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Eagle Rock Parking Closure

We have some sad news to share about Eagle Rock.  The Chimney Rock State Park parking area at Eagle Rock is closed as of this week. The access road at the end of Shumont Rd crosses private property and never had guaranteed access.  Climbing is still open, but currently only accessible by parking at Buffalo Creek and hiking 10 miles on the Weed Patch Mountain Trail. We realize this is not very feasible for climbing access. 


The Eagle Rock Parking was used and enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, climbers, and nature lovers. A short hike leads the visitor to expansive views of the north end of Hickory Nut Gorge, including the dramatic cliffs along the north side of Rumbling Bald. Standing on the Upper Tier of Eagle Rock, you can stand in one place and see both Crowders Mountain State Park to the south and Linville Gorge’s Table Rock to the east. The views are complemented by quality climbing routes of several grades located on the Upper and Lower Tiers of Eagle Rock. Eagle Rock holds over 50 established climbs from 5.5-5.13 with a healthy mix of traditional and sport climbs 1-2 pitches in length. When the parking was accessible, Eagle was noted for its easy top rope access, where a quick jaunt could set a climber on top of the scenic Upper Tier with a dozen routes at their feet. Fifty plus established boulder problems exist on the Rumbling Bald-esque henderson gneiss, including one of NC’s longest V10 roof problems. 


In 2017-2019, we partnered with Conserving Carolina and Chimney Rock State Park to build the Tunnel Trail and open Eagle Rock to climbing. This marked the first and only opening of new climbing access on NC State Park property in decades. The Tunnel Trail was largely a community volunteer project lead by a partnership between Conserving Carolina, the CCC, and our trails contractors. The project was supported by the American Alpine Club, REI, and the Access Fund.  In addition to building the Tunnel Trail, CCC and volunteers worked to replace over 70 bad bolts at Eagle Rock, removed dozens of graffiti tags, performed biological surveys, and helped remove hundreds of pounds of trash. If you were a part of these efforts, please know that your past work has done so much for climbers and for the outdoor community in our region. Your past work at Eagle Rock still continues to help fuel our momentum at making these treasured landscapes accessible to you and generations to come. 


At the CCC, we conduct our access and stewardship work because we believe in the power of climbing to support healthy living, bolster inner growth, help local economies, foster relationships, and initiate conservation efforts. When an area gets closed to public access, the potential of these positive community consequences of open and accessible climbing get diminished. We continue to persevere as a community and coalition to open and maintain climbing areas because we have seen all of the positive attributes climbing can bring to individuals and to communities. Like Eagle Rock, so many of our climbing areas have tenuous access. Our most productive way forward is to work in-step with communities, land owners, and organizations towards long term sustainable access.  We will be working with our regional partners in hopes of working out a resolution at Eagle Rock.  Please do not attempt to park there. Your car will be towed but more importantly, you would be making a tough situation even tougher. Thank you to all who have respected the land and surrounding land owners. 


Photo below: Laura Boggess on 'Poet's Return'