Earlier this month I enjoyed hiking to the top of the mountain at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, N.C., with my daughter and son.
This is one of my favorite parks in North Carolina, and we’ve visited numerous times. It’s located in the northern part of the state, about 30 minutes north of Winston-Salem. There are several different trails in the park, some with wonderful waterfalls to enjoy.
This trip, we chose to do the Hanging Rock trail, which goes all the way to the top. The trail is 1.3 miles each way, and completely wooded with the exception of the summit.
The park brochure lists this trail as “moderate.” I find it’s definitely a great workout. The trail starts off paved, then changes to steps and rocks, especially the closer you get to the top. Expect many inclines, declines and stairsteps along the way.
I realized this time that I really do need to invest in a good pair of hiking shoes. I wore my running shoes, which are fine on flat trails, but they aren’t great for navigating through hills and climbing on rocks. If you have any recommendations on a brand you like, please let me know.
Your efforts are well worth it when you get to the top, and can walk around on the rocks, or just sit and enjoy the spectacular views from both sides of the mountain.
We worked up quite an appetite. After we left there, as has become my tradition, we stopped to eat at Dan River Family Restaurant, located along the side of the road not far from the park. I just can’t resist their tender, delicious pit-cooked pork barbecue, made daily. It is the best I’ve had in North Carolina!
If you have a chance to visit Hanging Rock State Park, definitely do. It’s a great place for the whole family to enjoy a day outdoors. Leashed dogs are welcome, too. Admission and parking are free.
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