The Most Beautiful Canyon In America Is Right Here In North Carolina… And It Isn’t Linville Gorge

Hanging Rock State Park was created in the 1930s as another fantastic Civilian Conservation Corps project. Since then, it has been an attraction of fun, offering an abundance of activities including picnic grounds, swimming in its well-stocked lake, canoe rentals, 73 campground sites, waterfalls, biking trails, and more than 20 miles of hiking trails, leading to panoramic views, streams, waterfalls, and other stunning and surprising glimpses of nature.  

Another surprise at Hanging Rock State Park is Tory’s Den Cave, for the spelunkers out there. Discover the fascinating history of this Revolutionary War-era cave at the parking lot display. Tory’s Den Cave and Waterfall Trail also leads to the tallest waterfall in the park, Tory’s Falls, where the water drops 240 feet over a series of rock terraces. With so many exciting stops in one state park; what are you waiting for? See you there!

For a fascinating perspective of Hanging Rock State Park by drone, take a look at this brief video, courtesy of YouTube user High Sight Drone POV:

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Address: Hanging Rock State Park Visitor Center, Walnut Cove, NC 27052, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

hanging rock state park

May 23, 2023

What are some of the best state parks to visit in North Carolina?

There are so many parks to explore in North Carolina, and in our opinion, they are all magnificent. However, some of the top-rated state parks to visit in North Carolina include the following:

  • Mount Mitchell State Park: home to the namesake mountain, which is the highest point east of the Mississippi River
  • Jockey's Ridge State Park: explore the tallest living sand dune on the Atlantic Coast
  • Elk Knob State Park: home to rare plantlife and exquisite, forested hiking trails
  • Chimney Rock State Park: a massive 5,700-acre park with a waterfall and iconic boulder
  • Hammocks Beach State Park: brimming with beautiful landscapes, which include tidal creeks, salt marshes, and beachfront
  • William B. Umstead State Park: a gorgeous park with lakes, trails, and scenic overlooks
  • Pilot Mountain State Park: a remnant of the ancient Sauratown Mountains
  • Stone Mountain State Park: one of the state's most unique landmarks
  • Lake Norman State Park: a secluded park with beautiful lakeside views
  • Fort Macon State Park: home to a restored historic fort that played a role in the Civil War
  • Dismal Swamp State Park: made up of 14,000 acres of winding rivers and cypress trees


Learn more about what makes each of the above destinations so exquisite when you check out our overview of North Carolina's best state parks.

What are some of the best hiking trails in North Carolina?

With such a diverse array of landscapes to enjoy, North Carolina is a hiker's paradise. Some of the best hiking trails in North Carolina include:

  • Clingman's Dome Observational Tower Trail
  • Looking Glass Rock
  • Triple Falls Trail
  • Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls Trail
  • High Falls
  • Crabtree Falls Trail
  • Hanging Rock Trail
  • Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail
  • Linville Falls Trail
  • Graveyard Upper Falls Trail