Picnic tables at the top of Hollow Rock Trail overlooking the valley? Check. My first trip to Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area was in February 2018. I heard about this hidden gem from a fellow hiker. Located in Hiddenite, North Carolina, this park has just over six miles of trails. Avid hikers can hike the entire park in one day with ease. This rec area is a great place for the whole family. There’s rock climbing, rock top views, picnicking, full facilities, and even a playground hidden in the rock near the base of the Grindstone Trail.

The rec area is in the middle of farm country, so expect to hear cows, roosters, and farm equipment upon occasion. It didn’t curtail my enjoyment of the hike, but it did make me jealous of the people that are so close to a lovely park.

The trails are extremely well marked with station numbers and a number to call for help. For anyone just starting to hike, this is a wonderful option, just don’t expect all trails to be marked this way. Water on the trail in the cool February day made portions of the rock slick, but that was no surprise.

We hiked up Hollow Rock Trail for the views and as we descended, took the Grindstone Trail back to the parking area. The biggest surprise to me was the picnic tables at the overlooks. (Yes, there are picnic tables near the parking area as well.) It was nice to sit and have a snack, but it was a shocker. My hat’s off to whoever carried the tables up the trail and put them together. We decided to save the Vertical Mile Trail for another day due to the wind.

More hiking posts by N. R. Tucker