Karen’s brother Shawn and his wife Laurie arrived in Charlotte from Texas on Thursday (10-19-17). Our good friend Jim loaned us his cabin in Hickory Nut Gorge for the weekend and we headed to Lake Lure early Friday. All the warm weather we’ve enjoyed this fall kept trees from showing vivid colors. The scenery was still remarkable.

We drove by Lower Hickory Nut Lake to reach Jim’s cabin in the woods.

The nearby, tourist town of Chimney Rock is usually very crowded on the weekend. Arriving on Friday made exploring the shops and eating at the Riverside Cafe much easier.

The Reneaus take a break to sun on a rock by the Broad River that runs through Chimney Rock.

We got an early start Saturday morning to explore the Chimney Rock Park. The 3-mile, winding road off the main highway is jammed bumper to bumper with eager visitors by noon. We managed to get a prime spot at the top parking lot.

Shawn and Karen enjoy the view of Lake Lure from the top parking area.


There are 500-steps to the apex of Chimney Rock. We took our time and enjoyed the sights along the way.

There are several scenic lookout stations on the hike to the pinnacle. They provide excellent excuses to catch your breath. Karen shot this from the “Opera Box.”

It made Laurie nervous when we ventured out on rocks to get a better look at the gorge. Karen kept the camera handy in case we provided an AFV moment. That’s the top of Chimney Rock with the US Flag. The crowd was thick on our walk back down the stairs from there.

After the stairs to the top of Chimney Rock, our next hike to Hickory Nut Falls was relatively easy.

The trail to Hickory Nut Falls was shaded and well maintained. The recent lack of rain showed in the falls flow rate.

This was Karen’s and my fourth trip to Lake Lure, but our first time to venture out on the lake. Steve, greeting boarding guests in a white sweatshirt, was our tour boat captain.

Lake Lure is 104-feet at its deepest point. It has 21 miles of shoreline. The dam that formed the lake in Hickory Nut Gap was not impressive on the lake side, but looking down the spillway from the top was cool.

This was the first cabin built on Lake Lure around 1927 when the lake was formed. It is 500-square-feet and very unpretentious. 

Over the years the cabins on Lake Lure have grown much grander. This one is called the “Little Biltmore” by locals who have witnessed the lake’s development.

The peacefulness of Lake Lure’s picturesque setting will keep bringing us back to relax and enjoy this quaint community on the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

We stopped for one last picture of Shawn and Laurie by the Broad River on our drive home Sunday. They helped make this trip an excellent adventure.

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