The plan to expand Hanging Rock State Park is still underway. The Division of Parks and Recreation within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR ) intends to have a master plan prepared for the approximately 700 acre addition to the park, known as the Vade Mecum / Moore’s Spring area property.
OBS Landscape Architects was contracted in the fall of 2016 to develop a master plan for the addition and architect Brian Starkey said the project has been an exciting one.
“I think the property is unique and has a lot of layers to it,” he said. “It’s historical and it offers a variety of natural resources. I believe there’s a future for Stokes County in tourism, but it needs to capitalize on those things and become a place that’s known for more than a day trip.”
Starkey and his design team held a public meeting in April at the Arts Place of Stokes and encouraged the community to share their opinions of how the properties can best be utilized.
Earlier this year, more than 1,000 people attended the open house held at Vade Mecum.
“It was more than anyone expected,” Starkey said. “It was exciting for us to hear the stories of people who went there as children and had such fond memories. It’s a special place and a place, from what we saw, that the community is invested in.”
Starkey said he’s gained valuable feedback and pertinent information about the properties in the last few months.
“There’s been a recognition of value of the historic buildings at Vade Mecum. There’s been a lot of discussions about accommodations, whether that’s camping or cabins. We’ve had some suggestions of offering a community space to host events. Of course, trails and hiking are popular.”
“We really want to create a situation where Hanging Rock and Stokes County is more than just a day trip for folks in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Raleigh,” Starkey said.
He explained the plans will create a vision for what can happen, identify priories and serve as a blueprint for projects down the road.
Another community meeting is planned for June 29 at the Walnut Cove Public Library from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
“I encourage people to attend. It’s an important process and because the property has such a colorful history it allows us to learn even more about it.”
For more information about the ongoing project or to share your stories, ideas or concerns about the property, visit hangingrockexpansionmasterplan.com. The website provides information, maps, conceptual plans and is updated frequently.
Tours planned at Vade Mecum
Friends of Sauratown Mountains (FOS) is hosting historical tours at Vade Mecum the first weekend of every month (Saturday and Sunday) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The guided tour is approximately one-hour long. The welcome center, located in the first cabin to the right as you drive into the property, is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the weekends. Trail maps, FOS membership information and T-shirts are available. For more information about the tours or information on renting the chapel space contact FOS president Debbie Vaden at email@example.com or visit sauratownfriends.org
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.