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Fall 2011 Family Camping at Hanging Rock State Park

Destination and Directions

  • Hanging Rock State Park
    • 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury, NC 27016-7417
    • GPS: 36.411906, -80.254122
    • Phone: (336) 593-8480
  • The park is a 2.2-hour drive from Chapel Hill.  Stokes County, four miles northwest of Danbury.
    • From I-40, take US 52 north. 
    • From US 52, north or south, take exit 122 on RJR Moore Road.
    • Turn left at the top of the ramp and for a distance of 17 miles follow the signs for Hanging Rock State Park.
    • From RJR Moore Road turn left on NC 66 north.
    • Turn right on Moore's Springs Road, which ends near the park entrance to the right.
    • The group campground is located approximately 0.5 mi from the gate.
  • Here is a link to information documents, agenda and maps.
  • Here is a link to driving directions from Google.
  • Here is a link to maps and driving directions from the N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation.
  • Here is a link to more info about Hanging Rock State Park

Equipment & Supplies Needed 

  • Items for outing: usual car-camping gear
  • Each person must have:
    • plate, cup and utensils for eating (no paper goods or extras will be available on site)
    • daypack
    • reusable water bottle
  • Each family brings food for Friday potluck dinner.
  • Reminder: Pack’s meals can be supplemented with your favorites or to suit your needs.
  • Please bring a camp stove if you have one, and join the breakfast cooks on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
  • It will be fall this weekend:  highs around 60 F and lows around 40 F! Parents and especially scouts may be cold at night and in the mornings.  To combat the cold, bring:
    • layer-able clothing and bring lots of layers. 
    • a blanket to go in or over your sleeping bags.
    • a warm hat (and consider gloves) for everyone.
    • a tasty, high-calorie snack to eat at bedtime (or if you wake up cold; e.g., Cliff bars or Snickers; don't sleep with open food or wrappers inside your tent unless you like furry visitors.)
    • a camping stove, even if it's just a backpacking stove, so that you can make your own coffee, hot chocolate, etc.
  • Other recommended gear and food includes:  cooking gear to help out (e.g., coffee or breakfast cooking), sunscreen, water, fruit punch or Gatorade mix-ins (makes staying hydrated more palatable for some), day snacks, and any supplemental food items.
  • As always, please ask any of the leaders if you need packing help or advice.

Arrival, Parking and Check-in 

  • IMPORTANT:  All campers must arrive prior to 8:00 PM, after which the park gate is closed and locked for the night.
  • We are in group camping sites 2, 3, 4 and 5.  (Another group is using site 1.)
    • The sites are primitive camp sites.  I don't believe that there are any tent pads, so you'll be selecting your own relatively flat, rock-free site to pitch your tent.  Each of the four group sites has picnic tables and a fire ring. 
    • Each of the group sites accommodates 16 people.  We will be absolutely full.  There are 27 families camping in the 4 group sites on Friday night.  Please work together to ensure that everyone has a reasonable site.  Veterans will show the new pack members the nature of the Pack 39 scouting way.
    • There are hose bibs (water spigots) with potable water located between sites 1/2 and 3/4 and beyond site 5.  There are vault toilets between sites 2/3 and 4/5.  There are washhouses with warm water in the park, but they're almost 1 mile away, near the visitors center.  Plan accordingly : )
  • There is on-site parking in designated lots adjacent to the loop road for the group camp sites.  The camp sites are a short walk from the parking lot.
  • When you arrive, come on in to the group camp sites, unload and set up.  The park rangers will come by to check us in at some point in the early evening.
  • Please carpool.  Don't consider it, just do it.  Let's do what we can to minimize our footprint.  The rangers expect the park to be near capacity this weekend.


Agenda notes
  • Check in:  All campers must arrive NO LATER THAN 8:00 PM. 
  • Camp sites:  Eleven sites reserved (sites 4-13 and 15 on A loop). The sites are drive-to campsites. Each site has a tent pad, picnic table and fire ring / grill, and can accommodate 2 tents or a total of 6 people. The sites will be filled first-come, first-served; Bret Johnson will be able to help navigate. Nearby amenities include drinking water and a washhouse with hot showers. 
  • Ranger program: We will start the activities with a program put together by volunteer interpreter George Jefferson.  We will meet him at the visitors' center at 9:45 AM and he'll give us a private show in the auditorium.  The presentation will touch on the role of a conservation officer in the park (i.e., Bear requirement 5c) and Leave No Trace.
  • Hanging Rock hike: The highlight of trip will be the group hikes on Saturday.  There are over 9 different hikes in the park, some of which go up to incredible views of the surrounding area.  We will run two different hikes of varying length and difficulty.  You and your cub can choose which one to do.
  • Saturday afternoon activities will take place as small groups based on interest (not all together). Options include:
    • Fishing -- Denny Cook and David Sorscher
      • Fishing is permitted year round on the lake for bass, sunfish and catfish. Anyone over 15 years old must have a NC fishing license (even if you are just helping cast the line, etc.).  These can be purchased online for around $15 (State Inland Fishing Basic; you do not need the trout permit for this trip).
      • There will be a limited number of poles available.  Please do bring your own gear if you can.
    • Waterfall hike -- Scott Singleton
    • Junior Ranger program -- Mike Nicholson
      • If your younger scout might be interested in the Junior ranger program, you can follow this link to download a printable activity book to bring with you.
    • Visitors center and exhibit hall -- Mike DeCesaris
      • You can also choose to visit the park visitors' center to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the park. From hands-on exhibits about plants and animals to a video about the Civilian Conservation Corps, there's much to see, learn and do, including interactive exhibits on trees and wildlife, the people who formed the park, geology, and the Saura Native Americans. 
  • Den-specific activities will also take place Saturday afternoon. These activities will address some key scout achievements.  Here is a brief overview of the dens' activities:
    • Tiger & Web2 -- Get to know you & rules of soccer - Scott Dwyer & Lorenzo Mejia
    • Wolves -- TBA - Brian Swafford & Denny Cook
    • Bears -- Rules and set up for kickball - John Eble & Bret Johnson
    • Web1 -- Athlete achievement pin - Dan Koenigshofer & David Sorscher
  • Finally, the afternoon will close with some field games, tentatively including soccer (led by the Tigers) and kickball (led by the Bears).
View of Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock - View from the lake

Hanging Rock - view from Hanging Rock

Hiking in Hanging Rock Park

Lower Cascades water fall