Lower Cascades 5-5-07
5-5-07 Hanging Rock State Park lies in the Sauratown Mountains, north of Winston Salem, NC and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park is home to several nice waterfalls and smaller cascades and is a very popular place on week ends. These are the closest mountain waterfalls to the Triangle and Triad areas of North Carolina. The park is also popular with rock climbers and there are trails to these areas with excellent views for everyone to enjoy. If you bring kids, please keep an eye on them at all times! They will want to climb on some of the rock areas, but keep them away from cliff areas and off of any wet rocks. Wet rock can be very slippery!
Directions: Coming from Greensboro or areas east on I-40, take I-40 Business after Greensboro then take the Hwy 66/150 exit. Follow 66 north to 311 north (making a couple of turns on 66 north), take a right then follow 311 to Hwy 89 north. Stay on 89/8 through Danbury and look for Hanging Rock Rd on the left at the hospital. Follow the signs to the visitor center for a map, or get one online at the official web site. The trails to the falls are fairly easy, but the park does have other hiking trails that offer more exercise and nice views. If you are interested in canoeing and kayaking on the nearby Dan River, check out either Hanging Rock Outdoor Center which only minutes from the park and is the only full service outfitter in the area with a fully stocked outdoor shop, or The Dan River Company in Danbury for livery and shuttle services and rentals.
The above photo is Lower Cascades - perhaps the prettiest falls in the park. The parking area is outside the main gate, but the falls is still in the park boundaries. Just before you enter the main park entrance, take a right on Moore's Spring Rd. Drive 1/4 mile and turn left on Hall Rd. Drive less than 1/2 mile to the parking area on the right. The trail is about 1/4 mile and is easy. I finally made it back to Hanging Rock in May '07 to reshoot 2 of the waterfalls. I hadn't been since the park built the stairs to the base of Lower Cascades. It used to be a dangerous scramble to the bottom, but they did a wonderful job with this project and now this beautiful waterfall can be safely accessed by people of all ages. The descent down the cliff is as gradual as it could possibly be. It begins with wooden stairs, but turns into stairs constructed from rock from the area. The stairs continue to the base from the landing in the below image.
Lower Cascades 5-5-07
The next photo is Upper Cascades. Park at the visitor center and look for the sign pointing the way at the west end of the parking lot. It's an easy 0.2 mile stroll to an observation deck with no good view of the waterfall. Your best view of the 35' falls will be from below the decks. Take the stairs down, but please be careful in this area!
Fahey Family at the Upper Cascades 5-5-07
Just below the falls, the creek narrows under a large boulder and falls another 10' before disappearing onto the woods.
click here to see Window and Hidden Falls
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