Press release from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, shared March 22:

James Ledgerwood
James Ledgerwood

RALEIGH – James Ledgerwood, a veteran park ranger, has been named superintendent of Chimney Rock State Park, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

A superintendent is the chief of operations and administration at a state park or state recreation area with wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, training, law enforcement, visitor services, natural resource protection and environmental education.

“James is well-versed in the complex operations of Chimney Rock State Park and has developed a strong relationship with its operations contractor Chimney Rock LLC and the park’s other local partners,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “His skills will contribute much as the state park continues its growth and implements an ambitious master plan for new facilities and recreation opportunities.”

Ledgerwood has been a ranger at Chimney Rock State Park since early 2011, and has served as acting superintendent. A native of Knoxville, Tenn., he earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry and wildland recreation from the University of Tennessee in 2001. He was an active volunteer in Tennesee State Parks and a seasonal worker at Norris Dam State Park before joining North Carolina’s state parks system in 2002 as a ranger at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. In 2007, he joined the ranger staff at Gorges State Park. He holds certifications in environmental education, intermediate law enforcement and wildlife damage control.

Ledgerwood succeeds Adrienne Wallace, who resigned earlier this year to pursue other interests.

Chimney Rock State Park was authorized in 2005 and now encompasses 5,700 acres in the Hickory Nut Gorge, including the former Chimney Rock Park tourist destination. The park reported visitation of 227,641 in 2012.

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Angie Newsome was the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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