Pilot Mountain
The Most Unique Mountain In NC
Great North Carolina Hiking Books!

Lower Cascade Falls - Hanging Rock State Park - Danbury, North Carolina

Topo Hike Trails Map
   All Hikes Map
   Click for location shots
   Click for Parking/Start location
   Hike trail blazed colors
   Other trail
Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
0.9 mls N/A N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
45 minutes
102 ft
Hanging Rock State Park
Topo Hike Trails Map (PDF)
Hike Trails directions
Danbury Weather Forecast
Garmin (GDB), Gaia/Trails App (GPX) (What's this?)

Park at the Lower Cascade Trail parking area. 36.41460, -80.26477

By Trail Contributor: Zach Robbins (Contact Zach)

Hanging Rock State Park is a premier destination in the Piedmont due to its abundance of views and waterfalls. While many dedicated hikers flock to the high peaks in the park for an exhilarating 10-mile loop, the hikes to the waterfalls offer a more casual, family-friendly experience due to the easy, short access trails.

Lower Cascade Falls is by far the most spectacular waterfall in the state park. In contrast to the other 4 waterfalls in the state park, Lower Cascade Falls has the highest water flow and is beautiful at any time of the year. Since the waterfall is located well below the main section of the park where Cascade Creek originates, the stream has picked up a lot of water and momentum on its course to the Dan River.

The waterfall isn’t the only attraction as an enormous overhanging cliff curves above the waterfall creating a natural amphitheater. While throngs of people visit Upper Cascade Falls and Window Falls because of their convenient location beside the visitor center, you’ll be surprised at how few people hike to this waterfall. To visit, turn right on Moores Spring Rd. directly before Hanging Rock Park Rd. crosses the park boundary/gate. In 0.3-mi turn left onto Hall Rd. and the large parking area for Lower Cascades Trail will be on your right in 0.6-mi.

  • Mile 0.0 – Hike begins at the Lower Cascades Trail (no blaze) parking lot. The trail is a mostly flat walk on a wide, gravel path.
  • Mile 0.3 – Begin a long descent on an elaborate wooden staircase towards the base of the waterfall.
  • Mile 0.4 – Reach the base of Lower Cascade Falls. The 35-foot waterfall on Cascade Creek flows below a large overhanging cliff creating an amphitheater around the waterfall. When water levels are average it is safe to rock hop across the creek and walk up to the base of the falls. The pool below the waterfall is a popular swimming hole.
  • Mile 0.9 – Hike ends at the parking lot.
Mid August
Late January
Falls Frozen
Lower Cascade Falls Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: Zachary Robbins Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 7, 2018
I got to see the waterfall and plunge pool completely frozen over yesterday. It was quite a site. This was my 6th or 7th time visiting the falls, and I think I've seen it in almost every condition (drought, normal, flood stage, frozen). I was there in the morning by myself and a few people trickled in, hours later I saw 50+ cars there. You probably won't be able to see it frozen like this for a while, but it is still a great waterfall to visit year-round.

about us | contact us | terms of use | © 2000 - 2024