Stokes County is located in northwest North Carolina and is considered to be part of the Piedmont Plateau. The county offers stunning scenery and offers the closest mountains to many large population centers in North Carolina (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel-Hill.) The county has a rich agricultural heritage and while it embraces this heritage, it is preparing for the future.
The Sauratown Mountains rise from the southwest edge of the County, and run northeast for over half the width of the County. The Sauratown Mountains were named for the Saura Indians, a tribe that inhabited this area during the 1700's. Stokes County boasts the only mountain range in the US that rises and falls within its borders. The Sauratown Mountains contain many interesting destinations for the visitor. Such places as Moores Springs, Piedmont Springs, Cascade Falls, Tories Den, Hanging Rock State Park, the Rock House and Moratock Iron Furnace are located within the county’s borders. All are easily accessible by automobile. Much of the road system in the county has been designated as a scenic byway.
The Dan River begins in Patrick County, Virginia near Buffalo Knob and eventually flows to the Roanoke River in Halifax, Virginia. The river enters the northwest corner of Stokes County, near the community of Asbury, flowing diagonally across the County toward the community of Pine Hall, dropping approximately 500 feet in elevation on its course through Stokes. There are more than 56 miles of the river in Stokes County, offering a wonderful variety of activities including: canoeing, kayaking, smallmouth bass and trout fishing as well as much more. The Dan River is said to be named for an early Saura Chief, Danapaha.
The county was formed in 1789 from Surry County. It was named for John Stokes, an American Revolutionary War captain who was severely wounded during fighting that took place in the state. After the War, Captain Stokes was named as a judge in the area that was given his name. The County has a long and wonderful history that is of special interest to Revolutionary and Civil War buffs.
One of the main features in the county is Hanging Rock State Park. Hanging Rock State Park was formed primarily from blocks of land donated in 1936 and conatains 7040 acres today. Many of the facilities in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1935 and 1942. The park is located atop the Sauratown Mountains, and contains a visitor's center, a manmade lake, and plenty of hiking trails, climbing trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds. The park boasts over 400,000 visitors each year, making it one of the 10 most visited state parks in state.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 456 square miles (1,181 km²), of which, 452 square miles (1,170 km²) of it is land and 4 square miles (10 km²) of it (0.89%) is water. The county lies within the Piedmont region of western North Carolina, and most of the terrain consists of gently rolling countryside. The county is home to a population of approximately 48,000 residents. King is the largest town in Stokes County, with a population of about 7,000. Other municipalities include Walnut Cove and Danbury, the county seat.
The climate in Stokes County provides four distinct and delightful seasons. The average mean temperature in January is 37 degrees, while July offers an average of 76 degrees. The normal annual rainfall is 48 inches. The climate allows for long growing seasons and a large variety of plant and animal life to enjoy.
Stokes County is served by Forsyth Technical Community College and there are seven colleges and universities within 40 miles. It is served by US Hwy 52 as its main traffic corridor. This hi-way will soon become I-74 and provide easy access to the main traffic systems within the state, including I-40, I-77 and I-81.