At the 5,200-acre Chimney Rock State Park, an elevator travels through a 26-story shaft of rock for a staggering view of Hickory Nut Gorge and the surrounding mountains. You can also climb to the top of the Chimney. Trails, open year-round, lead to 400-foot Hickory Nut Falls, where the 1992 movie The Last of the Mohicans was filmed. Though now mostly a state park with free admission, about 1,000 acres, including the Chimney and elevator, are still operated privately,
with shops and a café—and an admission charge.