Forget the Coast, Spend a Day at the Beach at Hanging Rock State Park!
It comes as no surprise to those of us familiar with Hanging Rock State Park that this beautiful refuge in the Sauratown Mountains of the Piedmont made the list of Top 20 State Parks in USA Today this summer. After all, who can resist the great hiking trails, the comfortable camping sites and cabins and the sparkling mountain water of the lake?
In these hot, humid days of August, it might just be the lake that draws people to the park the most. The swimming area is a perfect place for a family adventure. The wide beach area is a great spot for kids to dig and build castles in the sand. But if you’d rather not get your towels and blankets sandy, there’s plenty of space to spread out on the grassy area right above the beach. A spacious swimming area within the clear, 12-acre lake provides plenty of room for fun in the water for all ages, with little ones splashing up by the beach area and teenagers going for more adventure out where it’s a little deeper.
It’s hard to beat the clear, cool water on a hot day, but rivaling the beauty of the lake and its mountainous surroundings is the stone bath house which provides clean bathrooms and changing areas, a snack bar and a lounge for tired guests. The bath house was built when the park was constructed, between 1935-1939, by the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Part of what makes this building so stunning is how it fits right into the atmosphere of the park, thanks to construction from local stone and a simple design.
In addition to swimming, there is plenty of opportunity for other recreation on the lake. You can rent rowboats and canoes to explore the lake beyond the swimming area. This is a great way to get a good view of the dam and see the hardwood forests that meet the edge of the lake up close.
And of course, bring a picnic! Food is always a necessity when you’re playing hard outdoors, and Hanging Rock State Park has plenty of space to eat, with two picnic areas, each with 60 tables and 15 grills. One is located by the trailheads, the other is conveniently located near the lake.
It might seem like everyone is cramming in one more trip to the beach before school starts. But why fight that beach traffic and worry with the hassle of finding a place to stay when you can have the fun of the water and sand right in your own backyard? Plan a day trip to Hanging Rock State Park today. It’s an easy drive from Winston-Salem, Greensboro, the Yadkin Valley and even Charlotte.
Want to Go?
1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury, NC 27016-7417
After August 17, the lake will be open to swimmers on weekends through Labor Day.