Lower Cascade Falls is on the Cascade Creek in Hanging Rock State Park near Danbury, North Carolina. The parking area is off Hall Road just outside the park's main entrance.
Hanging Rock State Park was created in 1936 by a donation of 3,096 acres from the Winston-Salem Foundation and the Stokes County Committee. Prior to this the area had been owned by a developer intent on creating a mountain resort. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the original facilities between 1935 and 1942 including a 12 acre lake and bathhouse. The CCC was designed to supply jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression. The area surrounding Lower Cascade Falls was acquired in the 1970s along with Tory's Den which is rumored to have been a hideout for British Loyalists during the American War for Independence.
It is a short 7 tenths of a mile hike from the parking area to the falls. The trail is gravel and dirt and mostly flat until the steps down to the falls. The steps are a combination of wooden and stone and very steep. All Trails rates it as easy but the climb back up the stairs is moderate.
Lower Cascade Falls drops 35 feet into a large plunge basin. Expect to find people wading in the basin on hot days. The rocks are wet and slippery so take good waterproof shoes.
These pictures were taken on two separate visits - one in 2016 and on in 2023. As you can see, the downed tree has been removed from the plunge basin. The sun rises over the falls and reaches the falls by 10 am so plan to arrive early for the best pictures.