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What To Do In Stone Mountain State Park and Hanging Rock State Park In a Weekend

This post is sponsored by CamelBak but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

North Carolina is home to an array of diverse landscapes on the east coast. Driving a few hours west from Raleigh, or 90 minutes north of Charlotte you can visit two of our favorite NC state parks and dozens of wineries in the Yadkin Valley region.

Coming from Raleigh, we started our adventurous weekend getaway at Hanging Rock State Park, which is a great destination for hiking, chasing waterfalls and spending the night camping or in a rustic cabin.

The Thrill: Two days of hiking in NC State Parks

Exploring Hanging Rock State Park

North Carolina’s Hanging Rock State Park is the perfect first stop on your getaway itinerary. The park offers over 20 miles of hiking trails leading to panoramic mountain views and stunning waterfalls, rock climbing opportunities, horseback rides, swimming, boating and fishing.

Start your journey at Hanging Rock State Park by exploring the main trail in the park, the famous Hanging Rock Trail and see the Moore’s Knob. Then make sure to visit Hidden Falls, Window Falls and Upper Cascade Falls and the Rock Garden, all of which trailheads start at the same parking lot.

Even though we visited in the late summer, the afternoon sun is still quite warm, especially at the top of each trail where there is less shade available. For each hike we filled up our 30 oz Horizon Tumbler from CamelBak’s new Horizon Drinkware Collection from our ice filled cooler to take on the hike. It is so refreshing to get to the top of the mountain and still have ice cold water to enjoy. We also got the reusable straw, which is perfect to grab a quick sip of water while hiking.

Wolf Rock and Cooks Wall are amazing hikes that lead to breathtaking views of the mountains. If you are an early bird, head to Hanging Rock Park Lake first thing in the morning to get a glimpse of the fog rising off the lake and the trees surrounding it.

While you do need to drive a little bit further to another lot it is definitely worth visiting the Lower Cascade Falls and the Tory’s Den Cave. If you are visiting at a busy time, make sure to head here early as it is only a small parking lot that remains consistently full all afternoon.

Trail Information:

Cook’s Wall Trail: 4.4 miles round trip; moderate
Hanging Rock Trail: 2.6 miles round trip; moderate
Hidden Falls and Window Falls: 1.4 round trip; strenuous hike (plenty of steps)
Lower Cascades Trail: 0.8 Miles round trip; moderate
Rock Garden Trail: 0.2 miles round trip; easy and wheelchair accessible.
Tory’s Den Cave and Waterfall Trail: 0.4 miles; easy
Upper Cascades Trail: 0.4 miles; easy
Wolf Rock Trail: 3.4 miles; moderate hike

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