Thursday, April 7, 2016

North Carolina's Stone Mountain

Located in Georgia, Stone Mountain is the world's largest exposed monolith. But there is another Stone Mountain, this one is in North Carolina, and it's a state park which includes 18 miles of trails, campgrounds, fishing and picnicking. The star of the show here, also, is the 600 foot granite mountain where rock climbing is allowed (by permit) and is some of the best in North Carolina.


We started our visit at the Visitors Center to get a map and the lay of the land. We opted out of the strenuous hike to the top of the mountain and instead did a short walk to view Stone Mountain Falls. Well, the top of the falls. You can walk to the bottom of the falls - there's stairs - but we didn't go all the way down. While it's a very pretty waterfall I was wanting to see the views of the mountain. Which we hadn't seen yet.( The mountain is not immediately visible when you enter the park)



 So we drove around to the parking lot for Hutchinson Homestead, which is a restored 19th century farm that sits at the base of the mountain. After a short walk through the woods, we came to the clearing for the farm and saw the mountain. The view of the mountain was worth the wait!













You can tour the farm's buildings including the log cabin (take a peek at the low ceilings - they were either really short or bumped their heads alot!) the blacksmith shop, the corn crib, barn and meat house. This farm is an example of the farms settled by the English, German, Scotch-Irish and Irish families who settled this land way before it became a state park.









And we were in luck - there were climbers on the mountain! These are "Friction Cliff Climbers" and this is the only spot in the East for this kind of climbing. Climbers use ropes to pull themselves up the mountain - and it's a bit like climbing/walking. These photos are majorly zoomed in -







It was very cool to see the climbers - and more power to them! (With my fear of heights I'm not going to be climbing a mountain anytime soon!) Be aware that you must have a permit to climb and Stone Mountain does not offer classes or lessons - you should be experienced to climb here. I think I could've watched them for hours - you know how it is when you are afraid to do something but you are really mesmerized by someone else doing that same thing?




The North Carolina State Park System has so many great state parks - and this is one to definitely add to your list to visit. If you're a rock climber - or a history buff- or you just like to view some beautiful fall foliage then give Stone Mountain a visit.(And for those of you who are budget travelers this park was free when we visited - so all of the above for free! Good deal!)


Stone Mountain State Park is located six miles southwest of Roaring Gap, North Carolina and 45 miles north of Statesville, North Carolina (yes, this is Andy Griffith territory!) We stayed in the town of Elkin, North Carolina - voted one of the "Coolest Small Towns in America" by Budget Travel Magazine. It's also located in the beautiful Yadkin Valley Wine region - and we visited some of the wineries there - more to come on that later.



I'm linking up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner! Go give them a look-see!








11 comments:

  1. Wow those climbing photos are amazing. We have big monolith rocks like that in Australia - they're incredible.

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    1. Thanks Jan! Would love to visit those huge rocks in Australia someday! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Great pictures of the stone mountain - great weather to explore #WeekendWanderlust www.travelbug.co

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    1. Thank you. And yes, we were really blessed with fantastic weather that day. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. After being to Yosemite, I have been kind of fascinated with granite. So, without reading any of your words I knew this was granite. It is cool a piece so big. I would have walked around since I am not brave enough to climb.

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    1. I love the granite also - and Yosemite is one of my favorites! Thanks Ruth!

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  4. What an awesome park! I would also love to hike and explore and just leave the climbing to the pros. Great photos!

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    1. Thanks Corinne! There are some state parks which are true jewels - and this one is definitely one of them!

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  5. This looks pretty amazing and I didn't even know it was there - I'm just in Tennessee! Thanks for linking up to #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. I didn't know it was there either Ashley! But it's definitely worth a visit. Thanks for visiting here!

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