Chimney Rock Dedicates Reopening of Elevator inside a Mountain June 29
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, one of the Southeast’s most popular outdoor travel destinations, will dedicate its modernized elevator and upgrades to the signature Outcroppings trail and other amenities at 11 a.m. on June 29, 2012 in Chimney Rock, N.C. The 26-story, state-of-the-art elevator provides access to the 315-foot-tall renowned Chimney for guests of all abilities and ages. The upgraded Outcroppings trail to the Chimney offers guests an easier hike, scenic views and more places to rest. Also, the Sky Lounge Gift Shop & Deli and Park rest rooms were renovated to be made wheelchair accessible.
Chimney Rock is the only state park in the Southeast with an elevator inside a mountain. The Park offers 75-mile scenic views overlooking Lake Lure and a 404-foot waterfall featured in The Last of the Mohicans. Admission rates are $15 adult, $7 youth (ages 6-15) and free for kids under 6. For hours and directions, visit chimneyrockpark.com.
“Nowhere else in the Southeast can you ride an elevator inside a 535-million-year-old mountain, only to step or roll out to see stunning 75-mile views of mountains and a lake. Here you can lose your breath on the views, not the hike,” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.
A Marvel Inside a Mountain. Originally opened in 1949 as the tallest elevator in North Carolina, it took eight and a half tons of dynamite to blast the Park elevator’s 258-foot-high shaft and 198-foot-long tunnel through solid granite. In 1988, all but the car of the original elevator was replaced with then state-of-the-art, moisture-proof equipment. During the past 18 months, essentially every part of the elevator was again replaced or upgraded including the original car. A new backup generator was installed to ensure reliable service during power outages. Challenges included custom designing modern elevator equipment to fit inside the 63-year-old shaft. The elevator’s 26-story evacuation stairs were also replaced. Other improvements include an emergency communications system and areas for rescue assistance.
Prepare to Be Elevated at Chimney Rock. Ancient geological features like Devil’s Head and the Opera Box, scenic hiking trails, 75-mile views, guided hikes and rock climbing draw visitors from around the world. The 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River. In 2011, GeoParent named Chimney Rock one of the top 5 “best summer activities for families” in North Carolina.
Since N.C. State Parks purchased the Park in 2007 from the Morse family, they have invested $5.1 million in improvements at Chimney Rock, mostly provided by the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.
Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com.