Moore’s Wall Loop

On any given weekend, the mile-and-a-half trail from the Visitor Center to the top of Hanging Rock resembles an anthill, with the masses dutifully making their way to the rocky knob summit. Understandable considering the scenic payoff: views spreading out in every direction. Yet a little more than two crow-fly miles to the west, at Moore’s Knob, you get the same views without having to stand in line.

The difference?

A little more sweat equity is required to achieve the Moore’s Knob view, sweat equity that is, you’ll find, well worth the resulting solitude.

From the swimming area, the trail heads west, crosses Cascade Creek, then begins its long climb up 2,572-foot Moore’s Wall. It’s a climb that’s never horrendously steep, it’s just unrelenting. Every time you think you’ve reached the rocky peak, you’ve merely reached another rocky faux summit. But the succession of rocky outcrops peppered with Virginia pines makes for an alpine experience you don’t mind enjoying a little longer. When you finally do reach the top you’ll have either more rocky outcrops to savor the view from, or an observation deck. You may have company, but not of anthill proportions.

The return is through a more typical Piedmont forest. If you’re hiking in fall, take your camera for the ocean of color below. If you’re hiking in summer, take your trunks. The 12-acre lake at trail’s end is most refreshing.

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
Time to complete: 2-3 hours
Address: 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road
City: Danbury
State: N.C.
Zip: 27016
Latitude: 36.4119
Longitude: 80.2541