By Olivia Slagle
As we say goodbye to 2021 and look forward to 2022, a lot is in store at the Park. Though COVID-19 has not disappeared in the way we had hoped, we are learning to adjust to living in ways that keep each other safe in this new normal.
For us at Chimney Rock, this means continuing to encourage folks to get outside and enjoy the amazing world around us as we do our best to provide elevated experiences for each guest. Though the winter season in the Park is often overlooked, there’s a lot to see after the crowds have gone. Sparser greenery and bare trees expose views that extend for miles that are usually hidden by the forest canopy. Winter birds and other wildlife emerge as they enjoy the weather and relative quiet of the Park. Plus, guests will find shorter lines for the elevator and a more meditative experience as they visit traditionally popular spots like the Chimney or Hickory Nut Falls.
If you’re looking for special ways to be involved, look no further than our new events for 2022. Need some peace and quiet after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Namaste in Nature will be leading mindfulness hikes in January, February and March, with each one focusing on a different aspect of the season. The January hike will lead participants on a reflective walk through the woods and encourage them to reconnect with nature and themselves as they consider the theme of “new beginnings.”
In early March, the first in our new seasonal Paint and Sip series will bring folks to the Old Rock Cafe for an evening of drinks, appetizers and creativity led by local artist Tiffany Fry. Themed to NC State Parks Year of the Tree, come create your own masterpiece and enjoy good company as the winter season draws to a close.
Of course, our classic events like birding walks, guided hikes and our 17th Annual Groundhog Day celebration are still on deck for the chilly months. Whether your goal for the new year is to get outside more, to engage in extra self-care, to get your heart rate up every day or to foster your creativity, there’s a way to do it at Chimney Rock..
Best wishes from Chimney Rock Management for a Happy New Year and a peaceful winter season.
Olivia Slagle is Communications Specialist, Chimney Rock State Park.