• Photo: Bryan Pollard / Shutterstock

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Chimney Rock and neighboring Lake Lure—both day trips from Asheville—were the dream projects of a single man, Dr. Lucius Morse. In the early 1900s he bought and began developing Chimney Rock, and in 1926 he dammed the Rocky Broad River to create Lake Lure. In 2007, Morse descendants sold Chimney Rock Park to the state of North Carolina, which has turned it, along with other nearby land, into a state park. Although the scenery, particularly when viewed from atop Chimney Rock, is spectacular—several movies have been filmed here—the commercial development along parts of Hickory Nut Gorge is not so appealing. Lake Lure, with 27 miles of shoreline, is one of the more beautiful man-made lakes in the mountains.

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