Height: At least 50 feet, maybe over 100
Trail Type: Gravel, then dirt
Hike Distance: 0.4 miles round trip
On its own, Tory’s Falls isn’t worth seeing, and even if you insist on seeing it, you need to go right after a lot of rain, otherwise you may just see wet rocks. If you do get the chance to see it after a good rain, the falls appear above you for a 15-foot freefall before cascading in several layers down countless rock ledges. You only get to see about 30 feet of this waterfall before it disappears out of sight. The trail system never picks it back up, even though I think the park system should.
From Winston-Salem, take US 52 north to exit 122. You’ll see signs for Hanging Rock State Park. Just follow those as they lead you to NC highway 66. From there, you’ll drive just under 7 miles to Moores Spring Road (again, there will be a sign to follow). Once you’re on Moores Spring Road, drive 0.5 miles and turn right onto Mickey Road. Drive another 0.8 miles and turn right onto Charlie Young Road. The trailhead will be on the left.
The hike to Tory’s Falls is pretty simple. You’ll descend slightly down a gravel path and across a small tributary of the stream that feeds the falls. The trail turns to dirt and you enter a fairly open area. The first time I went, I briefly lost the trail here because it looks like there could be a couple of side trails. Ignore them and do your best to follow the main trail.
After a couple hundred yards, you’ll come to a T-junction. Going left leads you to a nice rock outcropping where you’ll have your only view of the falls. It would make a nice place for a picnic if you go on a day when the water levels are up. Going right at the junction follows the trail down the mountain to a shallow cave believed to have been carved and used by the Tories during the American Revolution.