Chimney Rock is located near Asheville, NC. Shawn and I drove up to Asheville and stayed a couple of nights to visit a few places including Chimney Rock. It was a beautiful drive to the bottom of the mountain, twisting and turning through the mountains. Once we reached the entrance to Chimney Rock we were told that the elevator was being worked on, so we had to go to the top old fashion style.
About half way up the mountain there is a small cave you can walk down in, which was called the Moonshiners Cave. The walkway down into the cave is very tight, but only goes a few steps down. After leaving the cave we continued walking up the mountain, continuously taking breaks because it is a steep hike. Once we reached the top the view was gorgeous. It took us about 30 minutes to climb to the top of Chimney Rock. I was so happy once we got up there because my calves were on fire!
Nick entering Moonshine Cave
After walking down the mountain we saw on the map that there was a waterfall right around the corner, or so we thought. We started to hike the trail to the Hickory Nut Falls, and the trail kept going on and on until we saw a map that showed we were only half way there. The hike to the Hickory Nut Falls was nice because it was a flat trail through the woods with a nice view down the mountain. Once we reached the waterfall, I was amazed at how tall this thing was. When you reach the waterfall there is a little deck you can walk out on that gives you a great view of the waterfall, but that wasn’t enough for me. I climbed down off the porch and got right underneath of it. The mist from the waterfall felt great on a hot summer day.
If any of you guys love hiking, beautiful views and a great atmosphere I highly suggest going to Chimney Rock and checking it out, or even if you don’t like hiking that much they have an elevator you can take all the way to the top of the mountain and still have the same beautiful view as if you were to hike up to it.
Nick underneath Hickory Nut Falls
Josh and I in September of 2010 decided to reach South Carolina’s highest point and check out Caesars Head Park. This was all to be done in the same day. We did it iron man style, what I call it when you drive to a location and then do the activity without no rest. We left from Myrtle Beach about 4 am in the morning driving to Sassafras Mountain(SC highest point at 3650 ft) It was boring drive all the way till you get to Greenville that is when the hills start kicking in. Nothing can be more boring than driving 75 miles of nothing but flat straight roads that present no challenge to drivers except for the occasional slow driver in the fast lane.
We reached the Sassafras Mountains around 9am in the morning with no problem. I think it was all luck and we put a lot of trust in Garmin GPS we had with us. No road signs are available pointing to the mountain just so you know. You can basically drive most of the way up the peak to a small parking lot and the rest of the way is a small hike. Josh and I were kinda disappointed with the view, which was none. The problem was the time of year we decided to do this trip, the tree still had plenty of leaves which block all the good views. I best recommend going in late fall or early spring when all the leaves are laying on the ground. We provided a little video of the summit and the road leading to it and also the SC marker. We only lasted about 15 minutes up there before boredom set in. On to the next destination.
Driving to the Caesars Head Park afterwards was a little confusing and got lost a few times. But when we reached the outlook point it was all worth it. I think you have to be there in person to fully appreciate it. For us it was definitely a wow factor with the view. We decided to tackle the trails leading to raven cliff falls. It cost around $3 to $5 to park and it is all about honesty. They have a box where you put the parking money in the envelope and shove it in the box. Josh and I underestimated the length of the hike and the fitness level.. Taking the hiking challenge showed us how out of shape we were and turned out to be a wake up call. The trail goes up and down around several hills and took us about 45mins to just reach the outlook of the falls. It would have took us another 45mins to the base and we wanted no action on that task. The day was taking a toll on us by then. After the hour and half hiking we decided to get something to eat. Short video of both outlook follows.
The closest town was about a 15 minute drive from where we were at. We were looking for a quick fix and found it in my favorite style of fast food concept. The ability to order from two separate fast food menus in one building priceless. Sometimes I like to take my favorites from both and create a mash-up order. Long John Silvers/KFC combo was a winner for me because we don’t have Long Johns by the beach for obvious reasons.(A lot of fresh seafood places in Myrtle Beach). I’m always got my eye out for the combo styles of Taco Bell, KFC, A&W and Long Johns Silver when on the road.