About 6 years ago, I had just moved to North Carolina with wide eyes and an open mind. I knew I didn’t want to waste the next 4 years in my new home by staying local. I wanted to really get out and explore the lush lands. I got the chance to do just that when I made my first set of friends who were fellow West Coasters from the Bay Area. A few weeks into befriending them, they invited us to join them on their weekend trip to the Appalachians. A 5 hours drive across the state ended us in Lake Lure, home of Chimney Rock National Park and filming set to the movie Dirty Dancing!
We arrived to a quaint town practically closed for the evening save for some restaurants. We checked into our cozy log cabin, unpacked, and headed back into town for a quick dinner. The next morning we woke up bright and early to start our hike. Prepared to hike for a few hours, that ended up not being the case. An unfortunate accident earlier on in the year resulted in part of the main hiking trail to be closed off. So unfortunate that a child had been involved. We were detoured to a much shorter trail that led us to some of the main sights and cut our time nearly in half.
Making it to the top was a breathtaking sight with rich green mountain peaks and hills. In the distance you could see Lake Lure and the surrounding town. Afterwards we walked around to a cliff with a uniquely shaped boulder. Devil’s Head, as it was called, was something I had never seen before in a naturally occurring rock. It was shaped to the silhouette of a man’s head! As I was there staring at it, I couldn’t help but think that there was no way it was a natural occurrence. Just look at it! It seemed like it was crudely carved and placed right on the side of the mountain. However, it is a natural formation.
Before we were done with hiking the area, we made our way to the Hickory Nut Falls for a quick photo op. With the rest of the day to spare, we decided to walk around the town and see the local shops. We were immediately enticed to enter a store displaying a sign that you could mine your own gems! You purchase a bucket filled with sand and rocks and sit in front of a water trough to sift out the sand.
I didn’t find my diamond or emerald that day. True bummer. After our mining experience we noticed a creek just behind the main road and buildings. Growing up in the desert Southwest, freshwater creeks were something I never got to experience so I took off my socks and shoes and walked right in. The water was rather cold but refreshing. In the picture above you can see me contemplating on how I can cross the water without getting totally submerged. It wasn’t possible and I walked back to dry ground.
We ended the night and our weekend with a nice dinner and some local ice cream. Unfortunately, we never got the chance to see the camp scenes from Dirty Dancing largely due to the fact that the area is now full of private homes. It was still cool knowing I was in the area. If you are in North Carolina or ever find yourself in this beautiful state then make sure to stop by this place. It would be ideal for a romantic, mountain getaway or something for the whole family to enjoy!
Have you been to Lake Lure?