Lisa at Hanging Rock State Park

Hanging Rock State Park Hike (after 10 years!)

We were trying to figure out how many years it’s been since we camped and hiked at Hanging Rock State Park, and we think we were last there at least 10 years ago.

I remember taking our kids there to hike on Thanksgiving at couple of times, and one time Lance and I camped there for about a week; I remember buying ice cream from a nearby general store and rushing with it to our favorite hidden spot in this park on the Mountains-to-Sea trail, where a icy creek ran in a clear sheet over a smooth stone creekbed.

View from Hanging Rock summit
View from Hanging Rock summit

I think we’ve hiked every trail out there at one time or another. It makes a really pleasant day trip from lots of places in North Carolina, including both Raleigh—where we lived for about 12 years—and the Boone area, where we’ve been for the last 9 years.

The mountain laurels are in bloom, and their little “fairy skirts” (or fairy teacups!) are everywhere along the trails. We also lucked into seeing a blue-tailed skink, which I think is just the juvenile version of this much larger skink, which is bronze with a reddish head.

The juvenile was about 5 inches long, and the adult at least 8 inches, and fat as a biscuit!

Lance & Lisa Hanging Rock State Park
Lance & Lisa Hanging Rock State Park

The trail up to the summit of Hanging Rock used to be a little over 2 miles, but they’ve recently put in a brand new trail, and the mileage now is a bit closer to 4 miles out and back. The grade is steep at first, but it levels out quickly, and they’ve made it quite wide, too; I bet four people could easily walk side-by-side on this one, and it’s so new the forest canopy hasn’t closed back up over the trail, leaving it quite sunny.

We had the entire trail almost completely to ourselves, and only saw a few other people at the summit.

Lisa at Hanging Rock State Park
Lisa at Hanging Rock State Park
Hanging Rock state park
Hanging Rock state park

It was a great day for a quick detour up there for some hiking and some beautiful views on our way to Raleigh to see parents and grandkids!

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