US 64 between lake lure and bat cave can become very congested especial during the fall and summer tourist season. in lake lure, chimney rock, and bat cave be aware of pedestrians crossing the street and cars pulling in and out of the shops and restaurtants. speed limits are strictly inforced and on summer weekends there are frequent DUI check points on US 64.
There are plenty of stairs and steep paths in the park, so come prepared. It's a good idea to bring some bottled water and to take it easy as you make your way along the trails. I was out of breath a couple times because I tried to be Superman walking up the stairs. You'll also want to go slowly because the paths are rocky and some of the stairways are very tight and dark inside the cliffs.
This photo show The Needle's Eye, a stairway built creatively through a small space between two slabs of rocks that press tightly against each other. It leads to the Chimney.
There are no bathrooms along the paths, so if you feel the need, go before you start hiking. You'll find the bathrooms on the far end of the parking just past Cliff Dweller's Gifts.