When wanting to get away from campus for a day trip, North Carolina’s Hanging Rock State Park holds a special place in senior Claire Grider’s heart. For Grider, the environment is different from other hiking spots in the area because of its multiple scenic views. With a variety of hiking trails and cascading waterfalls, Hanging Rock was voted “Best Day Trip” by the Elon community. 

“It’s a special spot for hiking because it’s so pretty, and one nice thing about the park is that you don’t need to be an avid hiker to really enjoy the hike,'' Grider said. “Also, it’s such a great picture opportunity and the views are amazing.” 

Not far from the cities located in the Triad area, Hanging Rock is discovered by North Carolina residents and tourists from across the country and the world. The 9,011-acre park is located 30 miles north of Winston-Salem and is located approximately three miles from Danbury in Stokes County. 

The park has steep cliffs, peaks of bare rock and views of the Piedmont plateau that stretch for miles. Freshman Clare Rudolph has visited Hanging Rock before, exploring the environment. 

“I did the Hanging Rock Trail, the Indian Creek trail to the falls and back and Tory's Den and Falls for a total of about five miles,” Rudolph said. “The views from Hanging Rock were beautiful.”

Visitors can rent a vacation cabin or a trailer campground at the park. Grider finds it best to visit the park during the autumn season. 

“I definitely recommend it in the fall because of all the changing colors,” Grider said.