The lobby is a beautiful rustic place to relax.Guest rooms are luxuriously appointed.Enjoy our beautiful spa and patio.The Esmeralda Inn in Chimney Rock, NC


"Quiet Setting overlooking the Broad River"

"We could see Chimney Rock from our porch."

"So close to Lake Lure!"

Outdoor Activities

There is much to do in the Hickory Nut Gorge and the surrounding areas! From hiking the trails of Chimney Rock Park, exploring the Bat Caves of Bat Cave, antiguing, fishing, biking, exploring and more – there is something here for everyone. There are even Geocaching sites nearby! Or you could just hang out on our front porch rocking and gazing at the views and listening to the river.


Visitors eager for N.C. outdoor recreation will find plenty of bike routes and hiking trails that range in difficulty from child-friendly to strenuous.

Some of the nicest North Carolina bicycle trails are in the Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills area. The Rutherford Outdoor Coalition, one of the bike clubs in North Carolina, has maps of recommended road bike routes on paved roads on its Web site at Among the choice North Carolina paved bike trails is the rail-trail route, one of the state’s longest such hiking and biking routes, eight miles of a crushed-gravel path in eastern Rutherford County. A 24-mile stretch of the Southern Highlands Trail, a paved road in the state highway system, is marked with signs as it crosses the county and is another of the enjoyable road bike trails in N.C.

Bike Parks in North Carolina

South Mountains State Park, just over the Rutherford County line in Burke County, has a route that’s one of the longest mountain biking trails in North Carolina’s state park system and among the premier North Carolina bike rides. South Mountain’s 18-mile loop makes the park a great pick of the bike parks in North Carolina.


Lake Lure and the Broad River are teaming with fish! Grab a pole and spend an afternoon relaxing in a boat or by the river side. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s room for all!

In the Hickory Nut Gorge you will find Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Large Mouth Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Crappie, White Bass, Catfish, Bluegill and Sun-perch. Lake Lure is stocked with trout, bass, bluegill, and catfish every year.

State licenses and boat permits are required to fish in the lake and river. The Boat permits are available at the town hall (828) 625-9983. Don't forget to buy Trout stamps, which are also required for creek and river fishing.


There are many options for hiking in the area. Chimney Rock Park is the closest and one of the more family friendly places, but there are other forests and parks nearby. On Hwy. 9, the Donald Ross Nature Trail Park provides a short, gentle walk in a beautiful setting. Bear Wallow Mountain is just up the road near Bat Cave and recently opened a new trail to the top of the mountain. Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest are close enough for day trips from The Esmeralda. Check with the Lake Lure Visitor Center for more information on other areas.


Horseback Riding

Family friendly riding stables provide guided trail rides for all levels of riders. Whether this is your first time in the saddle, or you're an experienced rider, you'll enjoy the beautiful scenery and expert guidance offered at nearby stables.

White Water Rafting and Float Trips

Let the Esmeralda Inn plan your white water rafting or float trips on North Carolina's historic and beautiful French Broad River. In the calm pools between rapids you can learn about the human and natural history of this ancient river corridor. Take in the beauty of Western NC while enjoying a day on one of our beautiful rivers. These trips can be fun for families and guests of all ages. Minimum age requirement for white water is 8. Experience it today. Please check out some of the trips we offer: White Water Rafting and Float Trips


Experience the forests of NC from a whole new perspective!  Ziplining is the sport of soaring high above the ground while your body is secured in a harness and attached to an overhead cable.

A zip line is an aerial runway created by stretching a rope or cable between two fixed points. The original zip lines were built by workers and residents in remote areas to quickly transport people and supplies across canyons, rivers, and other difficult-to-cross areas. Most zip lines are now operated for the sheer fun of flying through the air! Lines are typically suspended 30 to 200 feet above the ground over scenic features such as ravines, forests, and rivers.

Within a short distance from the Inn, you can soar through the treetops for the adventure of a lifetime!


Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

You can spend  a couple of hours or a few days on your search! A successful seeker will locate the hidden "cache," usually a small plastic container or a repurposed ammo box filled with a logbook, pen and small trinket. If you wish, exchange a trinket of your own for one from the cache. Caches can be placed anywhere from urban areas to hiking trails to mountaintops.

There are over 1500 caches within a 25 mile radius of Chimney Rock. Come join the fun!