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March 26, 2004
If you prefer to rough it and hike up the mountain, there are several hundred steps that will take you there. For the more agile, we personally recommend the thrill of climbing up through Needles’ Eye. Note that we also don’t recommend coming down that way, because part of it has no handrails.
Once you take in the breathtaking views from the top of the rock, visit the Grotto, the Opera Box and even dare to look upon Devil’s Head. Enjoy a nice snack at the Sky Lounge and continue your journey through the many trails that take you back to see Hickory Nut Falls, a place where many of the battle scenes from the Last of the Mohicans were filmed. This is not a place to miss for anyone who loves to hike, or just to stare across the mountains from 2280 ft.
From journal Western NC Getaway
Earl, North Carolina
January 25, 2003
If you can hike to the waterfall (and back), it is beautiful! This huge waterfall is over 400 feet, and you can go all the way to the bottom of the falls and splash in the water if you are really brave.
Of course, a short hike up to the top of the chimney is a must-see spot overlooking the valley below. There are trails that are more dramatic and exhilarating, and some for families with children or the less adventurous.
If don't want to hike, you can drive up. There are picnic tables all along the way, and it's a scenic drive. When you get to the parking lot just below the chimney, you can take a 26-story elevator built inside the magnificent granite tower. This will take you on up to the top in about 30 seconds, where you will find a restaurant and shopping.
At different times throughout the year, special events are held there - the annual Chimney Rock Hill climb for sports cars, perhaps a bird show from the Raptor Center, or other wildlife displays. Scenes from this park were featured in the movie The Last of the Mohicans.
From journal Fairfield Mountains - A favorite place
COTTAGEVILLE, South Carolina
January 19, 2003
The movie The Last of The Mohicans was taped at this location. While hiking you will climb through Needles Eye (a tight squeeze), Opera Box, and Devils Head. Since we traveled there in the winter, most of the waterfalls were iced over and icicles were hanging everywhere. Everything was breathtaking though, even if the surroundings weren't lush and green. It's the mountains--I expected to see snow and I did.
From journal "Winter Vacation 2003"