Two easily reached waterfalls in one hike is what you get with this destination.
Northeast of the visitors center at Hanging Rock State Park are two beautiful waterfalls that are a short and easy hike from the visitors center parking lot. Using a brief section of the Mountains-to-Sea trail, the 6/10’s of a mile hike to Hidden Falls and Window Falls is pleasant and highly recommended if you visit Hanging Rock State Park.
The trailhead to the falls is located on the far end of the parking lot opposite the entrance. Look for the Indian Creek Trail signs as this is the trail that leads to the falls. There is also an informative sign board at the trailhead. There are restroom facilities at both the visitors center and at the beginning section of the trail and it cuts through the picnic shelters.
The trail initially starts out somewhat level and wide as you make your way through numerous picnic areas and shelters. The trail is marked with red blazes and is very easy to follow as there is more than adequate signage present. While there is a slight elevation change on the trail as you descend down to the falls, it really isn’t too difficult. The hike to Hidden Falls is rated as easy and the hike to Window Falls is rated as moderate.
As you near the end of the picnic area, you will pass a large shelter on the right. The trail will narrow up a bit and continue into the forest. Continue until you encounter some large steps where the trail will fork at the bottom. Hidden Falls is just a short distance ahead on the right while Window Falls is another 2/10’s of a mile down the trail to your left. We started with Hidden Falls on the right fork.
About 100 feet past the fork down a slight slope, you will encounter the humble Hidden Falls as it pours over several layers of rocks. Hidden Falls isn’t the highest waterfall in the park nor does it lead with water volume. However this picturesque little cascade doesn’t disappoint and is worth the trek to see it.
When you are done viewing Hidden Falls, hike back up the trail towards the fork so that you can continue onto Window Falls. Past the fork, the trail descends slightly until you reach the end where it descends sharply down a series of steps that first take you to an observation area where you can view the falls from an elevated perspective. You can continue a short distance down the stairs and eventually reach the base of the falls.
Window Falls separates from the cliff and has a area where you could walk behind the falls and even stand directly under it if you wanted to. On a hot Carolina Summer day, don’t be surprised if see someone doing just that. Regardless of whether you decide to cool off or not, you will enjoy just hanging out and taking in the beauty of Window Falls.
This is an out-and-back hike so when you are done, hike back up the stairs and head back towards the parking area. If you packed your lunch, you could stop at the picnic tables that are right before the parking area.