When traveling through this part of North Carolina, you can't help but take notice of the massive granite dome of Stone Mountain State Park. It's like a magnet, constantly drawing visitors in from all walks of the world. It is a great place to explore, and there is so much more beyond the dome. If you like to take every opportunity to get outside, this park is a place that will give that to you.
Almost 20 miles of trails are available to guests who like to hike, ride horseback, rock climb, go fishing. A full 20 miles (or better) of designated trout waters even run through this park, spreading below the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's an ideal setting for summer days and the park serves as a popular hangout all throughout the year.
Also open year-round, the park's campground offers guests 90 sites to choose from. All sites are available for tent campers, those hauling trailers, and RVs. Many sites are accommodating to larger rigs, though, not all provide full hookups. Take care and note which site has everything you're looking for when making reservations. It's a beautiful place with spacious settings and the perfect location to park while you're out taking in the rest of the terrain.
It's time to get the family together and set out. This is a vacation you'll be talking about long after it's over.
RV Rentals in Stone Mountain State Park
Transportation in Stone Mountain State Park
It's an easy drive, both into the state park and to the campgrounds. The roads are well-paved, level, and easy to navigate, with no surprises along the way. You may even want to take a quick round through the park to get a taste of what there is to see out here. A scenic drive is easy to accomplish in these settings. The area's roads lead to various points of interest, including historic sites and cascades of waterfalls.
Parking your vehicle at Stone Mountain is fairly straightforward, with ample parking at points of interest, even for larger vehicles. However, if you're planning on staying, you will likely just want to get parked in the campground and get out on the trails. Not having to battle over parking to get to the best views of the falls is something most overnight visitors can get behind. If you're visiting the park in more of the off-season, you may have an easier time finding various places to post up throughout the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Stone Mountain State Park
Campsites in Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park Campground
Ninety sites are available with just a turn off of the road past the park office. This campground makes it easy for all campers to enjoy a few nights, whether by tent, by trailer, or by RV. Sites are available to all, though not all sites will host amenities. It's important to pay close attention to these details when making reservations online.
There are three loop roads and each loop has its own set of sites. Each of the sites is spacious and able to back-in all sorts of hauls. There's not much worry about size restrictions here. It is rather big-rig friendly. You'll find a picnic table and fire ring with grill per site. Some sites will have hookups for electric, others electric and water, and the remaining have no hookups. Drinking water and two bathhouses are provided nearby. (You can expect hot showers.) RVs will also find a conveniently located dump station.
The campground is open all year-round and does not require reservation in order to stay, however, reservations are highly encouraged. That's a must if you are planning on making your rounds during the summer months. Peak seasons are busy here, and with only 90 sites, you can be sure the good ones fill up quick.
Stone Mountain State Park Campground
Reservations are encouraged, but not required. If you've fallen for the rugged terrain of Stone Mountain State Park, you don't have to hurry your trip along. The park's campground is open to campers of all walks, be it tent, trailer, or RV. The grounds are pretty big-rig friendly, so even the larger hauls can find a place of respite here.
There are 90 sites available to park in, though, not all provide amenities. Some are electric-only, others provide electric and water hookups, and still others are nothing but the site, the table, and the fire ring. If getting one of the more modern sites is appealing, you may want to get those reservations in. However, if you're able to go more with the flow, feel free to stop on in. Any sites not under reservation are freely open to first-come, first-serve visitors.
It's a spacious setting that is perfect for a recharge before heading back out to the next Stone Mountain park adventure.
Stone Mountain State Park is extremely accommodating, providing not only a spacious main campground, but also four group sites and six backpacking sites.
Group sites are available only by reservation and each site will accommodate up to 25 people. These sites come equipped with fire rings, grills, tables, and access to drinking water, restrooms, and hot showers.
Backpackers can expect to find six sites along Widow's Creek. The trail leading to these sites is located in the backpack parking lot area. Distances to sites range from 1.5 to 3 miles from the head of the trail. Backpack camping is by permit only with a maximum of six people per site. Backpack camping is only permitted in this area of the park. All other areas are prohibited.
If you've come at a time that the grounds are full and you don't know where to park your RV, you can settle for some of the area's other options. You're not too far from other choices, with a variety of amenities.
Seasonal activities in Stone Mountain State Park
Not all visitors are necessarily looking to stay the night. For those who frequent Stone Mountain's trails as day-trippers, horseback riding is a lovely and unique way to spend the afternoon. While there are no horse rentals held in or around the park, area residents and the off passerby have the opportunity to hitch their trailers up here. The Horse Trail Parking Area provides easy access to the Bridle Loop Trail. The trail is a round trip of 5 miles and serves as a connector to other area trails. It's always important for equestrian enthusiasts to remain on their designated trails, as others have been deemed too hazardous.
Fishing is an activity guests can enjoy here year-round, but, something about a nice, hot summer day out on the water just sits right. There are more than 20 miles of streams designated for trout at the park. Seasonal dates and regulations apply for each type of trout water, so, it is advised to contact the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for details. Bullhead and Rich Mountain are bountiful creeks and strictly remain catch-and-release. Special permits are required for this area. Be sure to purchase yours at the Bullhead Creek parking area before casting out your lines.
Listening to the roar of the rushing waterfalls is easily a favorite pastime for many visitors to the park. There are three locations to choose from, each with its own charming cascades. The waters flow as Middle Falls, Lower Falls, and Widow's Creek Falls. Since these are rather popular places to hike to, plan to head out fairly early to beat the daily summer crowds. There are parking areas close to each waterfall location and they can also be accessed via frequented park trails.
The Hutchinson Homestead is a fun side trip to indulge in during your stay at Stone Mountain State Park. The Homestead was completely restored in 1998 and is decked out with a barn, meat house, blacksmith shop, a log cabin, and all original furnishings. Besides the obvious displays, visitors can also listen in on recordings that explain different aspects of the farm and how it functioned. Park guests visiting on peak season weekends will be able to enjoy the Homestead in all its glory.
The park supports all varieties of learning opportunities for guests of all ages to enjoy during their stay. Most often, park rangers lead these park events and interpretive programs. It's a great way to get a whole other perspective of Stone Mountain State Park and North Carolina's beautiful landscape. Most events are free to join, though some may require pre-registration. For more information, call the park office.
Exhibits & Historic Sites
The park hosts the Mountain Culture Exhibit in the park office building. Here, an old-time loom, still, and other historical artifacts are on display. It's a fabulous representation of the cultural history of this place. You'll learn all about the independent mountain settlers who acquired food, clothing, and shelter for their families. Besides history, visitors will get a taste of the area ecology with other displayed exhibits. As long as the office is open, guests are free to come in and get more in touch with this piece of Stone Mountain. If you're up for some more history, be sure to check out the Garden Creek Baptist Church. It's another historic site at the park.
There are a few designated cliffs of Stone Mountain that are permitted for climbers. Most areas are not recommended for those who are just starting out with the sport, unless you're with someone who's rather experienced. Rock climbing and rappelling are not to be taken lightly. This sport is definitely fun, but not without its hazards. All climbers have to register with the park by completing a climbing permit. There is no fee.
The trail network that extends through Stone Mountain State Park is fairly extensive and quite diverse in terrain. Visitors who are looking to stretch their legs will meet all sorts of beautiful settings. As the days get shorter and colder, trails may close off toward area waterfalls in order to ensure visitor safety. Otherwise, you can expect a display of various points of interests in the park with just a few hours a walking.
Plant & Animal Checklists
To keep a fun activity going during your stay at the park, be sure to pick up a plant and animal checklist at the park office. The checklists feature all sorts of flora and fauna. Forests here are dominated by all sorts of oak species, hickory, red maple, and white pines. Wildflowers won't be easy to spot unless you're coming in right before the peak season begins. During the off-season, guests can take full advantage of fewer visitors at the park to disturb the surroundings, meaning you may be able to check more wildlife off that list this time.
What beautiful settings to surround yourself in. The pictures practically take themselves. The rugged terrain, area waterfalls, winding trails, towering trees, historic sites, and more are enough to keep your shutter snapping. Your only limits are in your memory cards. With such great pictures, you'll be able to re-live this adventure over and over again. Don't forget the camera--and be sure to capture some smiles during your stay, too.