State & National Parks
Explore Hanging Rock State Park
Located in Stokes County about 30 miles from Winston-Salem, is a natural treasure, Hanging Rock State Park. The Park is located among the Sauratown Mountains, named for the Saura Indians who were early inhabitants of the region years ago. Millions of years of fierce weather wore down the mountains and left only the erosion-resistant quartzite, which now supports scenic ridges and knobs throughout the region.
The most abundant of the more than 300 varieties of flora found here include rhododendron, azalea, mountain laurel and ferns. Wildflowers sprinkle the area’s bare rock shooting colors of pink, purple and yellow against the gray palate of stone.
Among the indigenous animals you may spot along the way are white-tailed deer, raccoon and perhaps a gray fox. Songbirds fill the mountain air with their melodic banter and are often joined by Screech Owls, Whippoorwills and chorus frogs.
In addition to viewing wildlife, guests of Hanging Rock State Park also have plenty of “hands-on” opportunities. Rowing or canoeing on the lake affords fishermen (and women) a wonderful opportunity to come face to face with Bass, a fish that is abundant here.
Eighteen miles of hiking trails exist in the forest showcasing streams, waterfalls and even a cave for exploration. Rock climbers can choose between Cook's Wall and Moore's Wall, a series of cliffs up to 400 feet high and extending almost two miles. NOTE: Climbers must register with the park due to strict environmental guides and nesting habits of indigenous fowl.
A beloved tradition of North Carolina is that of the picnic. The park offers 60 picnic tables located along the trailheads of many paths that lead to stunning views of waterfalls and overlooks. All of the park’s offerings allow for a weekend full of activities. Campers are offered sites complete with picnic table, grill, tent pad and nearby shower facilities. For those who aren’t quite into “roughing it”, cabins are available for rent.
Whether just stopping by for a glance of the view, or making this a fun-filled family vacation, Hanging Rock State Park beckons nature lovers to enjoy a little bit of heaven on earth.
added: December 29, 2008
updated: December 31, 2008