As things slowly begin to return to a version of normal in the state of North Carolina, the communities of Rutherford county continue to exercise an abundance of caution on the path to fully reopening. Residents and visitors are urged to follow social distancing guidelines when enjoying a much-needed breath of fresh air throughout the beautiful foothills region.

Lake Lure

The beautiful new Washburn Marina and Lake Lure Boardwalk are open for use! Boaters can enjoy the lake, rent boat slips for the day, take a stroll along the sea wall, or revel in a leisurely bike ride on the newly constructed bike path. Guided boat tours are available daily from the Marina, but are limited to a maximum of 8-10 passengers and facemasks are required. The Town of Lake Lure’s website has up to date information on permits and visitor access for any adventure you’re planning, so be sure to check it out before venturing out. If lakeside music is what you’re craving, grab a beverage and kick back on a blanket while you check out the newest virtual concert in the series hosted by the Lake Lure Music Festival Committee, or watch past performances on their Facebook page.

Chimney Rock

Many local shops in Chimney Rock Village are now operating with limited hours, including the Gem Mine and local lodging establishments. Establishments with outdoor dining are also open with limited seating. All trails at Chimney Rock State Park are now open Friday through Tuesday at limited capacity to ensure safe social distancing of hikers. To ensure continued social distancing measures are adhered to, the park’s elevator is not available for use. Be sure to visit the Chimney Rock State Park website for the most up to date information on park hours, openings, and requirements. 

Forest City

The Pavilion on Park Square is hosting a weekly series of virtual events all summer designed to get families outdoors for some fresh air and frivolity! From Mudpie Monday on The Great Outdoors Week to Stargazing Sunday on Space Week - these fantastic activity options provide wonderful opportunities to enjoy the company of family in a fun, safe atmosphere. Be sure to check the town’s website or the Pavilion on Park Square Facebook page for new activity ideas daily. 

Rutherfordton, Spindale, & Ruth

If walking or biking sounds like a great way to get away from home side scenery, the Thermal Belt Rail Trail is open for enjoyment! Walk, run or cycle along this fantastic 13.5-mile trail linking the towns of Spindale, Rutherfordton, Ruth, and Forest City. Need a bike to enjoy the journey? OpenBox Bikes & Fitness in Spindale has rentals available that are perfect for every age and ability level. You can even stop for scrumptious ice cream or a refreshing shaved ice at one of the local establishments along your route just to ensure your trail day is the epitome of sweet.

Ready to Get Out There?

The COVID crisis may have postponed vacation plans, but you can still enjoy the majesty of the NC foothills! Take a hike or a leisurely stroll, enjoy a bike ride or a picnic along the banks of Lake Lure or the Rocky Broad. Fabulous family memories can be made, even in the midst of stressful times. So stay safe and come on out! We’ll see you soon!