Lake Lure, North Carolina

May 20, 2023

We have been in this area of the state many times but it just never gets old and we find ourselves returning frequently. About seven years ago while traveling with our motorhome we made reservations at the Lake Lodge Inn restaurant that was at the time, highly rated. When I walked in I was struck by the beauty of the decor of the 100 year old lodge and the fabulous views of Lake Lure. I told Leo then, that I wanted to stay here and enjoy the Inn one day. Well he remembered my words and booked a weekend getaway stay for us to do some hiking and bike riding. Before you go thinking, what took him so long? No such thing, the last seven years have been non stop travel with lots of fun for us. We are now in a new phase of travel where we are “filling in the gaps”.

The Lodge at Lake Lure is a four hour drive from home so very close but still such a different world. The Inn was built in 1930 with only 17 guests rooms and has been just recently renovated and restored to its grand old beginnings and decorated to blend in with the surroundings and gorgeous views of Lake Lure. The boat house is being refurbished so I told Leo I want to come back when that’s finished and rent a boat to cruise the lake, poor guy I never let up. Here are some pictures of our Inn.

If you could take an 26 story elevator ride or climb 500 steps, which would you do? That’s right! we choose as well to climb the 500 step plus an additional 400 steps further up to Exclamation Point for the best leg workout ever and a bird’s eye view of Chimney Rock.

This park has been a favorite with our family. When we were a lot younger we would go camping in the mountains close by and bring our kids here. They would run like gazelles up the steep inclines when it was just a muddy trail. Now they have replaced the trail with stairs for most of the way, which is actually quite exhausting and not as beautiful as it was originally.

The path takes you to the top of this Western North Carolina iconic rock formation which provides a 75 mile panoramic view of the Valley and Lake Lure on a clear day, which we did not have this morning! Today, we started early with a lot of fog covering the summit but it burned off partly by the time we reached the summit so we were able to rest and enjoy some of the splendid views at the top.

Chimney Rock may look familiar to some of you as it was featured in the movie The Last of the Mohicans one of my favorite movies.

After our climb we were thinking a beer would be great but that would have to wait as we wanted to visit the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. We love this stop on our way into Chimney Rock, bursting with color from the many flowers and blooms that abound this time of year in North Carolina.

The Flowering Bridge was dedicated in 2013 atop of a historic three-arched bridge that carried traffic from Lake Luke to Chimney Rock and was decommissioned in 2011. A group of citizens and garden enthusiasts got permission from the department of transportation to preserve and enhance the bridge by turning it into what I would call the North Carolina Babylon Gardens (these are my thoughts not that I have seen the Babylon gardens) . Every type of plant; eatable, decorative, native, desert or tropical is represented somehow along with garden sculptures, whimsical books and bird houses. This is the perfect time of the year to see it and enjoy the beauty of it all.

We ended our day at a local brewery and winery with a great Lager and views of our morning climb. Tomorrow is a bike day but for now we are just looking forward to a great dinner back at the lodge

Our last full day in the area dawned with perfect weather for our planned bike ride. We headed towards Forrest City ( the city part is a bit of a stretch) to ride on the Thermal Belt Rail Trail which was about a half hour drive from Lake Lure. It’s becoming a sort of hobby for us to find these fabulous trails which are part of the nationwide Rails to Trails system.

These bike and green way trails are old railroad paths that have been converted and paved to allow for bike and pedestrians to enjoy. They are all over the country and meander through rural America small towns with nice wooded areas and pleasant stops. Somebody had a wonderful idea on how to repurpose decommissioned train paths. We love riding on and discovering these gems.

The 28 mile trail took around three hours to complete (out and back) with some beautiful historical homes to see and lots of shaded wooded areas.
With tired legs, we headed back to our lovely lodge and ended this wonderful weekend with a fabulous dinner at one of the local restaurants.

2 thoughts on “Lake Lure, North Carolina

  1. Dear Lucy, You and Leo have done it again, finding a beautiful place to visit and explore. I remember Chimney rock and also Grandfather mountain. it is a very beautiful part of North Carolina and I am looking forward to reading your next adventure.


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