The same day as we visited Nerstrand Big Woods and Red Wing again, May 26th, we stopped at Chimney Rock SNA. All I knew was that it is some free-standing rock structure. It actually turned out to be pretty cool, although the area you could hike around easily was small. It is relatively new too, acquired and designated a Scientific and Natural Area in February, 2012.
The pillar is made of somewhat fragile sandstone, with a limestone cap. People shouldn’t really touch it or climb on it or it will wear down.
Just up a hill from the ‘Chimney Rock’ is this outcropping of rock. It is a bit more solid, and there was a path up one side of it.
The top was a small ridge that put you level with the canopy.
This area was apparently well-known locally for awhile, as it had countless carvings in the stone of peoples names and messages. That has faded some with the protection the SNA designation gives, but if people continue to do it, it will speed up erosion and destruction of this unique feature.
Chimney Rock SNA was rather remote, a bit outside of Hastings and down this long dirt road.
On the way out there were some dramatic clouds.
It is hard to show the contrast with the camera, but the clouds were massive and continued to grow as we drove home.
What the clouds became a while later, closer to home.
Chimney Rock SNA is a bit small to make a trip out exclusively for it, but if you are in that area it is worth checking out. It was strange up on the top of the formation in the back; it almost felt like a very small mountain ridge. Thanks for reading!