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Ecology

Hanging Rock and the surrounding view from the peak
Late Summer Lake Hours -- Please Read!   

The lake swimming area will continue to be open Thursdays - Mondays -- five days a week -- until Monday, August 16.  After this, the area will be open on weekends only until September 6 (swimming will be also available on Labor Day Monday, September 6).
Please note: Diving platform availability will be limited as we are extremely short-staffed.
Swimming is not allowed when the lake is closed.  Please contact the park for more information.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Visitor center closed   

Beginning on October 5, 2020, the visitor center at Hanging Rock State Park will be closed due to construction. The closure is expected to last several months until at least fall of 2021. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we appreciate your patience as we work to improve the park.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, July 7, 2021


Map of North Carolina – Hanging Rock State Park


Contact the park
 

336-593-8480

hanging.rock@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

Park entrance

1790 Hanging Rock Park Road
Danbury, NC 27016

GPS: 36.4119, -80.2541

 

Visitor center

1005 Visitor Center Drive
Westfield, NC 27053

GPS: 36.3952, -80.2665

 

Lake bathhouse

2847 Hanging Rock Park Road
Westfield, NC 27053

GPS: 36.3902, -80.2678

 

Lower Cascades parking area

2143 Hall Road
Westfield, NC 27053

GPS: 36.4148, -80.2647

 

Dan River access

1258 Flinchum Road
Danbury, NC 27016

GPS: 36.4293, -80.2487

 

Tory's Den parking area

1185 Charlie Young Road
Westfield, NC 27053

GPS: 36.4019, -80.2995

 

Climbing access

1035 Climbing Access Drive
Westfield, NC 27053

GPS: 36.3995, -80.2906

 

Mountain biking access

2568 Moores Spring Road
Westfield, NC 27053

GPS: 36.4187, -80.2839
 

Hours
 

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The park's main gate at Hanging Rock Park Road observes the following opening and closing hours:

  • December to February:
    7:00am to 7:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     
  • Campers and cabin guests must arrive prior to the closing hour, after which the park gate is closed for the night.
     

► 

​All other accesses, including Lower Cascades, Tory's Den, Dan River access, climbing access, and mountain bike trails, observe the gate hours listed below. Please plan accordingly.

  • December to February:
    7:30am to 5:30pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:30am to 7:30pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:30am to 8:30pm
     
  • October:
    7:30am to 7:30pm
     
  • November:
    7:30am to 6:30pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • The swim beach is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the 2021 season. The beach is open Thursday to Monday, following the hours listed below.
     

  • Summer months only. Hours may vary due to staff availability. The diving platform may be closed due to staffing; please inquire with staff for hours.
     

  • Monday:
    11:00am to 5:45pm

Thursday to Sunday:
10:00am to 5:45pm

  • Fee charged for all swimmers. Free swim from 5:00pm to 5:45pm.
     

► 

  • Hanging Rock State Park will not have boat rentals available in 2021. The concession stand is open when the swim beach is open.
     

  • Open weekends only in spring and fall
     

  • Open daily during summer months
     
  • 10:00am to 5:30pm
     

► 

  • Open daily:

  • 9:00am to 4:45pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

 

 

 

Natural resources

Get plant and animal checklists at the park office.

More than 704 species of mountain flora are found in the park. The most abundant plants are rhododendron, azalea, galax, mountain laurel and a wide variety of ferns. The majority of the park is forested by oak and pine, but in moist locations hemlock provides a canopy. Hanging Rock is one of the few places where Canadian and Carolina hemlock grow side by side.

In the highest elevations of the park, much bare rock is exposed. Mosses and lichens, the pioneers of mountain forests, have invaded portions of this bare rock, beginning the process of succession. As the underlying rock weathers and cracks, soil gradually fills the small crevices and flowering plants take hold. Such wildflowers include pink lady's slipper, turkey-beard, bird-foot violet and fire pink. Over thousands or even millions of years, with adequate amounts of water, these plant communities may become even more diverse and forests will creep uphill, ultimately covering the mountain.

The park's forests are home to many animals typical of the piedmont and mountain foothills. Mammal species include white-tailed deer, raccoon and gray fox. On summer evenings, bats can be seen flying overhead looking for insects or dipping down to a stream for a cool drink.

Birds are abundant in all seasons, especially in spring and fall when migrating species add to the resident population and the otherwise quiet mountain air is filled with the melodies of songbirds. Whippoorwills, eastern screech owls and barred owls add special effects while amphibians, including American toads, spring peepers and chorus frogs, lend harmony to warm evenings.

The moist forests and streams of Hanging Rock are home to a variety of salamanders. One species, Wehrle's salamander, is found only in this area of the state. Lizards and snakes are abundant and diverse. Most snakes are seldom seen and harmless, living in areas where insects and amphibians are plentiful.