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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.

10 hours 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.

5 days 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.

15 days 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.

21 days 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

1 month 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.

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.

Beautiful view from the top, especially during autumn foliage. Lots of stairs but totally worth it when you finally reach the top!

Five peaks loop is a blast. I hike slow and stopped for pictures/snacks at the peaks and it took me 8 hours to complete.Hanging Rock was my first peak and Moore's Wall was my last. This loop is a great way to see a large area of the park. Don't forget to stop in the Visitor's Center for your challenge badge if interested!

1 month ago

One of Hanging Rock's lesser-known trails (and therefore lesser trafficked). Beautiful views, and lots of opportunity to climb all over the top of Moore's Knob

the view was incredible and while at the top a young couple asked me to take their picture, while I was taking the picture the young man got down on his knee and asked her to marry him!!!!! it was a beautiful experience!!

Perfect full day hike. Challenging but not overly physical with great views. If you can tackle 10+ mile hikes, I highly suggest this one!

2 months ago

Thanks to a very helpful woman in the visitor center, I took a loop that included Hanging Rock Trail to Wolf Rock Trail to Cooks Wall Trail to the end, and then backtracked to Magnolia trail to Moore’s loop trail to the parking lot. This was a beautiful trip that was about 6.5 miles and took me about 3 hours to complete. The trail type was very diverse, continuously changing from the paved uphill climb of Hanging Rock trail to a meandering packed earth walk through the woods to narrow, steep and uneven rocky climbs. If you are an intermediate to advanced hiker who enjoys hearing nothing other than the crunch of the leaves under your hiking boots and the sound of your own breath then you’ll LOVE this trail! I didn’t see one single person for over three hours (1st person spotted ~1/2 mile from parking lot), but I did get the joy of seeing a doe, a few squirrels and a couple of fat songbirds. I would not recommend this trail to a brand new hiker, or if doing several flights of stairs is difficult for you. It had an elevation climb of over 1000 ft. The trails were excellently marked, however I did find a couple of the signs confusing. Plan ahead and know the trail markers you are looking for and you will be fine. The views were spectacular, and I personally love that most of the trail is in the woods. With most of the leaves down definitely dress in layers, wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water and snacks. Also would recommend starting before lunch during the fall or winter to be sure to be off the trails before dark. HIGHLY RECOMMEND ⭐️

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