Day Trip to Hanging Rock State Park

  • Drive time: 2hrs 13min from Raleigh
  • Adventurers: Heather Hoover, husband Jonathan, children Arianna (4 yrs) & JP (9 mo) and parents Bruce and Mary Beth Dors

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year and being natives of the Hudson Valley in New York, my family was ready to enjoy some crisp mountain air! We decided to leave early on Saturday morning and stop halfway in Greensboro at Jersey Mikes and grab some sandwiches to eat before our big hike (plus with babies it was a good place to stop and stretch our legs). 

The view driving up the mountain to Hanging Rock was beautiful. Once you got into the parking lot there were people (and dogs) everywhere.  They even had booths where they were selling fresh fruits and vegetables, treats for dogs, and more. We ate our lunch, put the kids in their carriers and headed to the trail. There were lots of signs to direct you to the different trails as well as a visitor center with maps and directions (it was closed when we were there due to construction). For more information on the park head to

Headed Out (actually Headed Up!)

The beginning of the trail was nice and easy with lots of scenery. The leaves had started to change colors and some were even falling around you. You could hear families talking, laughing and engaging with one another. As you continue the trail became a little more challenging, getting steeper the higher you went.

Needless to say after a few breaks on the way up to catch our breath and sip some water we made it to the top! Boy was it worth it!!!

After that hike, you need to refuel

On our way home we decided to again stop in Greensboro to get some dinner. We found a great burger restaurant called Hops Burger Bar ( The atmosphere was kind of on the modern/industrial side but super laid back and relaxed. The burgers were so big (which was great because we were staving from all that hiking and fresh air), juicy and very tasty. Not to mention the large selection of craft beers you had to choose from. We would absolutely go there again.

In Summary….

This is a great daytrip from Raleigh. Easily doable for under $150 for a family of 6 and could be done simply for the gas money if you pack a dinner. It is well worth the drive and hike.

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