On our way to our ultimate destination of Hanging Rock State Park, we stopped at Priddy's General Store, which (get this) actually belongs to some of my distant relatives. My grandmother grew up in Stokes County and her maiden name is Priddy :) The little old-fashioned general store is just the cutest. A sweet older lady who worked there made us some sandwiches to take on our hike, and we also stocked up on soda in glass bottles and preacher cookies for our little adventure.
After our quaint detour, it was off to Hanging Rock State Park! I have a lot of childhood memories that center around coming to Hanging Rock with my grandparents and swimming in the lake during the summer, but this was the first time that I'd ever been with Zach. We skipped the lake swim, obviously, and started down a portion of the Indian Creek Trail to Window Falls.
We hadn't originally planned to hike down to Window Falls, but when we looked at the park map and realized the hike to the top of Hanging Rock wasn't even three miles, we decided to add a little extra something (because, camp counselors)... and I'm so glad we did! The Indian Creek Trail was absolutely gorgeous. There were so many neat places off the trail to explore and I felt like we had the entire outdoors to ourselves!
We found a nice little spot next to Window Falls to have a picnic, his and hers Cheerwine included. Even if our day had ended right there, it still would've been a five star trip – I can't think of anything I love more than sharing a beautiful day outside with my best friend. I'm not sure if it's our original summer camp connection or what, but Zach and I are truly the best versions of ourselves when we're deep in the heart of nature.
After lunch, we took the Indian Creek Trail back to the visitor center and then proceeded to take the Hanging Rock Trail to (obvi) the top of Hanging Rock. The park map said that both of the trails were the same difficulty level (moderate), but Zach and I agreed that the Indian Creek Trail was much more on the easy end, while the Hanging Rock Trail was a bit more on the strenuous end.
SO. many. stairs. carved into that rock... but still so worth it :)
Once we got to the top, I spent the first fifteen minutes freaking out that some unattended child or daredevil adult was going to fall off the edge (photos don't do this drop-off justice), but everyone managed to stay on top off the cliff and I was able to relax... a little.
I can't imagine how pretty this view must be now that all the leaves have changed colors.
Day trips are always wonderful, but this one was extra good – not to mention free (sans gas & snacks). Thanks for letting me share so many photos – it was hard to narrow them down! I love this gorgeous state a ridiculous amount... and I love sharing it with my best friend even more :)