Logo with emblem of three mountains in a row and two hikers hiking up them. Text says REACH THE PEAKS Hanging Rock State Park 2020.Reach the Peaks 2020

The 2020 Reach the Peaks Challenge is the premier hiking and trail running challenge in North Carolina. This is the 8th year of this event and it will offer a strenuous 10.1 mile world-class trail route through Hanging Rock State Park which is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We look forward to bringing you a fun and challenging experience!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been MAJOR CHANGES to this event. Please carefully read the following information IN FULL before completing your registration. 


This year, the Reach the Peaks challenge has been transitioned to a 3 day event to allow for greater social distancing and lower capacity at check-in and on the trail.

Registration in advance is REQUIRED for this year’s event. Advance registration fees are $25 for adults and $20 for youth age 18 and under. No refunds will be given unless the event is cancelled under direction of the Stokes County Health Department and Hanging Rock State Park.

When registering, you will select which day (9/25, 9/26, or 9/27) you will complete the challenge and must complete the challenge on the day selected; no substitutions will be accommodated. There are 350 participant slots available each day; register early to secure a slot on your preferred date. Registration will end September 18th at 11:59 PM. 

Well behaved dogs on a maximum 6 foot leash are welcome to participate with you in the challenge at no additional cost. Determining whether your dog is healthy enough to participate is at your own discretion. 


Packet pickup and check-in prior to beginning the challenge will occur at The Arts Place of Stokes located at 502 N. Main St., Danbury, NC 27016. Packets include participant number, trail map, swag bag and event t-shirt. Packets may be picked up throughout the week leading up to the event, or may be picked up at the time of check-in on the day of the event. 

Check-in will be held from 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM each day (9/25-9/27) and is required for those participating in the event on that day.

All participants are required to sign a liability waiver at check-in prior to beginning the challenge and will then proceed to the lake parking lot at Hanging Rock State Park and start/finish the challenge at the trailhead located at the picnic shelter #4 located alongside the lake parking lot.

Restrooms are available at the bathhouse. All participants must be on the trail no later than 10:30 AM. 


Participants will begin the challenge on their own upon arrival at the start line. The trail will be clearly marked throughout the route and will have two water stations on the route (located at approximately miles 2 and 5). We HIGHLY encourage you to pack in (and pack out!) your own water for this challenge – there will NOT be volunteers on the route this year, including at water stations.

The 2020 trail route will begin at picnic shelter #4 adjacent to the lake parking area. Participants will head toward the visitor center and ascend to the Hanging Rock peak and then backtrack on Hanging Rock Trail to the Wolf Rock trail. From the Wolf Rock peak, participants will proceed to House Rock and continue on Cook’s Wall Trail to the Cook’s Wall peak, then backtrack from the peak to Chestnut Oak Trail. Chestnut Oak Trail joins Moore’s Wall Loop Trail and progresses through the campground to Moore’s Knob.

The challenge culminates with the Moore’s Knob peak where participants will follow back through the Moore’s Wall Loop Trail through the campground and past the bathhouse in order to return to the start/finish line at picnic shelter #4. This year’s trail is 10.1 miles. 

Upon completing the challenge, participants will return to The Arts Place to receive the finisher’s commemorative patch and a special treat from Rocky’s Coffee & Ice Cream. 

There will be a final sweep of the trail each day in an effort to pick up participants who are unable to complete the challenge and fail to return to the start/finish line on their own. However, there will NOT be personnel at the peaks or along the trail this year – in case of emergency on the trail, participants should call 911 (and may contact park staff at the Hanging Rock State Park Visitor Center at 336-593-8480).

Cell phone coverage is not guaranteed throughout the state park.

Please do not underestimate the challenge of this event; we encourage you to evaluate your health and safety needs and plan accordingly.  


What to Expect at Reach the Peaks 2020:

    • THE EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE RAIN OR SHINE (Unless Directed by Stokes Emergency Services to cancel due to natural disaster).
    • This year’s event will not be officially timed. 
    • There will NOT be any event volunteers onsite along the trail. In case of emergency, call 911 and park staff at the Hanging Rock State Park Visitor Center at 336-593-8480 (cell service may not be available throughout the park). 
    • The finisher’s patch given to those who complete the challenge will be based on the honor system. Feel free to take photos at each peak to share with us and your friends! 
    • We expect you to respect the state park, the trail, wildlife, other challenge participants and hikers who may not be participating in the challenge. Pack out what you pack in and adhere to all state park rules. 
    • Unlike previous years, there will not be an after-party or food trucks in order to prioritize the safety of participants, staff, and volunteers. 
    • Face masks and social distancing are REQUIRED at the Arts Place of Stokes during packet pickup and check-in.  
    • This is a hiking/trail running CHALLENGE. It will not be easy, but it will be FUN!

To complete your registration, please CLICK HERE.

Further questions can be directed via email to or by phone at (336) 593-8159. 



Reach the Peaks is organized by the Stokes County Arts Council in collaboration with Hanging Rock State Park. The mission of the Stokes County Arts Council is to support and promote the cultural arts in Stokes County, NC. Founded in 1975, Stokes Arts has delivered high quality cultural arts programming to Stokes County and surrounding areas for the past 45 years. In 2017, Stokes Arts opened the Arts Place of Stokes, a renovated multipurpose venue featuring a flexible performance space, an art gallery, artist studios, classrooms, a retail shop featuring local art and handmade goods, and Rocky’s Coffee & Ice Cream. 

Hanging Rock State Park is located at 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury, NC and is the 2012 North Carolina State Park of the Year with over 7,000 acres of hiking trails, waterfalls, lake, beach, bathhouse, campground, cabins, visitor center, and Dan River access.

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