The Sight of Less Sound: Winter Photo Contest

Claudia Moose’s first-place photo of an icy rock face, from last year, captures the magic of Chimney Rock during the winter months.

The splendor of Chimney Rock State Park is most often publicized during lush summer or colorful fall. However, the rock monolith itself, and surrounding Hickory Nut Gorge, offer vast scenic views, ice-covered rock outcroppings, and a more serene environment during the cold months. 

The 4,531-acre site in Rutherford County is one of the most iconic destinations in the Southeast, and a popular travel stop for tourists from around the world visiting the Blue Ridge region. But for those who revel in the mountains’ comparative winter solitude, the park hosts an annual “Rockin’ Winter Photo Contest” to recognize the creatives who’ve best captured the highlights of their visit.

Quality prizes hang in the balance, including, for first place, an overnight getaway with a stay at the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa. The People’s Choice winner, selected by the Park’s Facebook fans, gets lunch passes, a park visit with extras, and their shot featured as the cover photo on Chimney Rock’s Facebook page and Pinterest board for two weeks.

“We love to see how each of our visitors views Chimney Rock differently,” says Public Relations Manager Nick Stauber.

Chimney Rock State Park, 431 Main St., Chimney Rock. For more information about the Rockin’ Winter Photo Contest, visit The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers shooting within accessible areas of Chimney Rock State Park between Dec. 21 and March 19. Winners will be announced on the website and on the park’s social-media channels. 1-800-277-9611. 

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