Welcome to the ADVENTURE ZONE!
These posts highlight some of my favorite destinations, restaurants, and experiences all across the country as a travel histotechnologist.
This time we will be highlighting: Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, NC
Hanging Rock State Park
Hanging Rock is located in Danbury, NC.
It was created back in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project back when jobs were scarce and being created to combat job loss brought on by the Great Depression!
As for the park, there are over 20 miles of hiking trails, a campground, a stocked lake that you can canoe and swim in, and mountain biking trails!
There are so many great trails at Hanging Rock, so I will just highlight a few of the ones I was able to hike in one weekend.
The trails range from easy to strenuous so there will be plenty to experience for all ages and fitness levels.
Hanging Rock Trail
This is the most popular trail at Hanging Rock State Park.
As you may have guessed, it gives spectacular views from the top of Hanging Rock.
Looking to the west you can see Moore’s Knob and the watchtower. You can access the watchtower with Moore’s Wall Loop Trail. To the North are the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The trail itself is 1.3 miles long starting at the visitor center and is considered a one-way trail so make sure you plan for at least an hour.
Unfortunately, the trail eroded over the years and toward the top of Hanging Rock much of the trail is washed out. I would probably rate it more strenuous due to these conditions.
However, it is still worth trekking to the top of the rock as the views are just amazing!
Moore’s Wall Loop Trail
The Moore’s Wall Loop Trail is great if you’re in the campground because you can start the trail from behind the stone bathhouse!
Because this is a loop trail you can go clockwise or counterclockwise. The trail is 4.7 miles round trip. Also, its listed as strenuous.
However, I recommend the counterclockwise route to get the 684 stone steps out of the way AND reach the watchtower faster!
The watchtower actually used to be a fire tower in the past! The watchtower is now retired because the Department of Natural Resources uses drones and satellites as their primary detection method for forest fires. In addition, they removed the roof and turned it into an observation tower.
Pretty cool, huh?
Let’s talk about the stairs… These stairs are called the “endless staircase” and I certainly agree!
During the first mile you will be ascending to 2,497 feet above sea level to the observation tower which will give you spectacular views in all directions!
On a clear day you will be able to see the Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Sauratown Mountains. You’ll also be able to see Hanging Rock and Cook’s Wall! Cook’s Wall connects Hanging Rock to Wolf Rock.
Also, did I mention you can see the skyscrapers of Winston-Salem?
The view is just amazing!
Continuing counterclockwise you will slowly descend around Moore’s Wall and follow the river back to the campground.
I even saw a little trout swimming in the river!
Indian Creek Trail
If you’re looking to see a few waterfalls then Indian Creek Trail is a great trail to accompany your lovely views from Hanging Rock!
From the visitor center you can reach both waterfalls in just over half a mile. Indian Creek Trail is a 3.6 mile one-way trail if you would like to hike it in its entirety.
These are the two waterfalls visible on the trail:
- Hidden Falls. This waterfall is 0.4 miles in and is a very gentle cascading waterfall.
- Window Falls. This waterfall is 0.6 miles in and has a unique formation, a natural window, visible from an overlook point on the stairs down to the waterfall.
There are many other trails worth checking out if you have a longer visit at Hanging Rock State Park (or maybe more stamina than I do…). But, if you only have time for a few trails I highly recommend checking out the three listed above!
The campground at Hanging Rock State Park has 73 sites which are wooded and reasonably spaced. Also, there is a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill attachment at each site.
There are plumbed toilets and showers, but no hookups at the campsites. Also, there is no dump station at the campground. On the other hand, just be aware that if you are hiking and camping in the winters months (December 1st through March 15th) that only the pit toilets will be available.
I tent camped in the campground over the weekend, and I really enjoyed that each site had a level tent pad to put a tent up on. A deer even wandered into my campsite the first morning I was there. That was a surprise!
There are cabins available as well! HERE is a brochure to check them out.
You have to make a reservation to stay at the campground. You can be make one online HERE.
If you’re interested in seeing what trails Hanging Rock State Park offers HERE is a brochure showing the trails, their difficulty, their rating, their length, and a description of each.
If you’re interested in visiting Hanging Rock State Park here’s a handy dandy map!
Have you been to Hanging Rock State Park? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!
Want more Adventure Zone posts? Check them out HERE!