Stone Mountain Loop Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Roaring Gap, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Hike around the granite dome at Stone Mountain State Park south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A granite bulge forms the centerpiece of Stone Mountain State Park. Stone Mountain Loop takes you to the top of the bulge, past a scenic waterfall and through the restored homestead of a family that lived in the shadow of Stone Mountain for four generations. The park also provides an excellent side trip for travelers along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. Two trailheads at Stone Mountain State Park lead to the loop. While the Lower Trailhead in the park's northeast corner gets you to the base of the mountain more quickly, the far better hiking route is from the Upper Trailhead on the west side of the park. From there, you hike a short spur to reach the loop trail, hang a left, walk down past Stone Mountain Falls and then continue till the massive wall of granite starts to fill the background behind the thinning tree.. Slack-jawed wonder is a perfectly natural response to seeing Stone Mountain for the first time. Once you get your wits about you again, you can explore the Hutchinson family's homestead, occupied for a century from 1855 to 1955. Then it's a steep slog to the summit - a vast, sloping field of granite striped black by one rainstorm after another. Finally, it's all downhill to get back where you came from.
A moderate to hard hike (depending on where you start) with a fantastic view of a waterfall. However, beware the stairs as there are some spots that are more tricky than others.
Beautiful scenery, lots of greenery, boulders and lovely waterfall. Plenty to entertain you along the way. The vistas at top are exceptional.
Great hike, love the views from the summit. Would classify the hike as moderate though, rather than hard.
The majority of this trail is a gradual incline on a wide, well kept path. It takes you to a waterfall and the summit.
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!!
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 ;)
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.