Aaaand another NC state park checked off our list with our visit to Stone Mountain State Park! We’re slowly marking more of them off, and I am (very) slowly getting around to sharing them.
Stone Mountain State Park is located about 2 hours outside of Charlotte, NC, so it makes a great day trip! It’s in Roaring Gap, and even with two toddlers, we honestly don’t mind a bit of a drive for a day trip. This is a pretty straightforward Park, so there won’t be too much to share, but I can never turn down a chance to share lots of photos 😉
Hiking Stone Mountain State Park
This park has lots of hiking trails, but the named trail is Stone Mountain Loop Trail. This loop is billed at 4.5 miles, but Dan and I clocked it closer to 5, if not over 5. We parked at the Upper Trailhead parking lot and took the loop clockwise. Since we went when it was bit chillier, it wasn’t a super packed hike, but there were definitely a good amount of people there. If visiting in warmer months, I would for sure suggest getting there early!
Let’s talk about how hard this trail is. We did this whole hike with two tiny humans. They hiked the WHOLE thing by themselves. So just know that if they can do it- you can do it! For the most part, it’s a fairly flat trail. Getting down to the waterfall has you walking on rock on a steeper hill, but cables are provided to help. The beginning portion follows a stream which is really pretty and peaceful. Otherwise, it’s a fairly flat hike. Hiking up to the summit is a bit strenuous. It’s for sure all uphill in that section. Lots of stairs. And you are walking up at a pretty steep angle on some sheer rock. Again, cables are provided. Other than that section, though, it’s mostly flat.
There are lots of places to stop and things to see along this hike. Within the first mile, you come up to Stone Mountain Falls. Now listen. My family LOVES waterfalls. Nothing keeps my 5 and 4 year old more motivated than the promise of a beautiful falls. We typically never see them this early into our hike, so it had the kids so amped up. It’s also a nice option if you don’t want to do the full 5 mile loop, you can hike in to see the falls and hike back out. It’s not too strenuous to get here. There’s a really big observation deck to see the middle of the falls. A bit lower down you can walk down on rocks and get closer at the bottom of the falls. We loved being able to have both vantage points!
Along that same side is the “view” side. This is the vantage point where you’ll see the whole slab of Stone Mountain. I’ll be very honest. Pictures do not do this justice. I know I’ve heard that constantly. But the picture is literally just a wall of stone. Which is what it is, but in person, it is just incredibly impressive. To think it just formed naturally…and how big it actually is….it was super cool. We took a break here just to take it in, let the kids run in the fields, and watch the rock climbers.
Right beside this is the Hutchinson Homestead. This is a homestead from the 1860’s and is pretty cool to see. We didn’t spend too much time here, but if you’re really into history, you can for sure add this on your list!
Then begins the ascent up. It’s for sure strenuous. But so, SO worth it. The views from the top are spectacular. There are multiple open stone areas where you can sit and hang out and take it in. My favorite part, as someone with kids, is that there are no steep cliffs. It gradually goes down, and this helped ease my anxiety SO much in knowing that my kids were not going to fall to certain death.
And then you’re hiking home! It’s downhill from the summit, but after that it’s fairly flat back to the parking lot! We loved this park. It definitely took us all day. We didn’t rush, and we stopped at all the points for snacks and to enjoy it. It’s definitely a longer hike, the longest on our Blackmon babies have done by themselves. But they crushed it, and we were so proud!
More pictures below, and if you are looking for another NC state park, make sure to check out our South Mountain State Park trip!