by Nick Stauber

March and April are a magical time of year in the Park. Mother Nature awakens from her winter slumber and brings our flora and fauna back to life. The daylight hours become longer and warmer, the colorful blooms and blossoms of trees and wildflowers begin to emerge, and migratory birds slowly return from their warm weather destinations.

With Daylight Savings Time beginning on March 14, the Park will return to its normal hours of operation. Our daily Ticket Plaza hours will be from 8:30am – 5:30pm with the gates closing at 7pm.

Miranda Peterson, the owner of Namaste in Nature, practices Yoga at sunrise. Miranda will be one of the instructors for the Park’s Spring Yoga classes.

We’ve got a great line up of events and activities to kick off this spring. Our added-value activities include guided hikes with a naturalist every Monday in March at 11am; our Spring Break Animal Encounters April 3 – 11 at 2pm and our “Buds & Blooms” Photo Contest which starts April 1.

As for our registered events, our popular Naturalist Niche series will feature the Early Spring Birding Walk on March 13 from 8 – 10am for birdwatchers of all skill levels. Or, if flowers are more your thing, our Spring Wildflower Hike is scheduled for April 17 from 9 – 11am.

Something new this year for early risers and night owls is our Spring Yoga Series which features a sunrise yoga class on April 17 from 6:45 – 7:45am and a night-time yoga class, “Yoga under the Full Moon” on April 26 from 7:45 – 8:45pm. These classes will also be offered in May and are taught by instructors from Namaste in Nature. Another fun evening event is our guided Nature at Night Hike along the Hickory Nut Falls trail on April 24 from 7:30 – 9:30pm.

Due to Covid restrictions, our Annual Easter Sunrise Service will be shared virtually again this year for all to view on our Facebook page. On April 4 from 7 – 7:30am, be sure to tune in to watch this popular Chimney Rock tradition live! 

Spring transformation is also taking place at the Old Rock Café. If you haven’t already noticed, it’s currently closed for renovations. General contractors are working to replace the floor and upgrade the restrooms to be ADA-compliant while we get some more interesting memoribilia ready to showcase just why the Café is called the Old Rock.  We hope to have this wrapped up by sometime this summer.

For more information on the Park, upcoming events or updates on the Old Rock Cafe, visit