Tory’s Den Trail

Need some hill work? Some really good hill work?

Hanging Rock is where Piedmonters from the east go to get in some simulated mountain training. “Simulated” in this case meaning that in the first couple miles you’ll gain nearly 1,000 vertical feet. The good news here is that the rocky horse trail that had been Tory’s Den Trail was replaced earlier this year with a more foot-and-body-friendly crushed gravel surface. Alas, the elevation remains.

This out-and-back from the Tory’s Den parking area can be nearly doubled by tacking on the 4.3-mile Moore’s Wall Loop Trail, another thigh burner. From the top of Tory’s Den you’ll catch Moore’s Wall going north (left). More climbing. And climbing. And climbing, along a rocky but non-treacherous trail that passes several false summits before reaching 2,579-foot Moore’s Knob. Catch your breath by taking a break atop the observation deck: stunning views on a clear day.

Don’t be scared off by tales of Hanging Rock’s popularity, especially in the colorful fall. These trails are too strenuous for the Hanging Rock masses, who instead gravitate to the shorter waterfall trails and the path leading to the park’s namesake knob. You’ll waste little precious breath advising “On your left” on Tory’s Den and Moore’s Wall trails.

More info: Hanging Rock State Park

Maps: Downloadable here, also available at the park.

Getting there from downtown Winston-Salem
Difficulty: Strenuous
Distance: 50 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem
Length: 4.8-mile out-and-back on Tory’s Den Trail, with 4.3-mile Moore’s Wall Loop option.
Time to complete: 1-3 hours (2.5 to 4 hours with option)
Address: 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road
City: Danbury
State: N.C.
Zip: 27016
Latitude: 36.4119
Longitude: 80.2541