DANBURY, N.C. — Only about 200 people live in the small town of Danbury, North Carolina, in Stokes County, but 700,000 visit the town and surrounding parks each year.
Hanging Rock State Park is the top attraction with more than 8,500 acres to explore.
Visitors can hike trails to the summit, around the lake and down to several walls. People also mountain bike and rock climb at Hanging Rock.
But Jane Priddy-Charleville, lifelong Danbury resident and manager of the local general store, says you can enjoy the park without ever getting out of your car.
“You can drive through the park, and enjoy the great outdoors. The waterfalls, the upper cascades, is only 0.3 miles,” Priddy-Charleville said. “There’s a lot of short hikes there’s a wonderful hike around the lake.”
Stokes County’s other big attraction winds its way for 57 miles. People like to kayak and tube down the river, while those seeking more adventure can try the class three rapids in the northern part of the county.
Those that tube will typically end up in Moratock Park, where families gather to swim and play.
“There’s a rope swing, grills, picnic shelter and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy your family time right there along the Dan River,” Stokes County Tourism Manager Tory Mabe said.
Locals say a trip to Danbury wouldn’t be complete until you visit the Priddy General Store, built back in 1888. Priddy-Charleville is the third generation to serve customers homemade bologna sandwiches, fried apple pies and Cheerwine in glass bottles.
She says she enjoys talking to people and sharing hidden spots they should explore in the area.
“We love sharing our blessings here with others,” Priddy-Charleville said. “From the sunrises to the sunsets to the stars at night, I mean 24/7 you can enjoy the great outdoors here.”