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Hanging Rock State Park provides a glimpse into a different side of North Carolina - impressive cliffs, massive rock formations, ample forests and pounding waterfalls give way to the piedmont plateau and views from the old ranger tower location atop Moore's Knob that stretch for miles. Hanging Rock Park offers over 20 miles of hiking trails, 73 tent sites or vacation cabins for camping, a friendly park staff, 8.4 miles of mountain biking trails, and Dan River paddling and rock climbing opportunities. The park has lots of biodiversity and natural beauty; come see the spring peepers, chorus frogs, and mountain laurel. Join an interpretive program, visit a cool mountain lake with recreation opportunities for swimmers and fishermen.

I would recommend doing Moore’s knob first for sure. Because it’s a loop there you can take that either clockwise or counterclockwise as well. Counterclockwise has a ton of steps first and more of a sloping path down which I prefer but my group didn’t. Out of five of us only two made it the whole way and if you park by hanging rock so you end near your car is a great idea. If you do this and walk to the trail head of Moore’s knob it ended up being a little over 13 miles on my gps watch

Great cardio, very light traffic on the trail even on a weekend. The parking lot, picnic area and lake was packed but this trail was quite. Incredible views at the top

3.5hrs on hot days to complete starting at Moore. Turned this trail into a training spot long ago. Make it a half marathon by adding the falls into it. 4 stars because the people going up Hanging Rock are really annoying. Water refill if you need it is at the small creek/spring when you come down Moore and going to Cook. And yeah, you can get a patch for this at the visitors for a few bucks.

Combined this hike and Hanging Rock in same afternoon, both great hikes!

23 days ago

This trail starts out with a lot of people but just after reaching the falls in .08 miles the trail becomes lightly trafficked. There are many creek crossings that are easy to cross with pleasant views and sounds of flowing water. There are only a couple spots where the land opens up for distant viewing and this trail only has about 1,700 feet in total elevation gain. The one downside about this trail is that it follows the road for the first few miles and you can hear cars and there are even spots where you can see houses.

28 days ago

I really enjoyed this hike. I went after one of the snowfalls so there was barely anyone of the trail and the views were gorgeous. I am excited to come back and do this one again in the Fall.

on Moores Knob Trail

30 days ago

I love this trail. Started off early this am - first in carpark and making new footsteps for the day in the snow. Climbed around the lake - which was partially frozen - and took the red/white circles trail up to the top of Moore’s Knob. Beautiful crisp day with lots of animal tracks in snow - deer, squirrel, small mammals, birds and turkey. Trail was snowy, but not too icy. Wind blowing pretty good in carpark, but it was very calm and warm along the trail up the mountain. I wore layers and was too warm by far. Stopped in at balanced rock near the top. Was hoping to be first up there for the day but got passed by a guy about 3/4 way up - the recent flu bug has left me so fatigued..! Got to top and wind blowing around the rocks - visibility pretty good. Could see pilot mt and Winston Salem pretty good - also could make out grandfather mt with my binocs. Top of tower was surprisingly protected from wind - it really was extremely pleasant up there. Spent some time taking photos etc and then heading down. Met a lot more hikers on way down. The route down seemed slippery than on the way up - I was glad of my hiking pole. Overall a very nice moderate hike with fantastic views at the top.

Had a great time on this hike. As others have mentioned, I recommend a counter-clockwise approach. Nice scenery and a nice workout.

1 month ago

I did an out to back hike from Dan River to Moore’s Knob. The Indian Creek Trail at Dan River is a nice start to the day. The trail crosses the creek a few times and there is no foot bridge so use caution traversing the rocks. This trail is all woods but it is a well maintained trail with some of it being an old logging road. You will see an abandoned logging truck from the logging days near the start of the trail and at the end is an abandoned cabin barn (barn that was built like a cabin). The Indian Creek Trail meets up with the Mountains To Sea Trail (MST) which will take you to two waterfalls; Window Falls then Hidden Falls. Take a moment if you can to explore the falls behind the window (a rock formation that looks like a window). From there you will reach the Hanging Rock State Park visitors center. You can use this as a rest/refuel point before you make the final push to The Rock. The trail to the rock will seem easy at first but there is a good elevation gain so save your legs. After you come back from the Rock, stop in at the Visitors Center and tour the museum and learn about the three hiking challenges in which you can earn a patch.

1 month ago

Just went yesterday (jan 4th). Pretty cold and windy so there was not many other people out. The hike is nice and the view from the peak is awesome. If you are going another great thing to check out is cascade falls which is only 0.3miles from the visitor center and is even handy-cap assessable. The falls are really pretty and are frozen right now.

Beautiful winter hike with my college age kids. We walked fast due to the subzero temps but it was not too strenuous and definitely worth it. Great views without the leaves on the trees, very peaceful spot - just what we needed on a bright winter’s day.

1 month ago

Great views and fun tough hike. I would definitely recommend going counterclockwise and hit hanging rock last.

Easy and pretty!! Beautiful falls at the bottom. We did the Hanging Rock trail and then this one. Do them Both!

Pleasantly surprised! The view from the top was much better than expected. We went in mid December and there wasn’t anyone else on the trail. I’m sure really pretty when all the leaves and foliage come back.

I’ve been multiple times and love it more every time

2 months ago

Good trail and great 360 view from the tower at the summit. The hike is more moderate than difficult. Also I didn’t find the stairs after the summit to be as annoying as other reviews stated.

2 months ago

Hiked this trail just yesterday, there was about 7 inches of snow at the which was fantastic. One thing to be aware of is that if you haven't been to the trails other than the main "Hanging Rock Trail" the other trail heads are a bit difficult to find. To get to this one park at the lake and walk towards the shelter. you'll come to a split one trail going up and to the left. This is not the correct trail. Keep going straight and around the lake. You're on the correct trail if it is marked with red and white circles. If you take the wrong fork like me you can take the magnolia springs trail across you'll just add another mile or more onto the loop. I'd travel the natural side (lower longer side) on the way up and the stairs on the way down. Be considerate of how much daylight you have as the mountain does block out the sun at about 4:30. Also be considerate of the temperature on top of the tower on a cold windy day it will be very very cold. I'd suggest layering up. The view was absolutely fantastic and I would even go so war as to say it is the best view in NC other than Mitchell and Elk Knob. If you are worried about finding the trail talk to the rangers in the station they are very helpful. Enjoy the hike!

Beautiful 360 degree view from the top! Lots of stairs so I recommend taking the nature trail on the way up and stairs down. There is a tower at the top with some informative plaques about the scenery.

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