CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (Sponsored Content) — Chris Bainbridge and the Ingles Open Road crew are taking viewers to one of the gems of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place famous for breathtaking views, incredible waterfalls and some of the richest biodiversity on the planet.

Chimney Rock State Park overlooks Lake Lure and the valley it calls home. Just a short drive from Asheville and the upstate of South Carolina, the park is located in the perfect spot for a weekend of exploration.

Start off by getting to know some inhabitants of the park. The Animal Discovery Den is a great place to get up close and personal with these creatures. Its an engaging stop for kids of all ages. The animal encounters summer weekdays at 2 p.m. are an amazing way to get up close and personal with some amazing creatures. All the animal ambassadors can’t be released back into the wild.

The moderate hike to the base of Hickory Nut Falls takes you through beautiful Blue Ridge forest and past impressive rock formations. You can also hike to the top of the falls. Bainbridge likes the base, because you can see the full towering flume.

The waterfall took a starring turn in the movie “Last of the Mohicans” It’s a 404-foot natural wonder whose mists can cool you on a hot day.

A 198-foot tunnel brings you to an elevator, where a 258-foot ride upward takes you to the Chimney Rock. The view is amazing. With the sprawling Blue Ridge laid out in front of you, it’s an experience not to be missed.

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