|Chimney Rock purchased by Hickory Nut Gorge State Park, NC|
By Brad McLeod, Access Fund Board Member
On January 30, 2007, The State of North Carolina announced plans to officially buy Chimney Rock (996 acre parcel) for $24 million. Sean Cobourn, past President of the Carolina Climbers Coalition stated "The CCC has been lobbying for this and today the dream came true. CRP will now be included in the new Hickory Nut Gorge State Park. Don't pull out your rack yet, but keep your fingers crossed that we can negotiate access to this gem."
The purchase of the Chimney Rock parcel adds to the expanding 2,264 acres of Hickory Nut Gorge State Park which includes Rumbling Bald known for its fantastic crack climbing and a hillside strewn with hundreds of boulders.
The Carolina Climbers Coalition has worked hard over the past years to work out the details of purchasing the Rumbling Bald tract from private landowners and transferring this land to the newly formed State Park.
Sean Barb, current President of the CCC explained "This is obviously a really, really big deal for more than just the climbing community. Fortunately for climbers, North Carolina State Parks are skilled at balancing the provision of recreation with natural resource protection. Lets all look forward to working within the State Park's planning processes which will ensure that future generations will have a wonderful park to enjoy."
Chimney Rock sits on the opposite side of the rugged gorge overlooking Lake Lure and is punctuated by a 400 ft. waterfall and stunning 300 ft. chimney.