Friday, June 7, 2013

Hanging Rocks State Park, NC


North Carolina has a rich landscape with thick forests, wildlife, and native flora. North Carolina has 34 state parks and conservation is important in the state my family calls home. Hanging Rocks State Park has more than 300 species of mountain flora in the park! The streams and moist forest areas create a wonderful ecosystem for a variety of amphibians and a source of fresh water for many animals such as the white-tailed deer. The moist ecosystem at Hanging Rocks is especially well suited for salamanders. The Wehrle's salamander, is found only in this area of the state.


Before Hanging Rocks came about, it had been owned by developers who planned to create a mountain resort on the highest peak. Thankfully, it fell through during the initial construction due to bankruptcy. In 1936, Stokes County Committee for Hanging Rocks and Winston-Salem Foundation donated 3,096 acres to North Carolina for the founding of a state park. In 2009, the total rose to 7,096 after more acres were added. 


Some visitors are very daring. It is climb at your own risk.

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The rugged rocks, landscape, flowers, and even the moss creeping along the forest floor made the climb entertaining. There were some features that were curious indeed. The tree to the left looks like it is actually growing out of the rock.


The park markers on trees keeps those who get easily lost in mind (that would include me).

Mountain Flora
Rhododendron ponticum


Kalmia latifolia, commonly called mountain-laurel.


Fire Pink (Silene virginica) is a wildflower in the pink family.


Hanging Rocks State Park is home to 5 significant waterfalls. We took the trail to Window Falls and Hidden Falls. The photo above is Window Falls and it has a height of 27 ft.


The “window” inspired the name.


Hidden Falls is smaller with a height of 13 ft. Both waterfalls were beautiful and were just a small taste of the astounding beauty within the park.

Elizabeth’s Traveling Tips: Be sure to arrive early if you want a parking space! The weekdays are probably the best time to go. We went on Memorial Day and by lunch the spots were full. As the picture shows, people were going around and around waiting for a space to come available.


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