dogs on leash
Stone Mountain is not immediately visible upon entering the park that bears its name, but this magnificent 600-foot granite dome is well worth the wait. Sunlight and shadows dance across a broad tapestry of stone. White-tailed deer emerge from the security of the forest to graze on meadow grasses at the mountain's base. The scenery is only one attraction of the park. Test your fly-fishing techniques in more than 20 miles of designated trout waters. Or, with more than 16 miles of trails, take a hike in the park. Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1975, Stone Mountain is bounded on the north by the Blue Ridge Parkway and on the west by the Thurmond Chatham Game Lands. More than 14,100 acres of mountain beauty offer opportunities for outdoor activities of all kinds.
Love this trail. Hiked it counter-clockwise for more uphill time. Views are amazing. Popular place so lots of people. There were also very many stink bugs buzzing around like black flies when I went in the fall. I haven't encountered that anywhere.
Overall, this is a great moderate hike. I went early morning on Saturday, started at the lower lot and had the trail pretty much to myself. By the time I was completing the loop the trail was very busy and loud.
Great hike with good views but recommend getting an early start if you want to enjoy quiet time at the top and at the falls.
One of the best trails anywhere! Went on a clear autumn day with blue skies and saw breath taking scenery that melted my heart! Can't wait to go back again! Trail surface is well taken care of, wide and well designed. I went on the loop trail counter-clockwise from the Upper lot! SP says 4.5 miles but my GPS logged in 5.8 . You'll do some extra walking at the Summit and the Homestead especially if you have a camera. The Summit offers the wonderful scenery you dream about and it goes forever! The distance and the sculpture is fantastic! Trail is somewhat steeper near the switchback at the top! Rest often if you need to! The Summit is an amazing rock formation - it requires some common sense. It is a giant ball cap! If you walk out to far you are a goner! It is not tricky - just don't push it! Stay REAL safe! Counsel the young ones and the non believers! Keep them close! Do not attempt to walk out far enough to look over and see the ground - it can't be done without falling off! The rock surface is amazing and great to observe and/or Photograph! Photo opts at this place are inexhaustible - bring tripod!, extra batteries and sd chips! Come early and spend the day! Pack food and 3 waters in a day pack! We started @ 11:00AM finished at 5:30PM enjoyed the whole day! Went down 500 steps to the bottom near the Lower lot and proceed thru a gorgeous trail with bridges to the Homestead. Loop trail takes you to the Homestead avoid the road. Drinking fountain was available here when I went! Amazing view of Stone mountain here - this is what you came for! Just breath taking! A wide open field exposes Stone Mountains face and all of its glory! Wide angle lens or Panorama shots! Afterwards a pretty creek leads you up some steps to the base of a 200 foot water fall! Now up the steps, 300 of them. Take your time here, let your heart settle and then do some more - it is a journey, not a contest. When you get to the top - get out your common sense again and don't go out on the top of the water fall at all - take your pictures where there is something to hold on too! You are tired now - remember that! Take a good break here. Finish the trail - when you see the chimney, you are close to the end. Water and restroom are right there! Drink water, lots of it! So glad I went - thank you North Carolina this place is a treasure of beauty! Photographers Dream!
Great hike with a great variety of views. I started at the upper parking lot, and went counter clockwise.
The hike to the top of Stone Mountain is nice. The path is well maintained, with few obstacles. The route up is not too steep either.
The views from the top are excellent panoramic / horizon views. I also recommend checking out the view from the back of stone mountain, there are several spurs off the main trail, The view is also very nice.
Going down the mountain (counter clockwise) requires going down hundreds of stairs, which is glad I did not hike up this direction. The trail stays relatively flat until you reach the Stone Mountain Falls.
The Stone Mountain Falls are nice, I do wish there had been a little more water flowing the day I was there. Be prepared to go up a good number of steps back to the upper parking lot after the falls, although not nearly as many as the backside of Stone Mountain.
Overall great hike, will most likely do it again. I would like to check out wolf rock and cedar trail next time too, I hear the views from them are great.
Nice Hike. I started at the upper parking lot and went down to the falls first. LOTS of steps. the climb back up the mountain is tougher with uneven steps and no railing. Nice views, although I think the panoramic views from the Cedar Rock path are nicer. I hike several times a week and this was a challenge. however, I was carrying my 26# toddler on my back!!
We hiked this short connector trail between the Wolf Rock and Stone Mt Loop trails today. It was an easy hike with a great view of Stone Mt from the large rock face. Be sure to follow the red dots along the upper part of the rock to pick up the trail on the other side. The Wolf and Cedar trails added about 2.5 miles & about 1.5 hours to the Loop trail, time will depend on if you stop and how long you stay on each rock face enjoying the views, breeze, etc. We thought it was worth it. These trails are much less travelled, didn't see another person on the Cedar and only a few on the Wolf. A constant flow of people on the Loop.
We hiked the Stone Mt Loop today beginning at the upper parking lot, starting counter clockwise. After reaching the summit and continuing down to the other side of the trail we decided to add the Wolf Rock trail just before reaching the lower parking lot, connect to the Cedar Rock and back to the Loop before heading back to our car. The Wolf Rock was a continuous but gradual incline, steeper closer to the top. The top of the hill leveled out for a pleasant, shady walk to the rock face. Afterwards, we jcontinued on down this trail about a half mile until we reached the trail marker that pointed left for the Cedar Rock or straight for the Black Jack trail. We turned left for a short distance to Cedar Rock, another large rock face that faces Stone Mt. We continued on that trail about a half mile until we turned left at the Black Jack trail which led back to the Loop trail. All of this added about 2.5 miles and 1.5 hours to our hike, but it was a beautiful day, and we had the time.
Never having been on any of these trails, we enjoyed them but found the 300+ stair steps at the end of the loop trail brutal.
Nice hike on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We left from upper parking lot and started counter clockwise on the loop (to the right) on advice of another reviewer. Good choice. The trail is a gradual incline, getting steeper near the summit. We stayed on the rock face for a while enjoying the view, the breeze and a snack. Beautiful view looking across valley to Cedar Rock, I think, and mountains beyond. We continued on the trail down hundreds of stair steps built into the trail to the lower parking lot. Thank goodness we did not have to summit from that direction! When we got near the lower parking lot, we veered off to the right onto the Wolf Rock trail (about 2 mi.), then left at the Cedar Rock trail (about 0.5 mi.), then left at the Black Jack trail (0.3 mi.) to rejoin the Loop. That added about 2.5 miles and about an hour and a half to our hike. My husband regretted the detour due to Achilles issues and questioning my navigation skills, but, fortunately, we ended up just where I said we would. Those were much less travelled trails, and Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock had equally spectacular views. If you are in relatively good shape and are not in a big hurry, I recommend these side hikes. The return loop is a beautiful level hike with meadow on your left and a creek on on your right. Lots of rhododendron and hardwood color this time of year. Waterfall near the end of the hike is pretty if not spectacular. Now, the bad news: from the falls to the final trail to the spur to the parking lot there are 330 stair steps. Brutal at the end of about 8 miles. Oh well, we survived, but I think this is the last time I am allowed to set our course. I really enjoyed the day, felt like I had accomplished something when we made it back to the car and felt zero guilt having ice cream afterwards ;)
Great hike! We did the loop and ended up with 6 miles. Be prepared for the stairs...there are tons of them. We started from the upper lot and sent to the summit first. The views are spectacular. We packed a lunch and ate by the stream. Would be 5 stars but the stairs!
Most amazing hike! Took a left at the trail head and headed to the waterfall first. It's not much of a fall compared to others in the area, but not bad either. Nice and relaxing. After getting back on the trail we reached the homestead, which was so nice to see. It is at the foot of the mountain. We explored the mountain a bit at the climbing spot that is there. After that the trail became a bit more strenuous, but we were rewarded with the most beautiful views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Especially when we reached the summit. This is one we will do again for sure and I can definitely recommend it.
There are two main options to do the loop trail. You can start from the Upper trailhead or Lower trailhead. The AllTrails starting point is the Upper trailhead (on their map), which is where I started. I went counterclockwise. If you're starting from the Upper lot going counterclockwise gets you to the summit of Stone Mountain quicker. It's also the easiest way to the summit as the approach from the other side requires walking up some rather steep steps. The counterclockwise approach from the Upper lot is a gradual incline on mostly gravel.
Continuing counterclockwise from the summit, taking the Wolf Rock Trail will give you a longer loop and the best views of Stone Mountain from below. One word of note though. The AllTrails map has the Cedar Rock Trail branching off of the Wolf Rock Trail before you get to the Blackjack Ridge Trail. This is incorrect. The branch happens after Wolf Rock and is easily missed. Also if you take the Cedar Rock Trail it is quite a challenge as it is rather steep, and you'll be walking up mostly the rock face (so be careful). Conversely you can continue on the Blackjack Ridge Trail for a much easier hike which will connect you back with the Cedar Rock Trail and then ultimately back to the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. You will still enjoy the same views of Cedar Rock if you stay on the Blackjack Ridge Trail (and you will still enjoy the great view of Stone Mountain from below).
Overall this is a very nice trail with great views. Keep an eye out for snakes when you're on the rock faces. I ran in to an eastern milk snake. Harmless but it was definitely not happy to see me. But I thought it was pretty cool nonetheless!
Karen P. on Stone Mountain Loop Trail
The Stone Mountain loop trail has everything, a beautiful waterfall, a stream to follow, and an amazing dome of granite rock looking out over the Blue Ridge Mountains! I always go early and have a picnic lunch on top of Stone Mountain. It's incredibly beautiful and relaxing! And if you get a chance, hike over to Wolf Rock. Beautiful view and not as many people.
This trail is marked as difficult. Most of the trail is easy to hike though there are LOTS of steps. The loop takes you to a waterfall as well as walking directly on the Stone Mountain. What an amazing view! Will definitely do again and especially during the fall peak season. Aside from the steps, some areas of the mountain were challenging to walk on. Overall I would say this is a moderate trail with some areas I would rate as difficult. Worth the challenge!