SCJack had posted a trip report and pictures a while back from a hike on Rumbling Bald Mountain and I knew it was a place I had to see. There's little to no information available on this area, so I was counting on Jack to lead me to the promised land. Rumbling Bald Mountain is across from Chimney Rock near Lake Lure. Parts of it are now part of the new Chimney Rock State Park, parts are owned by the Nature Conservancy, and parts are private property. Our destination was Eagle Rock which is a 7 mile round trip moderate to difficult hike up and along an old road. The hike would have been more moderate if I had a Sherpa to carry my photo and video gear, but I don't so this one really kicked my butt. The first mile of the trail gains 1000' in elevation and the road is in horrible shape with a deep gully running down part of it and loose rock and downed tree tops littering other parts.
Jack and I met at the Lake Lure marina. From there we headed back up towards the Chimney Rock Park entrance, but took a right on Boys Club Rd before getting to the park. At 1.4 miles up Boys Club Rd, a signed left turn will take you to the new State Park parking area for the rock climbing access to Rumbling Bald Mountain. We stopped here on the way back. At 1.9 miles up the road, bear left at the fork. Drive .2 miles and turn left on Carson Way. Drive another .7 miles and turn left up to the water tower. Park here (PARK on the map) without blocking the road. The hike begins on the old red clay road.
Be sure to click 'original' below this map to see the full sized version. I'll be referring to points on the map on some of the following photos.