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Waterfalls at Hanging Rock and Mayo River

posted May 23, 2017, 9:20 AM by Justin P   [ updated Jun 12, 2017, 4:57 PM ]
On Sunday morning, we woke up to a light rain.  We broke camp quickly and made the short drive to the visitor center at Hanging Rock State Park to begin our hike.  We followed Indian Creek Trail, which is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, downstream.  Our first stop was Hidden Falls, a small waterfall on Indian Creek.

With the recent rain and overcast conditions, it was really looking nice.  Of course it started to downpour as I was getting pictures, so we quickly headed down the trail to Window Falls, where we sought shelter under a rock overhang.  When the rain lightened, I headed down to get some pictures of the waterfall and then we continued on the trail.

Few people hike past Window Falls on Indian Creek Trail, so we didn't expect to see anyone.  It's a really nice trail and there are some really scenic sections along the creek.

After crossing the road, the trail continues, passing an old building and then following a ridgeline high above the creek.  There's an overlook high above the creek, but it's too overgrown to really see down into the gorge.  There were more mountain laurel blooming up here, though.

After the overlook, the trail heads down to creek level with several crossings through a scenic canyon-like area with several creek crossings.

Shortly past this area is the end of the trail.  I hiked the Riverbluffs Trail for a short loop to see the Dan River bluffs from across the river.

There was also some Ohio spiderwort blooming along the trail.

After the loop, we hiked Indian Creek Trail back to the visitor center.  With all the rain, we spotted more red eft newts along the trail.

Fortunately, Alex doesn't seem too interested in amphibians.  Before leaving, we hiked over to see Upper Cascades Falls, but it was too crowded for a picture.  I made a quick stop to see the rock gardens and then we left.

Before leaving Hanging Rock though, we stopped at Lower Cascades, my favorite waterfall in the park.  It was really flowing and the big amphitheater-like rocks surrounding the falls are beautiful.

Then we started making our way home, but wanted to get one more waterfall.  We drove into northern Rockingham County to an undeveloped parcel of Mayo River State Park, very close to the Virginia state line.
From the pull-off on DeShazo Road, we followed what looked like an old road past wooden stakes indicating state park property.  It was less than a quarter-mile to the top of Fall Creek Falls.

The road basically ended, and we scrambled down to the base of this surprisingly nice waterfall so far east in the state.

We got some pictures and then made the drive home.