Protected Lands: Stone Mountain State Park
Location: Roaring Gap, NC
Phone Number: (336) 957-8185
Protected by: North Carolina State Parks
Many adventurers and their families are in search of places that have it all: stunning views, fun places for swimming, relaxing spots to cast a fly for some trout, and somewhere with both geographical and historical importance. Luckily for all of us, Stone Mountain State Park covers all of that and more. With over 18 miles of trails and 20 miles or trout streams, there is something for everybody here.
If you are looking for a challenging hike, be sure to do all of the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. This 4.5-mile loop will take you over the summit of the large stone protruding from the earth, through the historic Hutchinson Homestead, and past the 200-foot Stone Mountain Falls. If you aren’t ready for the large sets of stairs that reach from the valley up to the peak or from the base of the falls up to the top, don’t worry. With parking lots at the ridgeline and one down in the valley, you can easily access all of these beautiful sights without too much elevation gain.
Another trail to check out is the Widow’s Creek Trail located in the north-west corner of the park. At the beginning of this trail, there is a swimming hole with a sliding rock reaching from the top pool down to the bottom. This is a great spot to enjoy a warm summer day with your family. If you are wanting to do some backpacking, this is the trail you will jump on. After paying at the backpack camping parking lot, follow this trail to reach some primitive campsites about 1.5 to 3 miles from the trail head.
If backpacking isn’t your thing, there are 90 car camping sites, as well as larger group campsites, that are available for you to reserve on their website. From these campsites, you can easily access any of these areas mentioned above, as well as the fishing streams and the bridle trails.
For more info on Stone Mountain and all of the beautifully unique parks our state has to offer. Check out the “Visit A Park” section on the official NC State Parks website (www.ncstateparks.gov)