Hiking North Carolina
by Randy Johnson (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Randy Johnson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
First off, let me state the the park was and is immaculate and beautiful. Ample parking, easy to get to and relatively close by were all factors in picking this park for a short sunday hike and photo shoot.
Unfortunately that seemed to be the criteria the other 1000 people there were using. The trails were crowded, the noise (from the motorcycles and crowd)was distracting and there was little of the peace that I usually associate with hiking. The proximity to several large cities coupled with good weather undoubtably led to the abundance of people and that was frustrating to me.
On a positive note the scenery was spectacular, the weather was perfect,and the amenities plentiful. The directions and signage were slightly confusing but the rangers were helpful and all things considered,the crowd was well behaved.
When I return, I will do so when the weather is not so nice and probably on a weekday.
Hanging Rock State park is a jewel. Fine trails throughout the park, well maintained. Camping and swimming is also available. A better address is Danbury, NC. Danbuty has a beautiful park along the Dan River.
Coming from Western Australia, my wife & I are used to open spaces, solitude & not hearing traffic noise when we go hiking. Living on the NC/VA border, however, means that this can be difficult to achieve without driving for at least 4 hours.
Recently we drove down to Hanging Rock and escaped the crowds by doing the Cook''s Wall hike. This hike just blew us away. We spent several hours hiking through lovely lush forests & being teased by occasional views south across the piedmont. We rested for lunch at Cook''s wall & had the most magnificent views of the southern & western piedmont, including Pilot Mountain. As we munched our lunch, all we could hear was the wind through the trees as we watched the raptors soar in the thermals above Cook''s Wall.
The was a wonderful experience which helped us recharge our batteries & face another week living in the city.
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