Hanging Rock State Park

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Last weekend we took the family up to Hanging Rock State Park in north central North Carolina.  We had planned to camp for two nights in the park but when we arrived about 4:30 the camp ground was already full.  Uh-oh.  Now what?

We had passed the Sertoma 4H camp on our way in the Camp Host told us there was a small campground as part of the 4H property which we should try.  So we headed back down the hill and found Camp Sertoma.  It doesn’t look like much when you pull in but considering we didn’t have many options, it met our needs.  It turns out, it is actually a pretty nice campground as long as you don’t mind fairly primitive camping (we don’t).

A small storm moved in just as we arrived and we ended up setting our tent up in the rain on a site near the stream.  This turned out to be a great site as the kids played in the stream constantly for two days whenever we were back at camp.    We picked up some firewood from a local resident down the road a mile or so and were ready to make dinner.

On Saturday we hiked three trails – Hanging Rock, Upper Cascades, and Hidden Falls/Windows Falls.  Of the three, the kids liked the Hidden Falls/Windows Falls the best as there was lots of rocks to climb and they liked following the stream back up the hill.  The Hanging Rock trail is a nice hike, it is fairly long and some of the steps up are tough for smaller kids but our four (ages 6-13) all made it without any problem.  The view from the top is impressive.  After about 6 hours of hiking, we went back to camp for a while to get something to eat and drink and veg out.  We then went back to the park to check out the swim lake.

On Sunday we hiked the Lower Cascades and the Tory’s Den / Tory Falls trails.  The Lower Cascades is well worth doing, the falls are the nicest we saw in the park and there are some smaller, less traveled paths up and down the falls area that are worth exploring.  The Tory’s Den/Falls trail was disappointing as there was very little water flowing and what there was, was hard to see.

All in all, a great weekend, it was nice to get away before every weekend is consumed with soccer games for the next 3 months!

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