Chimney Rock State Park will grow

The Nature Conservancy has acquired 56 acres that will eventually be included in Chimney Rock State Park, the group said Wednesday.

The conservancy has worked since the early 1980s to protect land in the area west of Charlotte, called Hickory Nut Gorge.

The new acquisition will protect property between the state park and the conservancy's Bat Cave preserve.

N.C. legislators created the state park at Chimney Rock, a longtime tourist destination, in 2005. The state has bought about 3,500 acres for the park in Hickory Nut Gorge.

The Nature Conservancy has protected almost 3,000 acres in the gorge. Bruce Henderson