Hanging Rock State Park, Part 2
Picking up from the end of the last post, we had gotten back to the parking lot after visiting Hidden and Window Falls and our legs were starting to ache. By this point we had hiked about six and a half miles, but we weren't done yet. "Hey, let's go see the Upper Cascades. They're just 0.3 miles away and it's an 'easy' trail." The trail was nice and there was a viewing platform overlooking the cascades. But who takes a picture from there? I scrambled down the stairs and rocks to get to the base of the falls. Much better from there.
Upper CascadesHanging Rock State Park
As we got to the base of the falls/cascades, we noticed people were walking in the water downstream from the cascades. Since it involved walking through water, we weren't about to follow them, so we walked back up to the platform and to the trail. I noticed a spot off to the left of the trail that looked like a faint trail, heading downhill, and I thought I could hear water. Of course, I had to see where it went. I figured there must be another set of cascades down there somewhere. Sure enough, once we got down off some large boulders and around another huge boulder, we found what I call the "Middle Cascades." Denise thought these were the best falls we had seen all day.
Middle Cascades (Lower part of Upper Cascades)Hanging Rock State Park
We got back up to the truck, rested a while, and looked at the park map. A relatively new trail (since we had first been there nine years ago) had been developed down next to the Dan River. Another "easy" loop trail and only 1.3 miles. "What the heck, may as well do it while we're here, and then we can drive over to the other waterfall we hadn't seen on the other side of the park."
The Riverbluffs Trail is one that isn't visited much. It's a narrow track through..."short vegetation." After a half mile or so, it gets close to the river and bluffs on the other side of the river can be seen through the trees. A little further a short spur takes you to the river at a point where there are some "rapids." Since the trail isn't visited much, and since I was leading on this walk, I encountered a number of unseen spider webs along the trail. But then I saw a huge one. At that time I picked up a stick and knocked it down. For the rest of the way on that trail, I waved that stick in front of me. I wasn't interested in staying on that trail any longer than I had to, so we walked faster than we did all day. I would not recommend that trail to anyone.
We got back to the parking lot and headed over to the other side of the park to see Tory's Falls. The waterfall was less than a quarter mile down a well-used trail. Unfortunately, it was another trickle. Oh well. Now we know what it looks like.
We managed to drag ourselves back up to the truck and make our way back home. Nine miles. Seven trails. Four waterfalls. My calves ached for three days afterward. But it was a fun day. I look forward to going back to Hanging Rock State Park soon. I might not hike as far though. Maybe just five miles.
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