Hanging Rock Trail
Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina
Difficulty
hike difficulty
7.8
Length
hike difficulty
2.5
Duration 1 - 2 hours
Elevation Gain 780 ft.
State North Carolina
Park/Forest Hanging Rock State Park
Parking Fee None
Blaze Orange Circles
Nearby City Danbury, NC
Trailhead Coord. 36.395007, -80.265255

Hiking the namesake trail in Hanging Rock State Park offers visitors incredible views at the cost of a moderate climb over this short trail. Only an hour away from Winston-Salem and Greensboro, this is an excellent park for a quick getaway. Just don’t expect solitude unless you go during the week or in the offseason.



As you enter the park, winter views abound along the 1.7 mile entrance road to the visitor center. The massive parking lot should be an indication of how busy this park can get, so if at all possible check it out on a weekday or in the off season. Before heading out, be sure to stop by the visitor center, equipped with clean restrooms, snacks, and a complimentary trail map.



The Hanging Rock trail begins across the parking lot from the visitor center. Nearby is a small platform with a clear view of the summit you are about to ascend. The trail begins with paved steps leading down to a wide, paved path. Although the trail is easily followed, look for the orange blazes to guide you. For just over a tenth of a mile, the path descends moderately. As it begins its first long incline, the pavement gives way to an equally wide gravel path. For the next .4 miles, the trail ascends rapidly, gaining 250 feet. There are several benches along the way for those that need a break.



At half a mile, the Wolf Rock trail branches off to the right. From here, you can get occasional glimpses of Hanging Rock to the right through the trees. Shortly after passing the intersection, the trail flattens out along the ridge. Catch your breath during this section; the rest of the trail is uphill.



At .85 miles, a series of wooden steps begin a 100 foot climb in .1 miles. The trail hugs the edge of the rock until coming to another series of stone steps at 1 mile in. The trail begins to level out near the top, passing several large rock formations before opening up to the double rock ledges of Hanging Rock right at 1.2 miles. Explore around, there are expansive views to the North, West, and South. Directly below is the trail along the ridge you hiked moments before, and to the left is the visitor center and parking lots. Be careful around the edges, the wind can get very strong on the open cliff face.



On the way back, take your time. Steep descents can be just as strenuous on your legs and feet as going uphill. Plenty of wildlife can be seen in the park, including deer and wild turkey. Dogs are allowed on the trail as long as on a leash.

IMAGES & VIDEO
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TERRAIN MAP
Green MarkerTrailhead   Blue MarkerPoint of Interest   Yellow MarkerDirections

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ELEVATION PROFILE
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GETTING THERE
Trailhead Coordinates
36.395007, -80.265255 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 36°23.7, W 80°15.92 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 36°23'42'', W 80°15'55'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

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Further Directions
The trailhead is across the parking lot from the visitor center.

ADDITIONAL INFO

Ranger District Information
Hanging Rock State Park
1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury, NC 27016
336-593-8480



Cautions & Warnings
The rock cliffs are straight drop offs and the wind can pick up fast and strong on the exposed rocks, so be careful.