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Chimney Rock State Park opens Skyline Trail

Visitors at Chimney Rock State Park can now reach new heights through the new Skyline Trail. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Visitors at Chimney Rock State Park can now reach new heights through the new Skyline Trail. Hikers will have to climb more than 800 steps to Exclamation Point, where the trailhead begins. The trail then takes guests on a 1.1 mile hike past lush greenery and over creeks to the top of Hickory Nut Falls. Along the way, hikes pass Peregrines Point. At more than 2,600 feet, it's the highest elevation accessible to park goers.

"Once you get to the Skyline trailhead, it's more of a rolling trail," said Emily Walker, park naturalist.

The pathway is named after the old Skyline Trail, which was closed in 2008, following a tragic accident involving a small child.

The new trail takes hikers on a different route to the same end point, in a safer way. Since the park was bought by the state, additional safety measures have also been put in place. Along the trail, the park added handrails, signs, guardrails and additional gravel.

"We have a lot of families. It's one of our main priorities try to keep people safe and keep people on the trail," said trail tech Terry McClure.

There are picnic tables and incredible views to enjoy along the way.

‘We get a lot of visitors asking where can we do more hiking. This way, they are walking through the woods seeing totally different features and then being pulled out to say 'wow,'” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, general manager of the Chimney Rock section of the park.

If visiting the park, bring sturdy shoes and plenty of water and snacks.


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