Chimney Rock State Park is located about 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina, and offers trails for hiking and areas for picnics, bird watching, rock climbing and more. Families should stop at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den for a chance to learn about animals, like Grady the Groundhog and his forest friends. Kids will also love walking the Great Woodland Adventure trail, complete with 12 Discovery Stations along the .6-mile trail. Kids can even become a part of the Kids Club, which includes unlimited visits to the park year-round, plus a button and membership card, special discounts on food and souvenirs, and more. The Kids Club membership is $12 per child, and is available for kids between 5 and 15 years.
Trails that families with kids of all ages should see include the Hickory Nut Falls Trail, which takes guests to a 404-foot waterfall; the Skyline Trail, which takes guests to the highest peak in the park; and the Outcroppings Trail, which is known as the “Ultimate Stairmaster,” with paths that climb about 26 stories up through the area.
Chimney Rock State Park is open year-round, and hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during most seasons. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for kids between 5 and 15; children 4 and under are free.
Santa’s Chimney Climb Practice
Head to Chimney Rock State Park in December and you’ll see Santa Claus practicing his chimney climb! Onlookers will have a chance to meet him afterward, along with Mrs. Claus. Other highlights include complimentary hot cocoa, arts and crafts, and live entertainment. You’ll need to pay admission to the park, but there’s no additional fee to see Santa.
Try to spot Dancing Santa – also known as B-boy Santa – while you’re in town, too. He takes to the streets to show off his seriously impressive skills – expect to see him everywhere from the beloved breweries to the Biltmore!