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Night hikes, nocturnal animal programs and stargazing part of event that will benefit Friends of Chimney Rock State Park

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On Saturday, Oct. 24, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., visitors to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park can enjoy the rare opportunity to explore the Park after hours during Park in the Dark, a family-friendly nocturnal event providing a non-scary alternative to Halloween activities. Park in the Dark will feature campfire stories presented by State Parks, Nocturnal Creature Feature (a program by Chimney Rock Mgmt. naturalists) and stargazing with the Asheville Astronomy Club. The Outcroppings trail leading to Chimney Rock will be open for self-guided night hikes where costumed creatures will perform educational skits.

There is a fee of $5 per person to attend; children under five are free. A percentage of the admission fee and sales from the evening will benefit Friends of Chimney Rock State Park, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support Chimney Rock; currently their primary goal is to raise money and to find volunteers to help reopen the Park's popular Skyline trail which leads to the top of Hickory Nut Falls.

Space is limited to the first 90 vehicles to pre-register by calling 800-277-9611. Walk-ups are allowed on the evening of the event if space is still available. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will open its gates at 7pm to admit event-goers; activities and hiking will take place at the Chimney from 7:30-10pm. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly and bring a flashlight. In the case of inclement weather, a cancellation notice will be posted at chimneyrockpark.com.

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