Fans of Hanging Rock State Park have a new way to celebrate the beauty of Stokes County, thanks to the musical styling of song-smith Keith Nealson.
Nealson, who serves as the Eno River State Park Park Superintendent, recently posted a new song, titled “From the Top of Hanging Rock,” focused on his love of Hanging Rock State Park on YouTube.
“I have always had a fondness for that park in my heart,” he said. “I have worked at Eno River State Park and William B. Umstead State Park, but there are two other parks I have spent countless hours enjoying and one of them is Hanging Rock.”
Nealson said Hanging Rock was his go-to mountain park as he was raising his oldest daughter.
“I was a stay at home dad with my oldest daughter,” he explained. “I spent a great deal of time hiking up Hanging Rock, swimming in the lake and camping in the campgrounds with her. Every time I think of Hanging Rock I think of my daughter who is now heading off to college.”
Nealson said he felt it was important for park rangers to spend time in parks they did not work in to help reinvigorate their love for the outdoors.
“You need to recharge why you are doing this for a living,” he said.
Nealson said he has also written songs about the two parks he has worked for and his favorite beach park, Hammock’s Beach State Park.
He said he enjoys playing music with friends and running workshops that focus on how music can be used to help aid in environmental education.
“I have no problem with folks playing my song at all, and in fact am always honored to have folks do so,especially folks who are better musicians than me,” he added. “But, I would insist on being credited as the author and if someone records any of my songs to make a profit I would want to be compensated under standard BMI/ASCAP policy.”
The song can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/oNOyUValh4s.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.