Saddle Up For A Gallop Or Trot On The Sauratown Trails

Stokes County, NC

Some may have walked this section of trails from Pilot to Hanging Rock but not realized that the Sauratown Trail is a unique 25 mile bridle and hiking trail connecting both parks. It is an official section of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail following Segment 7 and is maintained by the Sauratown Trails Association. This trail is unique because it relys on the generosity of private landowners who have allowed the Sauratown Trail Association to build, use and maintain trails on their property. The trails, located in Stokes and Surry Counties in north-central North Carolina, may be used by all horseback riders and hikers regardless of whether or not they are a member of the association.

The Sauratown Trails are open most of the year to all horseback riders and hikers, bikes and motorized vehicles are not allowed. For safety of visitors, the trails are closed only during deer hunting season (November to January) and wet, muddy conditions. When the state parks close their trails due to wet weather, Sauratown Trails are also closed, please check the North Carolina State Park websites for trail closure notices if there is any question.

Currently there are 5 parking areas. Four of the parking areas are for horse trailers and cars, and one small area on Rockhouse Road is for cars only. Parking areas are listed here in order of largest to smallest and turn by turn directions can be found inside the “Visit Hanging Rock, Stokes County , NC” Smartphone App. Camping on the trail is not allowed, however, there are several locations near the trail where you can stable your horse or put up a tent and camp overnight for a small fee. Including: Mountain Trail Stables, Pilot Knob Inn, Bregman’s Trail Riding, and Jomeokee Campgrounds (people camping only). Moore’s Springs Stables located on Hall Road offers boarding stables and plentiful indoor amenities for boarding, including lockers for supplies if needing to utilize the stables for multiple days.

STA is proud to say that we have a one of a kind trail opened to hikers and horseback riders of all abilities. It is open every day of the week, year round except during the late weeks of November and December during deer hunting season and after heavy rain-storms. It is not an easy project. We have a beautiful trail but one that is equally as hard to maintain. It is a never-ending job to try to keep ahead of the damage due to heavy rain storms, fallen trees and weeds that grow faster than we can weed eat or spray. The future of a trail like ours depends on many factors, some of which we have no control. Encroaching development, land sales, storms and membership are our biggest threats. But for now, we are content to ride and hike our beautiful trails and hope the public can enjoy the serenity of our quiet wooded paths, the sweet music of our waterfalls and our scenic mountain vistas.

–Emily Grogan
Photos by Jennifer Olsen Thomas

The perfect mountain getaway, closer than you think. Experience hiking trails, waterfalls, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, fishing and more. Enjoy a leisurely float down the Dan River by canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or tube.