Hanging Rock State Park
Earlier this week, Denise and I drove up to Hanging Rock State Park for a day of hiking and photography. The park is a couple of hours away from Raleigh and northeast of Winston-Salem. It is park of an old mountain range called the Sauratown Mountains, named after the Saura Indians.
We had been to Hanging Rock once before (looking back at earlier photos, I found to my surprise it had been more than nine years ago). My plan for the day was to hike the park's namesake trail, connect to another trail on the way back down, and then over to the western side of the lake, and back to the parking lot. All this should have been less than five miles. In the end, we turned what was supposed to be five miles into nine miles.
The hike up to Hanging Rock was on a wide path. I think most people visiting the park use this trail. The trail was rated as moderate, and it was, until the last half mile or so, which was pretty steep. But the hike was worth it. When we got to the top, the view was great and there weren't many other people there, and they left pretty quickly. We stayed at the top for about an hour, taking photos and enjoying a snack.
Hanging Rock View 1Hanging Rock State Park Hanging Rock View 2Hanging Rock State Park Hanging Rock View 3Hanging Rock State Park Woman Looking Toward Moore's KnobHanging Rock State Park
We then hiked over to Wolf Rock, which is pretty much an outcrop, facing south, from which you can see both Greensboro and Winston-Salem on the horizon. As I explained to a guy we met in the park, they were pretty small on the horizon. Yes, you could see some tall buildings to the southwest and southeast, but they were teeny-tiny. If you hold your arm out toward the horizon with your thumb and index finger about a quarter inch apart--that's how small they were.
We then hiked down from the ridge to the nice little lake and back to the parking lot. After a short break, we decided to go visit a couple of the waterfalls in the park because, "oh, they're just a half mile away." What we didn't know was that one of them was a good ways down a bunch of steps. Going down I remarked to Denise that they were going to be heck coming back up. We got down to Window Falls, and it was not much more than a trickle. Then back up (and it was heck) and over a short distance to Hidden Falls and there wasn't much water in it either. "Oh well, wouldn't know if we didn't go there. Good exercise."
At this point, we had hiked a mile and a half more than I thought we were going to hike that day. My calves, knees, and hip were starting to feel the burn. But we weren't done yet. As they say, "To be continued..."
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