Hanging Rock State Park
|Looking northwest from the Lookout Tower atop Moore's Knob|
Many years ago when our children were young, we took a hike up to Moore's Knob at Hanging Rock State Park. The hike was brutal. A hot day....out of shape hikers....looming thunder storm....we never made it to the summit. Though I returned the next year and made the hike, my hiking companion had in her minds eye that the hike up Moore's Knob was something she never wanted to attempt again.....but to my surprise, her summer hiking with the Fat Bald White Guy changed her mind. With a Friday off from work she said: "Let's hike Moore's Knob"....so off we went!
Moore's Knob is the tallest of the Saura Mountains (2579) just minutes from downtown Winston-Salem at the Hanging Rock State Park.
The Moore's Wall Loop trail is a nice 5 mile trek from the Lake Parking lot. It begins parallel to a lake built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930's
Late afternoon view of the lake provided us with a view of autumn leave reflections
The trail weaves around the lake and generally follows the creek that runs between the Moore's Wall and the Cooks Wall mountains. In many low spaces wooden walkways are built to keep your feet dry. After a half mile you veer from the creek bank and begin to climb Moore's Wall
The trail offers a chance to enjoy the colors of fall foliage.
I usually take a rest break beneath an interesting tree and this trail was no exception. The afternoon sun illuminated the trail at times like a spot light
About a mile into hike, the trail begins a steep ascent to the top of Moore's Wall. Thankfully the trail was not nearly as steep as my hiking companion remembered. It was rocky but really a nice heart thumping trail that was easily overcome with a few brief rest stops. The trail levels off along the Moore's Wall ridge line and occasional outcropping provide some previews of scenery soon to be seen from Moore's Knob.
A nice farm can be seen from these windows as well as a more expansive view of the mountains to the southwest.
Also along the ridge line trail are many interesting rock formations some of which also provide some nice views.
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer, my God, my Rock in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
The ridge line trail was quite a bit longer than I remembered and at times I was thankful that it was well marked as it meanders among so many rock formations that I could see how you could become confused without the red/white dots guiding your path.
The trail intersects with a rock stair trail which leads from the campground to the lookout tower... but before we took in the views, we had to stop and take a look at "Balanced Rock"
A converted Fire Tower provides an expansive viewing deck giving a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside.
|Hanging Rock viewed from Moore's Knob|
|Mt Pilot peeking around Sauratown Mtn.|
|Hanging Rock St Park Lake|
We also can see the lake where the trail begins and get an idea of how far we had walked. My GPS said it was 3.5 miles.
Look carefully and you can see the outline of a Hawk dancing in the wind.
Take my word that the outline of the skyline of Winston-Salem can be seen over Cooks Wall to the southeast.
I was envious of the young couple perched on top of Moore's Knob but did not want to disturb their moment.....will have to get that view the next time!
The trip back to the parking lot is a 1.6 mile hike down a rock stair trail. It is a much shorter route to the Knob should you want to just visit the Knob but I am not sure it not more steep....
It is a pleasant walk down the mountain and just before you enter the campground you ford a small creek. After walking through the campground, the trail leads back to the trail leading around the lake. And we got to get some more views at the wonderful fall reflections.
Hanging Rock State Park is a wonderful place. It is close and scenic with many interesting trails. Access is a 10....the Trails are 9....the views are an 8....FBWG gives this hike a solid 9....if you want to start hiking this is the place you need to come. If you are a hiker and you need a trail fix this is a great place too. If you have never been to Hanging Rock...what are you waiting for?