This weekend, the Mountains to Sea Trail celebrated its 41st Birthday! Y’all all know how close this trail is to our heart, and we’re so excited it continues to grow year after year!
To celebrate, we opted to cross a hike off our bucket list that featured some MST miles on Sunday. We settled on the 5 Summit Challenge at Hanging Rock State Park. This challenge is a 10.2 mile loop that summits the 5 peaks within Hanging Rock State Park – Hanging Rock, Wolf Rock, House Rock, Cook’s Wall, and Moore’s Wall.
Our day on the trail was incredibly foggy. We’ve been to most of these peaks, and I typically enjoy seeing the different views we get from the different peaks within such a close area. This time, however, the views were all the same because of the clouds and fog! The fog also added a mysterious feel to the hike, and made me so excited for fall!
We spent all day Saturday kayaking, and I underestimated how tired I would be on Sunday. While my legs were fresh, I fatigued really easily and noticed some soreness in my back and shoulders. At least it was good training for getting up and moving when I’m tired!
If you’d like to take on this challenge yourself, here’s what we did:
- Mile 0: Start at the Visitor Center Parking Lot and head up the Hanging Rock Trail to the top of Hanging Rock
- Mile 1.3: Reach the top of Hanging Rock (Peak 1)! Turn around and head back down the Hanging Rock Trail
- Mile 2.1: Turn left on the Wolf Rock Trail
- Mile 2.9: Take the short spur to the left to reach the top of Wolf Rock (Peak 2)! Continue along the Wolf Rock Trail.
- Mile 3.6: Continue straight along the Cook’s Wall Trail
- Mile 3.9: Reach the summit of House Rock (Peak 3)! Take an immediate right to continue along the Cook’s Wall Trail
- Mile 4.6: Reach the summit of Cook’s Wall (Peak 4)! Turn around and head back down the same trail
- Mile 5.7: Turn left onto the Magnolia Springs Trail
- Mile 6.1: Turn left onto the Moore’s Wall Loop Trail
- Mile 6.7: Turn right to stay on the Moore’s Wall Loop Trail
- Mile 8.0: Turn left toward the summit of Moore’s Wall
- Mile 8.1: Reach the summit of Moore’s Wall (Peak 5)! Take a minute here to check out the lookout tower, if visibility is clear. Turn around and head back downhill.
- Mile 8.2: Quick side detour to Balanced Rock, because its super cool! Continue along the Moore’s Wall Loop Trail back to the Visitor Center. You’ll pass the boathouse along the way, but continue to follow the MST (white circle) blazes.
- Mile 10.2: Back to the parking lot finished!
If you check it out, let me know what you think! Its a beautiful trail, and surprisingly challenging given the low elevation.