Stokes County, NC-- A Triad park has bragging rights to being the best park in the state of North Carolina.
Hanging Rock State Park in Stokes County was named the North Carolina 2012 Park of the Year by the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.
State officials said the park was chosen for its "exemplary contribution to the state parks mission of stewardship, public service and education," and specifically recognized for initiatives in education and interpretation, volunteerism and sustainability.
Among the things listed on a news release that has put the park above the rest are: improved educational displays, nearly 200 interpretive programs and staged a 75th anniversary celebration with 93 past and present employees. Other stuff included: the park strengthening its relationship with the Friends of Sauratown Mountains support group, and volunteers spending countless hours improving trails and staffing the visitor center increased 58 percent. Park rangers and maintenance staff rerouted trails, constructed a key trail bridge and nearly doubled the amount of recycled materials collected.
Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Hanging Rock State Park is one of North Carolina's oldest parks. The park is 7,049 acres and reported 443,899 visitors in 2012.