As I have visited Hanging Rock several times and it is one of my favorite places in North Carolina, I am going to provide you with expert tips to a great weekend in the woods at Hanging Rock State Park.
The perfect "mountains away from the mountains" trip for a weekend just outside of the city.
Located in Danbury, NC, just outside of Winston-Salem and Greensboro, about 2.5 hours from Raleigh.
Make a reservation
The park itself has free entry, but if you are going for the weekend, it is best to rent a campsite.
Especially if you want to get the full on experience of a weekend in a state park.
From spring to fall there are bath houses with showers and during the winter there are out houses to use.
Make sure to check park hours, there is a gate that closes at night.
Plan your days/hikes
There are several different trails and things to see at Hanging Rock State Park - over 20 miles of trails total.
I would advise looking into the map ahead of time. Although most of the main trails aren't very long and can probably all be packed into one day, you should disperse them and also enjoy time at your campsite, explore the lake, etc.
to make the most out of your weekend.
i.e. Do the waterfall hikes on day 1, then the Hanging Rock trail and canoe the second day ..
or however you want to split it up.
Canoeing, kayaking, and swimming is available at the lake during the summer and on the weekends in the spring and fall.
Check the weather
and be prepared! If you get stuck in the rain like I did, it does make for great waterfalls, and can still be enjoyable if properly prepared. Thank God I waterproofed my tent before going and was expecting it. Whatever the weather may be, you want to be ready for it … you will be outside.
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Bring Food & water
This one is pretty self explanatory, being that you will be in the middle of the woods,
but figured I would include it anyways. Make sure to bring enough food, water, and SNACKS to provide you energy for a weekend of hiking around. I like to pack high protein snack bars for a weekend hiking at Hanging Rock or really camping anywhere, as I like to travel as light as possible. Clif bars, for example.
P.S. the nearest grocery store is about 20 minutes away.
Fun Fact : Hanging Rock State Park covers around 8,000 acres of land
and has recently acquired about 750 more acres and is working to expand the park!
Last minute checklist :
Comfortable shoes - comfort comes first while hiking
Stakes for the tent (bc one time is enough to know how necessary these are)
Camera or Good Quality phone to take photos to remember the great time you’re gonna have
A hammock – how do you camp without one of these ?
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♥ Haley Jane
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