Through Hanging Rock State Park
In 1936, 3,096 acres of land was donated to the state of North Carolina from the Stokes County Committee for Hanging Rock and the Winston-Salem Foundation, thus allowing for Hanging Rock State Park to be established. Many of the facilities in the park were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC, a work relief program that gave millions of unemployed, unmarried men work on environmental projects. Some of those projects within the park were a concrete and earthen dam that houses the park’s 12-acre lake, a stone bathhouse, diving tower, picnic and shelter area and even hiking trails. Today, the park sits at over 7,000 acres with a 73-site campground, stocked lake for swimming and canoeing and more than 20 miles of hiking trails with designated picnic areas throughout.
1. Lower Cascades
By far the most spectacular waterfall in the state park, Lower Cascades provides stunning views year-round. The water from the fall fans out into a large but shallow wading pool. When the water levels are safe, you are even able to climb up the sides of the fall. In addition to the beauty of the falls, Lower Cascades also offers another distinctive feature: the high, overhanging, layered rock formation that produces a natural amphitheater situated just left of the fall.
2. Hidden Falls
As easy hike down Indian Creek Trail, Hidden Falls is only 0.4 miles away. While this fall is small in comparison to the others within the park, the trail down is simple enough for a fun reward. Hidden Falls is a great fall to enjoy easy rock hopping along the relatively quiet stream.
3. Window Falls
Receiving its name from the adjacent rock formation containing a small aperture, Window Falls is a beauty all its own. The fall is located 0.2 miles past Hidden Falls down a more moderately difficult downhill trail including a deep rock staircase. You are able to view the fall from two different vantage points: one from above near the “window” and the other from a more up-close and personal view from the base of the fall. Climbing behind the fall can prove to be a slippery path, but incredible nonetheless.
4. Upper Cascades
Flowing over a steep cascade before continuing down Cascades Creek to Lower Cascades, Upper Cascades provide all the natural wonder a waterfall should. From an easy 0.2-mile walk on crushed rock to the abundance of flowing water, Upper Cascades Trail allows for all skill levels of hikers to reach and enjoy the falls.