With Autumn officially starting this month, there isn’t a lot of color left in the year with regards to flowers. The trees will make their big show in the coming weeks with the fall foliage but flowers, for the most part, are finishing things up. The bees are frantically making their final rounds collecting as much pollen as they can before the pollen tap runs dry and another cold winter sets in. There are, however, a few spots in the Carolina’s where flowers are making an encore appearance before the last curtain call of the calendar year.
HD Carolina is a website that provides high-definition videos of things to see and do in the Carolinas. We love our coastal and mountain regions, and we are proud to introduce others to the beauty of the area. Both North and South Carolina are home to many excellent colleges and universities, and they attract students from all over the world. However, we understand that some students have a hard time graduating due to financial concerns, and that’s why we are offering a $500 scholarship to a student who is attending or planning to attend college in the Carolinas.
Since Monday, October 23rd, Chimney Rock State Park has been closed due to the collapse of a major retaining wall at the park. The region experienced significant rainfall during this period and it proved to be too much for the steep mountainside at the upper parking lot area. Since then state officials have been accessing the damage and developing plans to repair the wall but no timeline has been published yet. Park officials have determined that the park can be partially reopened as several of the lower sections were unaffected by the storm and can be safely visited. So on Friday, November 10th, Chimney Rock State Park will reopen the lower sections that include the Four Seasons Trail, portions of the Hickory Nut Trail, the Great Woodland Adventure Trail, and the Animal Discovery Den. The upper sections which include the Chimney, the gift shop, the Outcroppings Trail, the Sky Lounge, Exclamation Point, and the Skyline Trail, will remain closed. During the partial reopening admission rates will be reduced to $6 per adult and $3 per youth (aged 5-15). The park will also have several guided hikes and programs running during this time.
Chimney Rock State Park is expanding to better serve guests visiting the park. Part of the expansion requires the use of a helicopter sky crane to airlift out the old and bring in the new. While this sounds exciting to see, you would have to watch it from outside the park because it will be necessary for the park to close during this phase of construction. The actual flights and closure dates will depend on the weather but the tentative dates for park closures are June 22nd and June 30th. If you are planning a visit to Chimney Rock State Park around this time we recommend that you check their website for the latest news and updates.
So what is being upgraded with this construction? For starters, they are working on the elevator which the park is eagerly working on to restore regular service. Additionally they will be expanding the deck at the Gneiss Cave area. Overall these improvements will make Chimney Rock a better park so that it can provide outstanding service to more visitors including patrons with limited mobility that couldn’t take the stairs. Be sure to check their website during the coming weeks for exact closure dates.
On May 21st Chimney Rock State Park will celebrate 10 years of being a state park. They are celebrating with special events this weekend that include guided hikes, special exhibits and birthday cake. They are also offering discounted adult admission tickets if you donate a can or box of food at the ticket plaza. Tickets that are usually $15 will be $10 with the donation that will benefit the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach Food Pantry.