Stone Mountain Loop Trail

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Stone Mountain State Park

Stone Mountain Loop Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Roaring Gap, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. 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.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 938 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

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.

hiking
2 days ago

We loved this hike! When we went, the waterfall part was pretty crowded but the hike to the summit was not very trafficked. Would recommend who want a good, longer hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike! Much more challenging than I thought towards the end when trying to traverse the actual mountain - the Stone is very steep and I could imagine it being dangerous if it rained - bring your good lungs!

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 days ago

Great loop of Stone Mtn. We did go counter clockwise and saved the old homestead and waterfall for the final 1.5 miles or so. All in all, a very well rounded hike ... Flat, hills, smooth, rocky and wooded with a few creek crossings with varying vista types. Highly recommend this loop.

hiking
4 days ago

Added to my short list of favorites. There's a little bit of everything here. Some great vistas, a large waterfall, some challenging climbs, and some pleasantly flat portions across widely varying surroundings. I walked counter clockwise for now particular reason and, looking at my recording, I think that was probably the easier of the options. I should also note that my recording (and my Garmin) clocked this hike at over 5 miles so the original recording might be a little short. I arrived around before 10am and the trail was already relatively crowded for my tastes. By the time i left ~3 hours later, the parking lot was completely full. I'd definitely recommend arriving early if at all possible.

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

Fun loop - suggest you arrive early as the parking lot fills quickly.

hiking
16 days ago

Loved it! Great trail. Will be posting some photos of the park

hiking
17 days ago

The hike had everything you could ever want, great views, wildlife, rock formations, technical climbs and amazing waterfalls. it was awesome.

hiking
17 days ago

Loved this trail!!!

hiking
17 days ago

This is the perfect hike for everyone. The conditions are suitable for young children to older folks and all in between! You’ll get a good workout in near the top where it’s fairly steep (but there’s plenty of places to stop for a rest if you need it). The views are stellar for such a quick hike and it’s scenic from parking lot to peak! The only down side is the crowds. I suggest getting there as early as you can to get ahead of the afternoon rush.

hiking
18 days ago

Completed stone mountain loop trail. We started counted clockwise and later realized we avoided climbing a lot of stairs. So I would recommend doing this for beginners. Also, the park signs states the trail is 4 miles, we stopped at lower level parking, completed over 5 miles. So be prepared. Otherwise, the submit was beautiful, the streams, leading the waterfall all breath taking!

hiking
22 days ago

Nice trail. Variable footing, from solid rock, manmade stairs, steel cable walks, to solid earth. Nice views, especially in winter. The foliage has fallen away and you can see the rolling of the mountainside.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail and lots of views

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful waterfall view and Stone Mountain summit is incredible.

Awesome, nice morning hike, definitely go counter clock like everyone said unless you like a bit of a challenge. Absolutely beautiful

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

If you go counter clockwise, be careful of your footing going down the wooden and dirt stairs. Beautiful but can be very dangerous if you aren’t paying attention. When I went on Saturday, March 7th, 2020, there were a few trees down on the trail but we still made it through fairly easily.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun, family-friendly trail with some great views at the top, and a nice waterfall. Pretty crowded on the weekends, but to be expected. Completed the loop counter-clockwise with stops in 2h10m.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail! We started at the lower trailhead and went to the summit side first. The first mile was definitely the most strenuous and it was good to be fresh for that. Lots of stairs and some rocky slopes in that area. After that it becomes more foresty. Waterfall area is gorgeous! The mountain view side of the trail is really nice as well, mossy and relatively flat. We walked through the homestead and did take a few detours out onto the rocks so we clocked in at 5.77 miles total. Took approximately 3 hours 15 minutes.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great 4.5 mile trail that took about 2.5 hours. There are a lot of steps and stairs. FitBit registered 137 flights of stairs. Huge Tip: Take the loop counterclockwise. The first time I did this hike I went clockwise and thought I was going to pass out from all of the climbing and steps. I swore I would never go back. The second time I went, I went counterclockwise and it was so much easier!

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible. Little forest cover if you go in the heat

hiking
3 months ago

Took our family including the 5 kids (10, 8, 6, 4, and 1). We started at the Upper Trailhead, and took the left towards the falls first. This worked out well, as everyone was fresh for the stairs up and down there. By the time we got to the Stone, we were ready for the grueling calf burn of those stairs. It was tough, but well placed steps made it work. The gentle slope back down was a good end to the day. All the walkers enjoyed it, albeit exhausted at the end.

hiking
rocky
snow
washed out
3 months ago

We started out at the Upper lot and turned left to seethe waterfall first. Since the trail log said 900 foot elevation gain, we weren't to worried when we hit the stairs at the waterfall. We lost the trail slightly at the homestead but found it quickly enough. It started snowing and we weren't expecting the stairs going up the mountain. They are extra difficult in the wet. Not moderate. We will try again in the Spring or Summer.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Took two kids (9 and 6) on this and it was just about the 6-year-old’s endurance limit (though maybe if it were summer hiking season they’d be better conditioned). We started to the right, in order to get the elevation gain out of the way. But that meant ending with climbing the stairs by the waterfall, which very nearly did the little ones in. (My knees were also not fans of going down the stairs on the side of the mountain itself. Should’ve gone up the stairs and down the switchbacks.) Might be the best views in NC (other than Chimney Rock), especially in winter with the leaves off the trees so there was more visibility. Kids loved scrambling around on the rocks at the top and walking across the stream along the way back. Trail is easy and in great condition (only a few missing stairs). Will definitely do again.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail. Definitely want to start at. Upper loop. You’ll start off with a waterfall, have several side trails you can explore along the way, and you’ll eventually end up in a clearing with an old family farm homestead. From there you’ll start your glute activating ascent to the top of the big stone mountain. Be ready! This portion is steep and windy! But once you’re at the stop the view is great and you’ll have plenty of room to stretch out in the sun to relax. Luckily the descent from this portion does have some switchbacks but isn’t too bad. Recommend for a good day hike as there’s lots to stop and explore along the way. Our 2 dogs loved it

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Booty burn is real!

4 months ago

We took our 6 & 7 yr old and they were able to complete it with no problems. We started at the Upper Trailhead Parking Lot which takes you to the falls much sooner. However, whichever trailhead you choose to begin at (Upper or Lower), you will encounter many, many stairs. Great trail and well marked!

hiking
5 months ago

Diverse routes and very well maintained. Dog friendly!

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