Explore the most popular hiking 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.

We completed this hike yesterday. We went clockwise leaving Moore’s knob until last. That’s a difficult climb to end with but I didn’t feel like heading up a mile of steps at the beginning. Next time we will try counterclockwise, starting at Moore’s knob. It was very beautiful and satisfying to complete. Not much traffic except around hanging rock. Fantastic views. Take plenty of water. My son who has had four heart surgeries managed this without difficulty, so not too bad at all. Great day hike.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike! We cut the hike in 1/2 to make it a little over 3 miles. Once you get past the waterfalls the crowd really dies down. We will definitely do this one again.

hiking
17 days ago

Nice views of hanging rock and Flat Shoals

hiking
17 days ago

I wouldn’t exactly say this is “hard”; my 11 and 13 year old kids did it without a problem. Gets the blood flowing and the heart pumping for sure, though. The view at the top is 360° of beauty. Do it! So worth it!!

hiking
18 days ago

We went during Easter weekend and wow was it crowded!! So many dogs too. I brought my 2 dogs and they loved it too. The first part was paved and the closer you get to hanging rock- the steeper it is.

hiking
19 days ago

A good hike with scenic views. We hiked this on a Saturday and there were way too many people for us. Would hike it again during the week.

The trail has about 200 semi steep steps but very easily done and well worth the hike!

did this with my friends and we really enjoyed it. not too hard, perfect hike for those who aren’t necessarily extremely athletic.

I also reccomend doing Moore's Nob first (counterclockwise). I started with Hanging Rock first, met a busload of 3rd graders coming down the trail and an additional 15 or so at the top. Maybe that'll thin-out if you do it last. Its definitely an easier finishing segment. I did the entire loop and the map shows about 10 miles, my phone shows closer to 11. Eating lunch, sightseeing, little more than 5 hours.

It’s called Five Overlooks...not peaks.

hiking
1 month ago

Not hard, per se, but a sure heart-pumper if you take the loop trail first and finish with the direct descent back to the parking area. Definitely worth the payoff view at the top.

Loved this trail! Super rocky on the way up... a fun challenge! Great view at the top!

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

walking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months 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

hiking
2 months 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.

2 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months 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

hiking
4 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.

hiking
4 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!

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