The Chimney Rock Village Boulders Trail celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 17th. The trail is easily accessible from Main Street and has plentiful parking available. This newly-built, ½ mile trail provides access to 50+ boulder climbing routes showcasing spectacular views of the surrounding Hickory Nut Gorge.
Western North Carolina, particularly the Hickory Nut Gorge around Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, is a major destination for climbers looking for challenges that can’t be found anywhere else in the country.
“When it comes to bouldering opportunities, Hickory Nut Gorge could be the Yosemite of the East; the caveat is that we only have legal permission to climb 20% of it.”
Mike Reardon, Executive Director, Carolina Climbers Coalition
The development of new access points like the Chimney Rock Village Boulders Trail furthers the Carolina Climbers Coalition’s mission of conserving the natural environment, promoting safe climbing and preserving access to climbing areas in the Carolinas.
The trail is a result of a partnership between the Carolina Climber’s Coalition (CCC), Chimney Rock Fire Department, and Chimney Rock Village to establish a trail easement through Village land on Roundtop Mountain. CCC volunteers completed the trail, with primary funding for the project coming from the Rutherford County TDA.
“Trails are good business for Chimney Rock. They provide an activity for our visitors, they open up more of our fantastic beauty to our visitors, and they encourage people to stay in the area longer which potentially translates into more retail sales of food, souvenirs, lodging, etc. Climbers also love our area and bring dollars in as well as providing entertainment to other hikers! Our natural beauty is our number one asset and anything that provides more access to that beauty is good for our businesses as well as our residents.”
Peter O’Leary, Mayor, Chimney Rock Village
Winter is peak season for climbing in Hickory Nut Gorge, inviting visitors into town during a traditionally slow period. The improved access to climbing routes offered by the Chimney Rock Boulders Trail encourages climbing in multiple locations in the Gorge, leading to overnight stays, dining, and shopping in Chimney Rock Village and elsewhere in Rutherford County.
Read more about the Chimney Rock Village Boulders Trail in this article from Mountain Xpress: https://mountainx.com/living/new-climbing-spots-expand-the-sport-in-wnc/