Camping out Saturday under the stars

Registration required for Chimney Rock
Jun. 18, 2013 @ 04:28 AM

One special night a year, Chimney Rock invites the public to join thousands of people across the nation who will be gathering in backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in a one-night event on June 22 called the Great American Backyard Campout. 

Registered campers will have a rare opportunity to camp out under the stars at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park with a bonfire and s’mores, followed by an adventurous guided night hike with a Park naturalist. The family-friendly campout will be held in the Meadows on June 22-23, 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. and is limited to 40 guests.

 Call 828-625-9611 or visit chimneyrockpark.com to register.

The Great American Backyard Campout is an annual fundraiser and outdoor awareness event for the National Wildlife Federation and its Be Out There program, which encourages children and parents to trade “screen time” for “green time” by spending a night outdoors and experiencing a deeper connection with nature.

“Guests often ask ‘Is there any night that we can camp in the Park?’ Here’s your one chance a year to enjoy a unique, sought-after experience with your kids and family at Chimney Rock. Now you can be one of the few people who can say ‘I did it. I camped overnight at the Park,” said Matt Popowski, PR & Events Manager, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.

Following campsite set-up, dinner on your own and a group bonfire, participants can join Park naturalist Ron Lance for a guided night hike to see what goes bump, howl or screech after dark. Cost per camper is $32 for adults, $10 for Annual Passholders, $15 for youth ages 5-15, and $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Members. Children ages 4 and under camp for free. Registration is required in advance and cost includes day admission for Saturday and Sunday. Campers are encouraged to come early to check out live animal exhibits at Grady’s Discovery Den and try out rock climbing “tasters” for only $20 per person with Fox Mountain Guides below Chimney Rock.