Hanging Rock © Courtesy of Stokes County
Nestled amid North Carolina’s scenic mountainous landscapes and beautiful beaches sits Stokes County, in the Piedmont region of the state. This region is home to the towns of Danbury and Walnut Cove, the City of King, and many rural communities where the hospitality of a wave or simple hello will make you feel right at home.
One of the top 10 state parks of North Carolina finds its home here, Hanging Rock, named for the rock outcropping projecting out from surrounding rock formations. The Sauratown Mountain range spans the county with vast beauty to explore: starting with the mountains themselves, featuring scenic ridges, knobs and elevated vantage points, including Moore’s Knob, Moore’s Wall, Cook’s Wall, Wolf Rock, House Rock, and Hanging Rock, to a cave-like formation known as Tory’s Den.
Because of the mountainous landscape, hiking is a fan-favorite activity. More than 20 miles of wooded passageways form a network of trails at Hanging Rock State Park, including waterfalls, high rock cliffs, beautiful views, and small mountain caves to explore.
Or, for the bravest adventurers, consider rock climbing along Cook’s Wall or Moore’s Wall. The climb takes you to an elevation of over 400 feet.
Visitors can end their day with a picnic along the trails, with 15 grills available and 60 picnic sites to choose from. Then, as the day winds down, settle into your tent or camper as you sit by the campfire at one of the campsites or rustic cabins. The campground offers a peaceful place to relax with family and friends during the spring and summer.
Explore The Dan River State Trail
Experience the mighty Dan River flowing from the northwest in Westfield at Jessup Mill Access to the southeast at Pine Hall Bridge Access. The Dan passes through the Sauratown range keeping waters cool and refreshing for kayaking, canoeing, or river tubing. In the northwestern section, fishermen find pleasure at Jessup Mill or Harts Access; here, Brown Trout are easily reeled in from their easternmost native habitat.
For 57 miles, it cuts diagonally across Stokes County from the northwest to the southeast losing about 500 feet in elevation as it goes. The Dan offers great outdoor recreation activities for boating, paddling, tubing, fishing and swimming. But it pays to do your research and to have a plan, especially for transportation to get back to your starting point. And yes, there are places on the Dan where there are Class I, II, and III rapids.
Spring, summer, and fall
Attend a show, concert, street market or class at The Arts Place of Stokes in Danbury, a regional Arts Market with unique gifts for all seasons. During Memorial Day weekend, learn a little flat footing and enjoy bluegrass music at historic Priddy’s General Store. Attend festivals, cruise in events, and performances at Cove Square in Walnut Cove. Take a stroll through Central Park, or meander the shops downtown in the City of King. Stokes County boasts beauty to be discovered in all of its towns, making it difficult to stay in one place! You’ll want to book a multi-day visit at one of the many relaxing cabins, suites, and cozy rentals.
Plan your adventure at hangingrock.com
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Throughout Stokes County you can find attractions that are slightly strange or bigger than life. These are places that will make you stop and take a second look.