Chimney Rock, the 535-million-year-old monolith for which the Park is named, is considered one of the most iconic sites in North Carolina. From its top, you’ll soak in the 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure.
At the start of the Skyline trail just above the top of Chimney Rock, one may notice a menacing rock face peering out over the Gorge. On even closer inspection, it appears to have taken on the countenance of evil incarnate – it’s the Devil’s Head! How did this rock form itself into such a shape?
A long time ago a huge sheet of rock slid down the mountainside and broke into many pieces, one of which came to rest on this ledge. The facial features of the boulder are due to differential weathering of Henderson Gneiss rock. More resistant parts of the rock form the eyebrow, nose, chin and ear, while softer layers have eroded out, shaping the eye and the mouth.
Lake Lure as viewed from Chimney Rock, North Carolina. The lake is approximately 720 acres, with about 21 miles of shoreline with great stretches of water, three long bays, an island of seven acres and many small bays and inlets with a background of tree-clad hills and mountains.