Hanging Rock

Hike to the top of a mountain and view the impressive Hanging Rock.

Located near the center of Hanging Rock State Park is the namesake hiking destination of the park – Hanging Rock.  This 2.6 round-trip hiking trail takes you up to the summit of the beautiful rocky peak that is so strikingly visible as you enter the park.  There are also nice views of Hanging Rock from the scenic view located near the trailhead in the visitors center parking lot.

Hanging Rock State Park is a 7,000+ acre hotspot of outdoor activities and beautiful scenery including a number of waterfalls.    Located in the Sauratown mountain range, the park supports a number of recreational activities including hiking, biking, camping, swimming, fishing, boating and rock climbing.  There is also a visitors center and numerous picnic areas available for use.  The park is located about 45 minutes North of Winston-Salem North Carolina.

The trailhead for Hanging Rock is found at the visitor center which is located in the middle of the park.  As you enter the massive parking area, it will be on the right side of the lot on the opposite side of the visitor center building.  You could park by the scenic view if you want to get a quick look of where you are hiking to.  It may seem far off and high but the trail is very nice, easy to follow, and while it is uphill most of the way, this moderately rated hike isn’t too bad of a climb.  There are restroom facilities at the visitors center if you need to use them before heading out on your hike.

Follow the signs to the start of the trail which is initially paved, starts going downhill, and is marked with orange blazes.  You don’t go far before starting the uphill part of the climb about where the pavement ends and the trail turns to gravel.  The trail is nice and wide almost the entire length and even has a few benches if you need them to take a breather.

As you near the top, you will encounter a long stairway that takes you just below the rock summit.  from here the tail narrows a bit and veers right to circle around the back side of the peak.  After one last rocky set of stairs, you will reach the top and a much welcomed flatter landscape.  The trail becomes a little less defined on top but all you are doing at this point is walking to the far end of the plateau.

Your reward for reaching the top are exceptional views in almost every direction along with some great photo opportunities.  The area is wide and open so even if it is a busy day, you should have no problem finding your own spot to sit, relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the top of Hanging Rock.

Be sure to exercise caution, especially if you have little ones, as there aren’t any railings or protection from the sheer cliffs present at the far edge of the peak.  It is very beautiful, but it is also very exposed.

This is an out-and-back hike so when you are done enjoying your time at the top of Hanging Rock, hike down the mountain back to the parking lot.

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