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Ask A Ranger: Hemlocks at Hanging Rock State Park with Ranger Mary

Wolf Rock at Hanging Rock State Park
Home >> Hanging Rock State Park >> Park News >> Ask A Ranger: Hemlocks at Hanging Rock State Park with Ranger Mary

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
 

► 

  • 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.
     

► 

  • 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
     
  • Tuesday to Sunday:
    10:00am to 5:45pm
     
  • Fee charged for all swimmers. Free swim from 5:00pm to 5:45pm.
     

► 

  • 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
     

 

 

 

 

 

Ask A Ranger: Hemlocks at Hanging Rock State Park with Ranger Mary

 

Click the player above to listen to the episode. Read on below for additional references to what Ranger Mary discusses on the episode.

 

Types of hemlock

Eastern hemlock at Stone Mountain State Park. Photo by J. Mickey.

Eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis
Stone Mountain State Park, J. Mickey

 

Carolina hemlock at Hanging Rock State Park. Photo by D. Cook.

Carolina hemlock, Tsuga caroliniana
Hanging Rock State Park, D. Cook

 

Hemlock range

Note that one of the overlaps on the maps is the same small dot on the north-central part of North Carolina. This dot is Hanging Rock State Park.

Hanging Rock is separate from the Blue Ridge Mountains but manages to sustain these two mountain species. Carolina hemlocks tend to grow on dry slopes and rocky ridges and slopes. Eastern hemlocks are usually found in moist, cool valleys, as well as rock outcrops and bluffs. Hanging Rock has plenty of rocky outcrops and moist valleys, which leads to our population of both species.

 

Eastern hemlock range. Photo courtesy of USGS.

Eastern hemlock range
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

 

Carolina hemlock range. Photo courtesy of USGS.

Carolina hemlock range
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

 

Invasive species: hemlock woolly adelgid

Note where the adelgids get the "woolly" description in their name. The egg sacs contain anywhere from 50 to 300 eggs, which leads to exponential growth when a population of adelgids is established. The adelgid feeds on sap at the base of the tree's needles, which disrupts the nutrient flow within the hemlock. Needles then fall off and the hemlock slowly starves to death. Other opportune insects or disease can kill or further weaken the hemlock trees while under attack from adelgids.

 

High magnification of aphid-like body of an adult hemlock woolly adelgid after removal of the wool. Michael Montgomery, USDA Forest Service.

High magnification of the aphid-like body of an adult hemlock woolly adelgid after removal of the wool.
Photo by Michael Montgomery, USDA Forest Service (Source)

 

Individuals of hemlock woolly adelgid covered with white wool (see crawler emerging). Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archive.

Individuals of hemlock woolly adelgid covered with white wool; see crawler emerging indicated by arrow.
Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry Archive (Source)

 

Eggs of hemlock woolly adelgid (wool pulled aside for viewing). Photo by Lorraine Graney, Bartlett Tree Experts.

Eggs of hemlock woolly adelgid, with the wool pulled aside for viewing.
Photo by Lorraine Graney, Bartlett Tree Experts (Source)

 

Hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, on hemlock. Michael Montgomery, USDA Forest Service.

Hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, on hemlock.
Photo by Michael Montgomery, USDA Forest Service (Source)

 

Hemlock woolly adelgid adult and eggs exposed inside a wooly ovisac

Hemlock woolly adelgid adult and eggs exposed inside a woolly ovisac.
Photo courtesy of New York Invasive Species Information (Source)

 

Battling the adelgids: Predator beetles

The predatory beetles that have been released at Hanging Rock include Sasajiscymnus tsugae or the sasi beetle. In addition to chemical treatments, the biological control from these beetles are helping staff protect hemlock trees and ensure their existence for years to come.

 

Predator beetle on a hemlock. Hanging Rock State Park, M. Griffin.

Sasi beetle, Sasajiscymnus tsugae
Hanging Rock State Park, M. Griffin

 

About the Ask a Ranger Podcast

Ranger Crystal and Ranger Jess host the North Carolina State Parks Ask a Ranger Podcast series. Their guest this episode is Ranger Mary Griffin from Hanging Rock State Park.

Email them at askaranger@ncparks.gov.

For a full list of episodes, visit our BuzzSprout page.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast with Apple iTunes.

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