Explore the most popular birding trails in Hanging Rock State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Not too long of a hike, but gets steep and challenging right at the top. BEAUTIFUL views from multiple lookout points - and great photo opportunities at hanging rock!

hiking
6 days ago

The value/difficulty of this trail depends on which route you take and your physical condition. An average person should find this quite doable, but not easy. It’s not technical, just a lot of elevation change.

Coming from the lake parking lot, if you take the route to the right (shorter by 0.7 miles) its all stone steps and constant climbing for 1.8 miles to the summit. A helluva workout, wider trail, but no real payoff until you reach the top.

Alternatively, take the longer route (2.5 miles to the top) to the left and its a much more enjoyable hike. Yes, it still has some climb to get you to the top, but no stairs until the last 50yds. Kids would have more fun going this way, too. Certainly an easier route. You will encounter multiple rock outcroppings and great vistas (slightly off trail) of the north and northwest, even grabbing a view of the Sauratowns and Pilot Mountain. Moving at a pretty leisurely pace, you can reach the summit in just over an hour or so.

Coming back down, you will have to decide to retrace your steps, or take the other part of the trail you didn’t come up. Watch your step on the stone steps...loose gravel can catch you off guard.

hiking
8 days ago

very good trail, I made the mistake of having to many drinks the night before and it made the trail a little bit tougher

hiking
11 days ago

Not worth the hike. It has stairs which makes it harder, but I don’t believe the views make up for the intense hike.

The views at the top were gorgeous, and it was a good workout..but very crowded, loud and lots of trash! I would only go back very early in the morning or maybe in the fall/winter months.

I'm a novice but this trail was tough but it taught me how to tough it out and finish even though the elevation and steps were a little tough. can't wait to tackle another one.

hiking
19 days ago

A nice trail but ALWAYS busy. Very steep stair-step type of climb for a long stretch with nice views at the top.

This park was very clean and well organized. The staff were friendly, and the people on the trails were pleasant. There were all sorts of different kinds of people, and it made nice for hiking alone. As for the terrain, I wouldn’t go if you want to just stroll through the woods. There were many handmade stairs and many rocks, and to get up to hanging rock was crazy! I died three times, but when i got to the top it was all worth it. You can hike barefoot for about half the trail if you would like, which i did, and it was comfortable and made for a better grip on the rocks. (At your own risk) the waterfalls weren’t as big as i would have thought but nice to hear the running water down the rocks, but since it was so busy it wasn’t as rewarding due to people being there. I did go on a weekend so that had something to do with it I’m sure. All in all, i enjoyed myself and got an awesome workout. The best things is i got to reflect and appreciate gods creation.

on Moores Knob Trail

23 days ago

Love it! Go several times per year. Not easy but not too hard. Good cardio hike. The view is so worth it !

on Indian Creek Trail

23 days ago

Great hike! We started from Danbury access to top and back. Much easier than starting at Hanging Rock parking lot and going down then back up. There are lots of pretty spots and scenery all around. 9 water crossings going 1 way. It had rained a bit this week so lots more water flowing through. Love the Falls!

It was okay the trail had some good views and very crowed I would recommend the trail still

great trail. very few people once you get past the waterfalls. very quiet and nice to hike along a beautiful creek. there are some great views of the dan river at the end.

I have a 10 and 12 year old, and we hiked to the Wolf Rock via the main Hanging Rock Trail. It’s well labeled with a blue triangle. We enjoyed the hike. The kids have only done moderate and easy trails and did just fine. We only saw one other group going back toward Hanging Rock trail. The trail is set well, but sharp rocks stick out of the ground sideways, so it was hard to keep our eyes up to enjoy the beauty: a rhododendron hell (they were in bloom), and the beauty of thick forested mountain side. We will be back to finish the trail now that we have a more accurate map via this app.

Did this hike today, took the long way up (not the stairs), it was a hard hike for me, but was very enjoyable and got a good work out. Once we got up there it poured down raining and wasn't able to see view. I would do this again.

Absolutely beautiful.

1 month ago

Nearly 15 miles there and back along Indian Creek Trail with deep woods with a great canopy for a hot day, multiple slippery rock crossings, some small water falls and pools plus a cool dip in the Dan River rapids. Last 1.5 miles straight up. Guess my heart's in good shape. Ready for a ice cold beer and a breezy hammock

Great hike! Very good to do on a hot and humid day! Refreshing waterfalls and shade galore!

Great day hike and great to wear out your kids or dogs!

on Hanging Rock Trail

hiking
1 month ago

This was an excellent trail for all age types. We walked it in a moderate rain shower and only got a little wet. The view at the top I’m sure is gorgeous, but was completely blocked by the clouds on this day. A paved trail followed by a dirt trail followed by a steep stair incline (that could get slick in a hard rain). Overall, a fun hike with an average workout.

Great trails! There’s a river that follows beside the trail, you can easily walk across them and the dogs loved the break for play/drinking. Don’t let the waterfall stop you from seeing the real beauty of this trail. KEEP Going!

Did this at the end of a hot day.... the scenery is beautiful!!! I wish I could post the picture not just of the cascade but the stairs to it.... at the end the cascades is spectacular aaaaand freezing water. Worth it.

The ending is worth it. I took my 9 and 14yr old on a hot day. With all the tree coverage it gave us a cool breeze. The hike was great and fun. It definitely has some beautiful sights.

Did this today right after the heavy rains cleared. Very easy hike with a big payoff.

Nice shaded trail along the water. Took the girls and dogs for mother’s day. Stop at road and turn around for 3.5 mile hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike, mostly shaded and not too steep. Great cardio with lots of stairs, could be difficult for some. The views from the lookout is also very nice. Great family outing.

hiking
2 months ago

I just this two days ago. I did about 13 miles. I started at Window and Hidden Falls then over to Hanging Rock (about the only place I saw people but wasn't many). Then made my way over to Wolf Rock, House Rock, then to Cooks Wall then back to House Rock and took the Magnolia Springs Trail North until I hit Moores Wall up to Moores Knob then headed down all the stairs towards Upper Cascade Falls to the parking lot where I then drove to the Lower Cascade Falls. I'll just sum the day up as absolutely beautiful and definitely worth every bit of it. Definitely worked on my legs. And all of the mountains had beautiful sights with Moores Knob as the best the Hanging Rock a very close second. I enjoyed it so much I will be back to do it again. Definitely bring water and good shoes.

Amazing place

This was a great trail! It was pretty easy to follow and it was not extensive at all. The waterfall feature was gorgeous!

hiking
2 months ago

Very good hike. 600 steps in the beginning trail as I left counterclockwise. 300 steps up hanging rock...all of the peaks were lightly traveled except hanging rock. Packed. A kid apparently fell two weeks before my hike. There must have been 60 people on hanging rock when I got there.

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