Hanging Rock and Window Falls Trails

MODERATE 77 reviews
#3 of 20 trails in

Hanging Rock and Window Falls Trails is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Danbury, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.5 miles
892 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips

trail running


bird watching




wild flowers



Park northwest of Winston-Salem has some of the state's prettiest waterfalls east of the Appalachian Mountains. Three easy strolls to picturesque waterfalls offer the perfect introduction to Hanging Rock State Park, the top hiking destination within an hour of the Triad cities of Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem. None of these falls are more than a mile from your car, so they're open to just about any ability level. They do require delicate footwork at times, offering a prelude to Hanging Rock's more challenging trails, which can be steep, rocky and downright difficult. Main quirk of this tour: you need to park twice, once at the park headquarters and again at Lower Cascade entrance on Hall Road just outside the park entrance.

3 months ago

I hiked this today and I was very happy with the trip. It takes a leisurely couple hours and expect some 60% gradients and a lot of stairs. Well worth it though!

4 months ago

One of the beautiful places to see the fall colors. It was an easy hike and pet friendly. Usually takes 2-3 hrs from car to car.

4 months ago

Window and hidden falls are beautiful just not a whole lot once you get to them! The travel to hanging rock is amazing with a little challenge to it! Definitely will be going back.

6 months ago

A great hike with several options to lengthen it if wanted. Hanging Rock Trail makes it all worth it.

6 months ago

Love the short strenuous like hike to a beautiful overlook!! The dog did really well too! Bring water!

7 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Water was up for the falls. The rock was crowded. It is a moderate hike.

10 months ago

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What a trash heap.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2.8 mi
462 ft elevation change

Weather was beautiful & one of the first in the parking lot.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

fun hike with a friend

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Did this during the 5 peaks challenge and this was on the way. You get a badge for it. It's 10.8 miles, I did more than 13 miles in 4hrs

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Beautiful views!

Monday, November 14, 2016

We would do this one again. Although it was super crowded, the views from the top were worth it. Arrive early and do the summit first, then the falls, which were less crowded.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Love the waterfalls just it was a drought so the flow was not good . But will be back after some better Rain to capture the beauty of the Falls .

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Although our crew arrived a little later than we wanted (10am) we really enjoyed this hike. Narrow areas were a little congested when other families/groups walked through, but once we got to Hanging Rock, it was totally worth it. Incredible views to be sure. There were dozens of people on the rock which made it challenging to get a view from, but there wasn't a bad view from anywhere. Look forward to doing this hike again.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Two very nice out and back trails that start in the same area of the visitor center parking lot and are perfect to combine. I definitely recommend getting an early start, especially on Hanging Rock. A separate entry for Lower Cascades Falls was removed and combined here. It is on Hall Road below and just outside the main park entrance. It's an easy short hike to a wonderful waterfall and pool.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Amazing views from the top. Worth the hike up, can't wait to go back!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Fun hike

Friday, June 24, 2016

Great trail. Difficult 4 miles but well worth the view. Glad we did Hanging Rock Trail first, it was more challenging than the falls. Would do again. Bring lots of water!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Absolutely beautiful can't wait to go back and do the other trails. Just completed the hanging rock trail

Thursday, March 10, 2016

awesome trail very scenic with some steep trails. this trail is great for those who are looking to spend a few hours roughing it up the side of this small mountain for an increadible view. took me 3 hours without including the hour i spent at the top taking in the view. plenty of places to hang a hammock at the top. the falls are yet another steep hill going down and its the perfect way to cool down after going to the top of hanging rock. i will be hiking this trail often!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Best trail I've ever hiked in North Carolina so far.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Absolutely awesome hike on an absolutely beautiful clear November day; we started early around 9AM to beat the crowds to Hanging Rock [most hike this in mid to early afternoon] and had the summit practically to ourselves. The weather was a bit cool and windy in the morning but starting warming quickly; with all the leaves off the trees, you can see forever once you ascend the ridge and from the top the view to Moore's Knob is spectacular. Downhill from the top to Window Falls was easy and enjoyed the morning lighting on the bottom falls and Window Falls, as well as the short spur to Hidden Falls. Highly recommend this "almost" loop, but is essentially two out and backs from the Visitor Center parking lot. Enjoy, especially if not crowded!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Was a Ranger in this park 45 years ago. Did an excellent job of capturing the essence of this beautiful park!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

About an hour north of Greensboro or Winston-Salem, the Hanging Rock trail is a 2.6 mi. (out and back) trail starting and ending at the Hanging Rock State Park information center parking lot. It starts out in the forest and is deceptively easy, downhill on a wide concrete-paved path that extends about 100 yds. past a creek bed. From the creek bed the trail heads upward and the concrete path transitions to gravel. The slope here is relatively gentle and the path is level and wide enough for park service vehicles. Further up the slope, the trail transitions to sand/dirt, is still fairly wide, and crosses a comfortable little saddle on the ridge where the ground varies from gently sloping to basically level. At this point, the views off either side of the trail are down a steep, wooded, incline that falls off fairly quickly to the north and south of the trail. Following the nice breather that is afforded by the sand/dirt portion of the trail, the path begins to ascend toward Hanging Bluff. The trail goes from sand to mostly rock and wooden beams that the park service has nicely positioned so that the hiker is basically climbing steps. In some places the steps are relatively even, other places, the rocks are more haphazard. At this point the trail is reasonably steep, though I saw people of all ages, and footwear, climbing the toughest part of the trail. Though there were folks with flip flops, I found that my hiking shoes and walking stick gave me much better purchase on the rocks and stability on the uneven ground. Shortly after this climb, the trail turns toward the west and levels out a bit (around 2000 ft. ASL) as it approaches Hanging Rock Bluff. The views at the bluff are really pleasant, overlooking the Piedmont of North Carolina to the south, Moore's Knob to the West, and more rolling hills to the North. The times I've been to the bluff, there was a nice breeze blowing across the rocks and there were plenty of places to sit and enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside seen from rocky crags or through the weather-beaten pine trees that clung to the rocks. The return walk is obviously, mostly downhill. If there's been any rain, the walking stick is helpful in descending the steepest part of the trail.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Hiked this trail with my 12 year old nephew the day after Thanksgiving. Trail is easy and well maintained. There were a lot of people on the trail in the early afternoon. Fewer people on the waterfall trails. My nephew had fun climbing the rock formations and climbing through the window at Window Falls.

Monday, April 22, 2013

This trail also lead into Indian Creek trail which is a nice walk and eventually winds down to the Dan River.

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