Outdoor Activities At Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain – a 25-mile square plug of igneous rock located primarily in Alleghany County – is a playground for rock climbers, wild goats, and families alike. This polution in Stone Mountain State Park has eroded away over the past 300 million years to a 600-foot-high dome where climbers try their skills on routes like “Taken For Granite” and “Fantastic.” You’ll often see wild goats scrambling on steep upper slopes.
But you don’t have to be a goat or have climbing equipment with you to experience the magnificent views from the top, where chestnut oaks and shrubs stubbornly cling to solid rock. You do, however, need to be in decent physical condition in order to tackle Stone Mountain Loop Trail.
This strenuous loop first leads hikers three-quarters of a mile to the summit of Stone Mountain then continues one and a quarter miles to the top of Stone Mountain Falls. From the falls, the trail leads two miles to the meadow at the base of Stone Mountain and back to the trailhead. Less fit hikers or those with small children may want to reverse the route and stop upon reaching the falls.
Stone Mountain State Park has a number of other trails. Two take you to other rock exposures with great views: Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock. The one-mile Cedar Rock trail leads to a large granite outcrop allowing views to the south/southeast and an excellent view of Stone Mountain. Wolf Rock Trail, a 1.5-mile path, provides good views of the Blue Ridge Mountain escarpment, as well as the ridges dividing three watersheds. A park map with trails clearly marked is available.
Anglers can find more than 17 miles of designated trout streams inside the park. Rainbow and brown trout rule the lower stretches of the streams while brook trout populate the higher, cooler waters. Garden, Widow's and Big Sandy creeks are wild trout waters where only single hook artificial lures may be used.
The East Prong of Roaring River is a stocked, delayed harvest stream. Trout may be taken from the river for about four months out of the year and only single hook artificial flies may be used. For season dates and regulations for each type of trout, go to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
Stone Mountain has good camping facilities for groups, and for families with tents, trailers or RVs. Organized groups may use the six group campsites available by reservation only. Thirty-seven family campsites come complete with grills and tables with toilet facilities and showers nearby. This area also can accommodate RVs, but there are no water or electrical hookups. More adventurous campers may want to use the six designated backpacking sites available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The park also features a bridle trail for the horse set, as well as a number of educational programs throughout the year.
Stone Mountain State Park Location: Alleghany and Wilkes Counties.
Access: Seven miles southwest of Roaring Gap and 25 miles northeast of North Wilkesboro. From US 21 take SR 1002 about four and a half miles to Traphill. In Traphill, turn north on the John P. Frank Parkway and proceed two miles into the park. The route is well marked.
Size: 13,670 acres in 2000.
Elevation: 2,305 ft. atop Stone Mountain.
added: December 29, 2008
updated: January 3, 2009
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