A Virtual Chimney Rock Park

CHIMNEY ROCK –  Three of Western North Carolina’s spots were recently “Google-mapped:” Grandfather Mountain State Park (and its infamous Mile High Swinging Bridge), Chimney Rock State Park trails in Rutherford County, and DuPont State Recreational Forest and three of its most popular waterfalls in Henderson and Transylvania counties. Through a partnership with The Conservation Fund and Google Trekker, these three WNC sites gain more tourists by accessing Google’s virtual maps online.

You can scroll through and click forward, similar to Google maps on a street, and be able to see a 360-degree views that can be enjoyed from computers.

“Chimney Rock Management, LLC and State Parks feel fortunate to partner with The Conservation Fund to offer people around the world a completely new and unique way to experience the beauty of our Park,” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager at Chimney Rock LLC. “It is our hope that by providing a variety of ways to access nature, we’ll encourage people to join us in protecting and preserving the precious natural resources we’ve been given.”

“Conservation means including people, not excluding them. Google Trekker enables people everywhere to experience the beauty and significance of the places we protect — even if they aren’t able to travel there,” The Conservation Fund’s president and CEO, Larry Selzer, said in a statement. “As we become more of an urban nation, and as the demographics of our country continue to change, reconnecting people — especially young people — with nature will be less about bringing kids to nature and more about bringing nature to the kids.”

“We wanted to celebrate working with federal, state and local partners to protect places that people enjoy year-round, and to give people who can’t get out to these outdoor places, an opportunity to see them,” a spokesperson for The Conservation Fund said.

Chimney Rock State Park

Jazmin Varela and Reggie Hall at Chimney Rock State Park
Jazmin Varela and Reggie Hall at Chimney Rock State Park

Experience A Hiker’s Paradise

The Landscape:
Deep in the heart of North Carolina, hikers disappear into another world—a world of waterfalls and rocky cliffs, sweeping views and misty caves. It’s a world worth saving—and with The Conservation Fund’s assistance—the state of North Carolina did just that.

TCF’s Role:
In 2005 the NC state parks system acquired more than 2,260 acres of pristine park land—an area that surrounded 1,000 acres of the Chimney Rock property—land which had been privately owned by the Morse Family since 1902. The state park system had just launched the New Parks for a New Century initiative, and the acquisition of Chimney Rock was critical to the concept as it would provide a high-profile focal point for Hickory Nut Gorge State Park and would offer readily available public access and facilities.

The Conservation Fund played a key role in the final stages of negotiations with the owners of Chimney Rock Park and attracted private funds to match significant state support for the acquisition.

Key Partners:
Chimney Rock State Park and Chimney Rock Management, LLC, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.

Explore these Treks:

SKYLINE TRAIL   HICKORY NUT FALLS TRAIL

CRSP

Source: The Conservation Fund