Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury, NC

I hate to go backwards in time but as I look through older pictures I remember more stories. This is a good one.

Charlotte had planned a trip to Texas to see the grandbabies. So my mind started working. I had been walking and hiking around the Raleigh area but decided it was time for some mountains… yes this was before I ever went to the Uwharries.

I got on the computer looking for the most elevation I could find within a days drive of home and what I came up with was the Sauratown Mountains just a little north of Greensboro NC. Yeah! That was only a couple of hours to Greensboro then whatever to Danbury. Fearing Charlotte would throw a fit…… I was still less then a year from when I had my heart problem….. I kept my plans on the low down. She left for Texas and the following morning I left for Danbury. I was so excited I was up and out of the house by 4:30 AM. I got to Hanging Rock about daylight.

Besides it’s mountains, Hanging Rock is also known for it’s waterfalls. There are five in the park. Hidden Falls, Window Falls, the Upper Cascades, the Lower Cascades, and Tory’s Falls.

from my perch on Hanging Rock.

I started the hike on the Indian Creek Trail where there are two waterfalls. Hidden Falls and Window Falls. It was a pretty easy hike all downhill. I did struggle a bit coming back up the hill though.

Hidden Falls, Hanging Rock State Park

After this I went to the Upper Cascades a much more dramatic Falls and I took a picture and texted it to Charlotte to show and tell her where I was at. Surprisingly she was pleased that I was out doing something.

Upper Falls, Hanging Rock State Park

I then climbed up Hanging Rock from where you see the first picture of this story Hanging Rock is the smallest of the Sauratowns so I was trying out my sea…ur…. mountain legs on this smaller peak. Then it was time for the big cheese of the day….Moore’s Knob.

First let’s talk about the Sauratowns. This is a very small Mountain range in north central North Carolina that consists of exactly four… yes four major peaks. Hanging Rock is the smallest at around 2100 feet, then there is Sauratown Mountain 2441 Feet. This one has all the towers etc we just can’t seem to keep off our mountains and it is also on private property. Next is Pilot Mountain at 2421 feet. This is the domed mountain. Now doesn’t that seem like a familiar name? Well if you have watched the Andy Griffith Show you have heard mention of Mt. Pilot. Well the name has just been reversed as Pilot Mountain is near Mt. Airy N.C. which was the fictional Mayberry. Pilot Mountain which we will visit later in a story is contained in another NC state park. Finally we have Moore’s Knob. Moore’s Knob is the high point of the Sauratowns at 2579 Feet. It has a prominence of 1700 feet over the surrounding countryside. This mountain is huge for the area. There are many other sub summits in the Sauratowns but these are the big four.

foreground Sauratown Mountain, background Pilot Mountain
Moore’s Knob.

There are two ways up Moore’s Knob as the trail up and over it is a loop. I went up this time, because I made a wrong turn, the steps. Yes the steps. The civilized way to the top is a series of steps that number somewhere in the range of 750. Now these are spread over about 2 miles so it isn’t constantly stair steps but in some places you think you are never getting to the top.

At the top of Moore’s Knob is a Fire tower. That adds another 50 or so steps to the top of it. but the view was well worth the effort!

View from Moore’s Knob. I believe this to be Four O’clock Knob. Just past that would be Rocky Knob (Unseen) so I have seen this mountain from both sides

The day was getting lengthy by this time and the trip off Moore’s Knob didn’t get any easier. The trail down was much more rugged then the steps coming up. There was some bouldering to do and much of the trail was rocky and eroded. I was beat when I got to the bottom….but onward I go as I haven’t seen the Lower Cascades or Tory Falls yet. To get to both you have to leave the main park and drive to other trailheads. First was the Lower Cascades. Sorry but I don’t have a picture of that. Then Tory Falls and cave. This area has some historic value which gives it it’s name.

Seems that a Patriot during the Revolutionary War named Jack Martin built a fine home in the valley north of Tory’s Falls. While he was away his house was raided and his daughter taken hostage and held in a Tory’s Cave. Smoke from the campfires of the British loyalists gave away their position and NC militia with Jack Martin were able to raid and capture the stronghold.

Tory’s Falls is a long stepped waterfall. There is no way to get a full picture this is the base of the Falls
Tory’s Cave

Whew! at this point I am beat and only want to get in the car and go home. I bit off more then I could chew on this one but this trip started my travels and I have been hiking everywhere I can since.

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