4/8/18 – 4/10/18 Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap, NC

April 11, 2018

Site #59; W/E; Poor to no cell coverage; no wifi

 

 

Campground.

 

Great setting amid hillsides laced with rhododendrons and a stream running right through the camp loop. A heated bathhouse! The last bit of road from US 21 into the state park is 4 and 5 % grades up and down, winding, and narrow. Sandy was gasping a few times, but I manned up and made believe it didn't concern me. It wasn't scary, but we were both more concerned about the brakes seeing as we still weren't sure how our left rear brake was holding up.

 

Hiking.

 

Getting here mid afternoon, we had time to take the .6 mile one way walk to Stone Mountain Falls, with its' 200 foot leap over smooth granite. This was a nice leg stretch after driving. From the parking lot the trail reaches the top of the falls first. Hundreds of stairs will take you to the bottom of the falls. I opted to go a short way down to a nice boarded overlook.

 

 Deer at the parking lot to the falls.

 

 Sandy at the top of the falls.

 

 

The top of the falls is gradual.

 

From a platform about 1/4 of the way down - looking over the falls.

 

 If you want to go to the bottom of the falls, just take the stairs.

 

Stairs going back up from the view point.

 

 

Sunday night was cold from here to Canada. Our friends Bob and Lynne were staying in Natural Bridge Virginia and woke up to snow on the ground. It was only down to 39 degrees when I got up with rain and then drizzle most of the morning. I waiting till 2 PM and 45 cloudy degrees before setting out for a hike on the Cedar Rock and Wolf Rock trails. I chose thee over the Stone Mountain trail, because they provide a view of the picturesque ledge of the mountain, which I wouldn't see if I were on top of it. Plus there was no visibility to see in the distance. I know I made the right decision.

 

It took me only two hours to do the entire loop, stopping at the Hutchinson Homestead, Cedar Rock, and Wolf Rock for photos. The walk was not difficult, I would guess no more than 400 feet elevation gain.

 

The Hutchinson Homestead at the base of Stone Mountain (on a drizzly day).

 

 The farmhouse.

 

 

The Barn.

 

The Barn.

 

 The "facilities" - looks rustic now - can you imagine in the dead of winter? brrrrrr.

 

The garden fence and the farmhouse. I later hiked to Cedar Rock on the hill in the background.

 

 

Stone Mountain behind the barn.

 

Stone Mountain from the pasture.

 

 

 

 

 

 The trail at the bottom and the hillsides were covered in rhododendrons.

 

 

On Cedar Rock:

 

 

 Stone Mountain from Cedar Rock.

 

 

 

 The trail on Cedar Rock goes over the rock ledge. 

 

 

Views from Wolf Rock.

 

Supposed to have a mountain view here. Looking towards the Blue Ridge Parkway.

 

 

 

 

 

One stretch of very flat land at the top of the hill where the woods were thin.

 

 

 Just before descending.

 

 

 

Going back through he rhododendrons on the way down.

 

 

 

 

We stopped for gas in the small town of Traphill between the park and US 21. While there a woman recommended going to the winery just past the library – Roaring River Vineyards. She said the people around town were very proud of it. Unfortunately it is only open weekends and Fridays.

 

On to Virginia...

 

 

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