These photos are from the hikes we took near Lake Lure, NC. First, up, Chimney Rock State Park, which was only a few minutes drive from where we were staying. After a winding drive up the mountain, we parked near the base of Chimney Rock.
Luckily we'd already planned on hiking up to the top of the chimney, since on the day we visited, the elevator to the top was closed for repairs. There were a lot of stairs to get there though, since it is 26 stories high!
There were several view points along the way to stop and catch your breath though.
Almost to the top of the chimney!
Once we got to the top, we were treated to this beautiful view of Lake Lure. On clear days you can see up to 75 miles away.
The public beach with the water slides that I posted a picture of last week is located towards the center of this photo, to the right of the grassy park.
Behind Chimney Rock are more neat rocky outcroppings, including an overhang you can duck under for a neat view of the chimney.
Since apparently we didn't get our fill of climbing stairs, we decided to go up to the highest public-access point in the park, Exclamation Point.
Looking the opposite direction, away from Lake Lure.
And back towards Lake Lure from Exclamation Point.
After a water and snack break at the top, we headed back down, stopping at another scenic rock, the Devil's Head.
Climbing back down the stairs we got a good overview of the chimney.
By the time we got back down to the car, our legs were shaking from all of the stairs. Luckily the only thing left on the agenda for that day was relaxing and swimming back at the lake house.
The second day of hiking we did on our trip took place about a 45 minute drive from our rental house. We started on an unmarked trail along a hillside, following a stream.
This hike involved several stream crossings. Mini microfiber towels in the backpack came in handy to dry our feet after wading up to our knees to cross.
After about a 30 minute hike, we arrived at our first destination, Little Bradley Falls.
We decided to try to find a good spot for a picnic lunch, so we climbed a steep slope next to the waterfall.
And ate our sandwiches and chips on a rock next to the middle tier of the falls.
A few other hikers arrived as we were finishing up lunch, and they braved the chilly waters to go for a swim at the bottom of the falls. We had our towels if we had wanted to go in, but instead we snapped a few more photos and headed back, since we had a second hike on the agenda.
About an eight mile drive from Little Bradley Falls was Pearson's Falls. This was a shorter, more populated trail in a wildlife sanctuary.
Just like to Little Bradley Falls, this trail followed alongside a stream.
With a dripping rock waterfall along the way.
No need to get our feet wet on this trail, there was a pretty stone bridge to cross instead.
At the base of Pearson's Falls.
And with that, it was time again to head back to the lake house, for another relaxing afternoon. Unfortunately I wasn't able to really master the motion blur technique of photographing waterfalls on our quick hikes, but it was sure fun to try with the wide angle lens I'd rented for the weekend!
Have you done any hiking lately? Do you always haul around a camera when you hike like I do?