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  • Writer's pictureElyse Marie

Chimney Rock, North Carolina

We made it back to Texas, and, I'm sitting here nursing my sore muscles from hiking so much on our little trip to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock in North Carolina. While I've visited this area more than 10 times now, I'm never bored. For me, being surrounded in nature is where I find the most peace. Especially on a good day with the kids.... and my Dad for an added bonus. So mountain time was just what the Doctor ordered to refresh a bit.

We found this great cabin on airbnb... and I'll give you that link because the owner was a joy to work with... just let him know Elyse sent you. We had nothing but comfort, peace, and no issues whatsoever. Now, we tuned out of TV for the trip and I reconnected with my kids playing Phase 10... which was possibly the best $6 purchase I've made in quite a while. Sometimes it's easy to forget how refreshing a simple card game can be for you and your kids... do it. The airbnb link is here:

Lake Lure sits near the SC NC border and is about 45 or so minutes from downtown Ashville, NC which is most commonly known for the Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore has been on my bucket list for a while now, but I'm waiting until the kids are older before we venture out on that tour. For now, we spent our time in Chimney Rock Village and climbing Chimney Rock. Now, the Chimney began it's public life around 1890, when 400 acres were purchased for about $25 by "Rome" Freeman. Another man, Dr. Morse, became thoroughly intrigued with the "Chimney" and convinced his brothers to join forces with him to purchase 64 acres of the park for $5,000 from "Rome" Freeman in 1902. From here, Dr. Morse began attracting tourist and film makers to the park and continued to purchase 'tidbits' here and there as he and his future family could do so. The Morse family kept control over the park until about 2006 and it's since been purchased and protected by the state.

Some of those movies filmed here in the park include: The Last of the Mohicans, Firestarter, A Breed Apart, and over in Lake Lure, the fabulous Dirty Dancing. For more in depth history of the park, click here:

OK, so Lake Lure is beautiful you say... but how can we make this an educational trip and incorporate our homeschooling into it all? Well, of course I'm going to supply you with some links at the bottom. BUT Chimney Rock offers many different educational outreach programs INCLUDING Homeschooling programs, Field Trips, Harvest Days, Scouts, Jr. Ranger Programs and MORE. If you're not going to be in town for their listed days, call them and make arrangements and they will work with you to create a customized plan for your learners. The Educational Outreach and Program link is here: The Animal Den program site is here:

Is the park handicap accessible? YES! The park has an awesome sky rocketing elevator to the viewing point of Chimney Rock. While it may be difficult to then climb any additional stairs to the tip top, the views from where the elevator takes you are stunning and overlook Lake Lure. Of course, I always recommend calling before you attend to be sure this is the trip for you and to double check that the elevator is working!

Activities aside from hiking and viewing Chimney Rock that I recommend are:

and for free, smash rocks open and search for unique rocks right there for FREE on the river or make a rock tower. Watch your fingers.

Surrounding Lake Lure and nearby Activities:

Rent a boat, paddle board, or inquire about lake activities:

Lake Lure Beach and Waterpark:

Cedar Creek Horseback ridding Stables

Lake Lure Flowering Bridge:

Zipline and Canopy Tours:

And there's just so much more, the mountains are RICH with hiking trails, geocaching, waterfalls, and so many things to do or cute hidden museums. You won't be bored unless you choose to be. Remember to pack water and sunscreen, good shoes, and enjoy.

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