Far from big city lights and busy highways, Stone Mountain State Park is the perfect RV destination for those looking to reconnect with mother earth in a beautiful setting. Located in northeast North Carolina, the park consists of over 14,000 acres of unspoiled nature high up in the mountains. The land that the park sits on was once a thriving community of mountain homesteads, and for years groups of European immigrants made this area their home. Remnants of an old homestead can still be toured at Stone Mountain, but since the area became a state park in back 1969, the land has served as a place for families to come and relax, play, and explore.
After you've parked the fifth wheel and set up camp, you can stretch your legs on 18 miles of trails, or head down to one of the streams and try your luck at trout fishing. For the more adventurous campers in your group, rock climbing is allowed on the ancient rock face that is one of the most popular attractions in the park. If you equate vacation with relaxation, you can spend your time at Stone Mountain watching for wildlife or enjoying a scenic picnic at one of the many tables available throughout the park.
If one day wasn't enough to complete all the activities that the park offers, park the travel trailer overnight in one of 90 RV-friendly sites. You can choose to stay at a site equipped with water and electric hookups, or at a basic site with no hookups at all. There's never a bad time to visit Stone Mountain State Park, as the grounds remain open all year round.
Although Stone Mountain State Park may have you feeling like you're in the middle of nowhere, you're actually never too far from civilization. Charlotte is just an hour and a half to the south of the park, and thanks to its location next to major routes like US-21 and I-77, even large rigs will be able to reach the park without a problem, with scenic views to boot. There are still plenty of sharp turns and steep inclines, but wide, well-maintained roads make for easier travel. You may want to stock up on supplies and gas up the RV in the nearby Roaring Gap before heading into the park.
The park has two main entrances, but those staying overnight should enter from the south off of State Road 1785 for easy access to the campground. You may encounter some low hanging branches as you navigate the park roads, so those with large campervans will want to take the roads nice and slow.
There is plenty of parking available throughout the park, with lots located near the park office, various trailheads and picnic areas, and the campground.
After a full day of exploring the park, you can hunker down at one of 90 RV-friendly campsites at Stone Mountain State Park. The campground is arranged in three loops, with Loop B offering water and electric hookups, while Loop A and C are basic sites without hookups. All sites are pet-friendly and come equipped with a picnic table and fire ring. Some sites are larger than others, so be sure to book a site large enough for your rig when making a reservation. There are also various ADA-accessible sites throughout all three loops.
Overnight guests will find centrally located bathhouses near each loop, and there is a dump station, additional parking, and firewood sales near the entrance of the campground. The campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Conveniently located just off the interstate and near some of North Carolina’s most beautiful spots and exciting attractions, the Statesville/I-77 KOA fits the bill for family vacations. The Blue Ridge Mountains are west of the campground, and nearby, Lake Norman offers great fishing and water recreation opportunities. Kids are sure to enjoy Carowinds Theme Park, just an hour away, and shoppers will love the easy access to North Carolina’s famous furniture outlets, too. Back at the campground, enjoy level pull-through sites, a playground for the pooches, a kids’ game room and outdoor play area and a sparkling clean swimming pool open during the summer months. Cable television and Wi-Fi are also available at the campground.
If you're not much for planning, you still may be able to find a site to park the T@B at Stone Mountain State Park without a reservation. Although reservations are recommended, especially during the peak season, any unreserved sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are 90 RV-friendly sites at the park's campground, some of which are basic and some of which are equipped with water and electric hookups. This pet-friendly campground is open year-round.
If Stone Mountain's campground was full, you won't need to drive too far to find a place to park the Airstream for the night. Both New River State Park and Pilot Mountain State Park are about an hour away from the park, to the west and east respectively.
New River State Park is equipped with ten full hookup sites, ten electric sites, and 20 basic sites with no hookups. Pilot Mountain State Park is more primitive, offering overnight guests 15 basic RV sites. This campground is better for small rigs, due to the maximum site length being just 38 feet.
For the true adventurers, Stone Mountain State Park offers six backpacking campsites along Widow's Creek. These sites require you to hike in between one and a half and three miles, and campers will need to bring all their gear and supplies with them. A permit is required for all backpackers, and campers must carry out all garbage they acquire during their stay. There is a large parking lot located near the hiking trail so that you can park your Sprinter nearby for the night.
If you're camping with a crowd, you can stay at Stone Mountain's group campground. There are four sites available for tent campers only, and each site can accommodate up to 25 people. The sites are pet-friendly, and one is ADA-accessible. Guests will find picnic tables, fire rings, and grills at each site, and there are restrooms and drinking water available nearby along with a parking lot for your campervan. The group campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Hikers aren't the only ones who can utilize the trails at Stone Mountain State Park -- horses are also allowed on designated trails. The Bridle Out and Back Trail is a favorite amongst equestrians, and there is even a parking lot for your trailers near the trailhead. You'll walk through a shaded wood area offering scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the way. You may even spot some old liquor stills that were used during prohibition.
Due to its mild mountain climate, Stone Mountain is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. After you park the Class A at your campsite, head to the park office and grab a plant and animal checklist to cross off as you see wildlife around the park. Keep your eyes peeled for blueberry, rhododendron, and mountain laurel, along with mosses and small ferns. If you tread lightly along the trails, you might see some of the park's full-time residents, including box turtles, foxes, bobcats, and white-tailed deer. If you're a bird lover, aim your eyes to the sky and listen for scarlet tanager, ruffed grouse, and whippoorwill.
Once you see the famous rock faces at Stone Mountain State Park, you'll want to chalk up and get climbing right away. Winter is the best time for climbing here, as the main climbing area receives lots of sun, making for some seriously sweaty climbing during the hot summer months. You'll find plenty of long runouts, and it is recommended for beginners to be accompanied by a more experienced climber. Before you rope up and head for the slab, be sure to obtain a climbing permit from the park office.
Trout is the name of the game when talking about fishing at Stone Mountain State Park, and with over 20 miles of stream to cast out in, you're almost guaranteed to reel in a keeper during your RV vacation to the park. Whether you're casting out from shore or from one of the two ADA-accessible piers located on the east side of the Roaring River, you'll find trout to be abundant. For rainbow and brown varieties, stick to the warmer, lower parts of the stream, while the higher, cooler tracks of water are great for hooking brook trout.
History buffs and curious learners alike will love the historic sites located in Stone Mountain State Park. Go back in time and learn about mountain farming and the early settlers of this region. The Hutchinson Homestead is a replica for how life was back in the day, and tours are available from May through October. The farm includes a log cabin, a barn, a corn crib, a blacksmith shop, and a meat house. As you walk around the property, you'll see original furniture throughout, and you can listen to recordings describing what life was like back in the day.
Once you finish up your tour of the homestead, you can check out the Garden Creek Baptist Church, located on the east prong of the Roaring River. Built back in the late 1800s, the church has not undergone any major renovation, making it a time portal for days passed. The church still holds service every Sunday from May through October, and even if you aren't a regular churchgoer, it's still worth a visit.
If you're interested in learning more about the park and the area that surrounds it, head to the park office after you're done setting up camp. Inside you'll find information about the flora and fauna that call the park home, along with exhibitions about the area's culture and history. Throughout the year, the park also offers various ranger programs, including guided hikes, scavenger hunts, and fire talks. These programs are a great way to get the young ones out of the motorhome and interested in nature, and the whole family will enjoy learning something new during their time at Stone Mountain.
If you are in some need of sustenance after a full day of hiking the trails, you'll find plenty of picnic tables scattered throughout the park. The main picnicking area is located in a wooded setting near the park office. The area is equipped with tables, grills, restrooms, and water fountains, and there are even three large shelters if you are expecting a group. These shelters can be rented out in advance for a fee, and if they are unreserved, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Crystal clear waterfalls, stunning rock faces, and postcard-perfect overlooks await you on the trails at Stone Mountain State Park. Leave the pop-up at camp and explore over 18 miles of routes that range in length and difficulty. For a hike that has it all, check out the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. You'll go past the old homestead, a 200-foot waterfall, and even the summit of Stone Mountain. If it sounds like a lot, that's because it is. This four-mile loop is quite strenuous, but hikers will definitely reap their reward of scenic views throughout the whole hike. For a more relaxing trek, take on the Cedar Rock Trail. This one-mile trail will lead you to a dramatic overlook without the draining hike.