed so that Duke Power could run power lines up the mountain to the elevator. As of this writing, the State of NC was getting information from elevator companies about equipment that was compromised due to the intermittent power and will need to be replaced. We currently have no timeframe for when elevator service will be restored but will continue to provide updates as we get them. Keep checking our website (chimneyrockpark.com), Facebook (Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park) and Twitter (@ChimneyRockPark) pages for all the latest information.
I’ve heard that 2016 is NC State Parks’ Centennial. How is Chimney Rock celebrating?
Our amazing Park was privately owned for over 100 years and was acquired by the state of NC in 2007, so we’re very excited to be a part of this momentous occasion. We’re holding special events and happenings all year long, including a special flag raising ceremony atop Chimney Rock on the morning of July 4. The United States flag will be raised, followed by the NC State flag; the NC flag will be retired afterward. Also, check out our spring photography contest, “100 Years of Memories,” running through May 31, where you can submit photos of your favorite memories of the Park for the chance to win some amazing prizes. Find more information about both of these events at chimneyrockpark.com.
What are you showing for this year’s Movie on the Meadows?
Mohicans fans, rejoice! The Last of the Mohicans is returning for this year’s 5th Annual Movie on the Meadows on June 11. Gates will open at 7:30pm and the movie will begin at 9pm. June 11 is also National Get Outdoors Day, and we’ll have special activities for the whole family throughout the day to celebrate the great outdoors.
How can I make the most of my spring and summer at Chimney Rock?
There’s so much to do at the Rock, I can’t even list it all here! For starters, you can join me and my animal friends during daily Family Animal Encounters at 2pm, June-August. Or, learn about geology, wildlife and plant life in depth during our Naturalist Niche series, which take place once a month through December. Writers on the Rock, featuring authors who have written guides on hiking, waterfalls and other outdoor activities, will be May 22. Become an Annual Passholder and join us on May 7th to watch the sunrise over Lake Lure at our Annual Passholders Spring Sunrise Breakfast.
There’s so much more! Hike our five trails, check out new, centennial-themed items in our retail stores and try out the new Jalapeno Pimento Cheeseburger from the updated menu at the Old Rock Café, located right outside the Park’s front gate.
For a full list of Park events and happenings, visit chimneyrockpark.com or give us a call at 800-277-9611. Don’t forget to look for our new website, which will launch this spring.
However you choose to enjoy peak season at Chimney Rock, I know you’ll have a blast. Come visit me the next time you’re in the Park. Even if I look like I’m asleep, I’ll be happy you’re there!
Shannon Quinn is PR and Promotion Manager, Chimney Rock State Park