I was going to start listing the Sauratown Mountain peaks separately, for there is certainly much to each peak that would merit a page. However, these mountains are grouped so closely together and are so identified locally with one another, that I think they should be listed as a group. Several thousand acres of these peaks have been protected for public enjoyment within the Hanging Rock State Park.
These mountains, named for the extinct Saura Indians who once lived among them, are considered by most geologists to be monadnocks. However, despite the erosionary forces that created them, they stand as an isolated mountain range and due to the proximity of a number of complete, separate, and independent mountains, I don't feel they qualify as true monadnocks.
Moore's Knob from Cook's Wall.
The Sauratown Mountains consist mainly of quartzite capstone that has resisted erosion, leaving behind these high ridges that stand as much as 1700 feet above the surrounding plains. They are covered principally in pine and oak forests of relatively new growth, and are intercut with streams and cascades. Unlike the nearby, but separate Pilot Mountain, the Sauratowns have their own watershed that has birthed a number of nice mountain streams, cascades, and waterfalls.
While Moores Knob is the loftiest of the Sauratowns, a number of them are nearly as tall, topping out at over 2000 feet.
From either I-85 or I-40, take 52 North (soon to become I-74). After you pass through Winston-Salem, take 8 North, and continue until you come to the Hanging Rock State Park Road turnoff. Drive into the park.
The main trails I used to access Moore's Knob and Cook's Knob were the Moore's Wall Trail and the Cook's Wall Trail. The trailhead to both of these paths is located at the lake swimming area at the very end of the Hanging Rock State Park Road. They share a trailhead, but soon diverge to their various points of interest. Total elevatio gain for Moore's Wall Trail is about 800 feet. Cook's Wall about 700.
There are a number of trails within the park that give access to the other important peaks.
Boardwalk along trail.
None. There is no admission fee to enter the park. Moore's Wall and Cook's Wall are the only areas in the park where rock climbing is allowed. Both of these walls run for miles and both of them offer climbs of up to 400 vertical feet. Climbers must register, in writing, detailing the routes to be climbed. Some routes (there are dozens) are sometimes closed due to peregrine nesting season.
When To Climb
Any time. I would not recommend climbing in icy conditions. Ice storms hit frequently in this area for some reason.
Yes, there are campgrounds in the park. The charge is $15 per night. There are also cabins in the park, but I'm not sure of the fees for these.
Lake near campground.
Check the weather conditions for Mount Airy or Danbury. Subtract a few degrees for the very highest ridges.