Stone Mountain State Park – Camping, Hiking, Waterfalls & More
Stone Mountain State Park, located in Traphill, North Carolina, is one of the state’s best kept secrets. Not only is this park a great place to visit for the day, but it is also a wonderful place to camp. Covering more than 14,000 acres Stone Mountain Park offers beautiful forests, cascading waterfalls and cool mountain streams. Additionally you can enjoy scenic hiking trails and view numerous birds and animals. If you’re looking for a park that offers lots of activities and is not overrun with people, then this is the place for you.
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Stone Mountain History
Established in 1969 and designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975, Stone Mountain is bounded by the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Thurmond Chatham Game Lands. Of course, long before it was a state park, Stone Mountain was settled by families of English, German, Irish, French and Scotch-Irish descent. These families built log homes, farms, mills, churches and schools needed for self-sufficient communities.
If you are looking for a great park to camp in, Stone Mountain is a great option. In addition to accommodating families, they also have options for larger groups as well. The following is a breakdown of your choices for camping at Stone Mountain State Park.
The Stone Mountain State Park family campground has 90 campsites, accommodating both tents and RVs within three loops. Summer and winter seasonal rates apply. Seniors and military qualify for $6 discounts off nightly rate. Wood and ice are available for purchase and a dump station is located near the campground. You can find additional info on the availability of the sites and the amenities offered on the reservations website. There are more photos of the campgrounds and accessibility info as well.
- A Loop: hot showers/flush toilets; no electric/water for hookups. Closed for winter.
- B Loop: hot showers/flush toilets; electric/water hookups available(20, 30, 50 Amp)
- C Loop: use B loop restroom; no hookups
- Dishwashing sinks at restrooms (closed during winter season)
If you have a larger group, Stone Mountain State Park also has four group sites available. Each site can hold 25 people and has its own restroom with showers.
Four backpack camping sites are available along Widow’s Creek (campsites E & F permanently closed). Distance for hike-in ranges from 1.5 miles to 3 miles from the parking lot trailhead. Must self register and pay at backpack camping parking lot.
Of course there are numerous options for hiking at Stone Mountain State Park, which includes over 18 miles of hiking trails. In addition to hiking to the Stone Mountain summit, you can also hike to waterfalls and trout streams. Not to mention you can also visit the historic Hutchinson Homestead and experience dramatic overlooks. There is even a a five-mile trail for equestrians to enjoy.Big savings on US outdoor activities!
Stone Mountain Loop Trail
This 4.5 mile trail takes you across the summit of Stone Mountain, by the Hutchinson Homestead and a 200 foot waterfall. Of course, hikers can choose to go to the waterfall or the summit and back without having to do the entire loop. If you do want to take the entire loop hike, then here are a few tips for you. First, to end with a downhill hike, start at the Lower Trailhead parking lot. If you start at the Lower lot, consider the summit side first so you can walk down the 500 steps by the waterfall. Second, if you decide to start at the Upper Trailhead, then consider the waterfall side first, to avoid hiking the 500 steps uphill.
Cedar Rock Trail
This moderate one mile, one-way trail, is suitable for most levels. The trail is located off the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. You can hike to the peak of Cedar Rock and enjoy wonderful views of Stone Mountain.
Wolf Rock Trail
Another moderate trail in the park is Wolf Rock. It is a moderate trail that’s about one and half miles one way. In addition to more great views of the mountain, it can be combined with the Cedar Rock Trail for a longer hike.
Black Jack Ridge Trail
This trail can be reached from both the Cedar Rock and Wolf Rock trails. this one and half mile trail follows an old road bed through heavily wooded areas. It’s a moderate hill and offers beautiful views.
Stone Mountain also features some great trout fishing opportunities. Indeed there are more than 20 miles of streams dedicated to fishing in the park. Not only will you find Rainbow and Brown trout in the lower streams, but there are brook trout in the higher, cooler streams. Additionally there are two accessible fishing piers located along the East Prong of Roaring River. Accessible parking spaces are provided at each pier.
Please note that a valid North Carolina fishing license and trout license are required for all streams.
Definitely one of my favorite things to do in North Carolina is find waterfalls! For this reason, Stone Mountain Park is one of my favorite places to find them.
Stone Mountain Waterfall
To reach this waterfall take the Stone Mountain Trail, as mentioned above. From this trail, when you reach the beginning of Stone Mountain Loop trial, you can go left for a short hike to the upper falls. Then you have the option to the take the stairs down to two different levels for more dramatic views of the Stone Mountain Waterfall.
Middle and Lower Falls
From the lower parking lot you can hike to the middle and lower falls. When you reach the historic Hutchinson Homestead continue onward past the view of Stone Mountain from below. It’s important to note that there are multiple water crossings to access these two falls.
Of course if you’d just like an easy walk to a waterfall, then there’s Widow’s Creek Falls. If you keep going past the Lower Parking lot for just a little bit, you will find the parking area for these falls. The path there is an easy short walk to see the falls. Definitely a great place to visit in the summer.In addition to the beautiful 25-foot waterfall, there is a large pool at the base.
A Few More Things to do in Stone Mountain State Park
- Enjoy a family meal or snack at the Picnic Area near the Vistor’s Center
- Climb Stone Mountain ( a (free) permit from the Stone Mountain State Park is required)
- Swing by Garden Creek Baptist Church – this historic church still holds services May through Oct.
In conclusion, I do hope you found this Stone Mountain State Park post inspiring. Additionally, if you have any cool trails in this area that we did not mention, please leave a comment and share. We’d love to hear from you.
Furthermore, if you liked this post you might also like a few other posts on North Carolina. Such as Awesome Outdoor Activities at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Outdoor Fun & ActivitIes near North Wilkesboro, NC. Of course you may also enjoy, Blue Ridge Parkway – Photo Inspo from Wilkesboro to Linville Falls, NC.
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