This February, the Hemlock Restoration Initiative will spend a week out in Hanging Rock State Park! While our crew re-treats hemlocks in the area, our educational staff will lead a free, guided hike on Wednesday, February 15 for anyone curious about hemlock trees and how we can save them from the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid.

The hike will meet a 9 a.m. at the Kingsnake and Copperhead Connector Trailhead on Moore’s Springs Road and will wind through 2.5 miles of trail in a beautiful eastern hemlock stand situated above the Dan River. With approximately 500 ft of elevation change, this hike is rated moderate. (Spoiler alert: we likely will not encounter any snakes on this hike.) We expect to return to the trailhead by noon, although allow a little time on either end of this estimate.

Hanging Rock State Park contains some of HRI’s easternmost hemlock conservation areas, so this is an excellent chance for folks in the Winston-Salem area to join us. No previous knowledge of hemlocks or ecology is necessary.

HRI originally treated the Moore’s Springs hemlocks for hemlock woolly adelgid in 2017. Two other hemlock conservation areas in the park are along the Moore’s Wall Loop and the Lower Cascades Falls area. Participants are encouraged to take what they learn on this hike and explore those areas of the park as well.

RSVP is required. Please register by February 13 by emailing Ally Melrose at or calling 828-252-4783. When registering, please include your name, phone number, and the number of people in your party. NOTE: in case of inclement weather on 2/15, we are reserving the following day as a back up date.

On the day of the hike, be sure to bring water, necessary medications, weather-appropriate layers, and any snacks you may want. More details will be provided upon registration.

The Hemlock Restoration Initiative is grateful to be able to offer public events in this difficult time. Despite the lifting of restrictions, we acknowledge the risk that COVID-19 continues to pose to members of our community. To maintain the safety of our event participants and staff, we are requiring that all participants follow HRI’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. Anyone not following the guidelines on the day of the event will be asked to leave. Despite taking precautions, we cannot eliminate all risk of exposure and participants will be accepting some level of risk by choosing to attend. Please review the COVID-19 safety guidelines on our website to ensure that you are comfortable following these guidelines. Note: these guidelines may adjust depending on changing guidance from health authorities.