Stone Mountain State Park, located northwest of Winston-Salem, NC, is home to a 600-foot granite dome and offers all manner of outdoor activities. In addition to a campground and 20 miles of hiking trails, you’ll find waterfalls, 10 miles of horseback riding trails, and places for rock climbing and fishing.

Where We Stayed

The campground has 90 sites on 3 loops. Loop A is for tents only. Loops B and C are for tents or RVs, but Loop B is the only one with hookups (water and electric). For a state park, many of the sites are closer together and a little smaller than we expected. However, for any other campground, they’re spacious and far apart. There’s a dump station on the way out of the campground, but it only has one station, so you could be in for a wait if you leave at a busy time. The bathhouse was adequate. One side held the toilets, the other had showers, and there were sinks in the middle. It wasn’t fancy or new, but it looked clean and functional.

Stone Mountain State Park
Roaring Gap, NC
October 26 – 29, 2023
Site 54

Site 54 is beautiful. It’s on the end, and the whole site is rotated 90 degrees from the rest in the row. I think that helped us not to feel so close to our neighbor. It also made the site more scenic as the “fun side” of the RV looked out at the creek. There are campsites on the other side of the creek and one across the road from us (technically in front of us due to the site’s rotation). This site has water and 50-amp electric hookups.

water pressure~20-30 psi
cell service2/4 bars Verizon; nothing for AT&T or T-Mobile
campground WiFino

Between the creek and site 56, there’s a trail through the woods. We walked right by it at least once, but the trail was quite popular. I’m glad we investigated because it runs along the creek and was a great spot for the dogs.

What We Did

Visitor Center

The building looks more like a private residence, but the parking lot and flag pole give it away. The main entrance is in the back, up a wooden ramp. I’d recommend stopping here on your first day in the park, as they have a list of activities that are going They have a small gift shop with t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, and more. They also have some educational exhibits about the area. You can also get your NC State Parks passport stamped here (or pickup a new passport if you don’t have one yet).

NC State Parks Travel Tip

If you travel enough in NC, consider getting a North Carolina State Parks passport. Each park has its own page with a list of some basic park info and a space for a park stamp. There’s even a state parks bucket list (and more). If you visit Stone Mountain State Park, you can pick up a passport in the visitor center.

Stone Mountain Summit

The Upper Trailhead parking lot is only about half-a-mile from the campground, so you could walk from your campsite, depending on how much hiking you want to do. To keep things a little shorter for Max, we drove to the lot and took the Stone Mountain Loop Trail from there. In total, the loop is 4.5 miles, but we just went to the summit and back. It’s about 1.7 miles to the summit (according to the signage). We also did some side exploration (because who wouldn’t want to wander around on a giant granite rock?), so we probably hiked about four miles.

The parking lot is a decent size. There are restrooms, a trash can, and a vending machine for drinks (We didn’t try it, so no idea if it actually works.). We got to the parking lot around 9:00 and were not the first people there. We saw a few people walking back as we were heading out, but, surprisingly, we had the summit to ourselves when we were up there. We saw many groups hiking up the trail as we were on our way back, so I’m glad we went early.

The trail is listed as strenuous. Between the switchbacks and elevation change, I think that’s accurate. Bring water, for humans and dogs, even if it’s not a warm day. Bring more than you think you’ll need. But the view is stunning, so it’s worth the effort!

Stone Mountain Falls

We saw the upper and middle falls. We were not prepared to walk through about 2 feet of water, so we couldn’t make it to the lower falls. I don’t know if that’s unusual or if that amount of water is always there, but we couldn’t find a way around and weren’t in the mood to go wading in our jeans and hiking shoes.

The trail to the lower falls continues on the other side of this water.

Honestly, I think the best view was a good bit before the Middle Falls, shortly after the Stone Mountain Falls. There’s a spot with a shallow pool at the bottom of a waterfall. We did this hike in the afternoon, and the spot was quite popular. Kids and adults alike had removed their shoes and were wading through the water and climbing on the rocks. I wish I’d taken the time to get a better photo, but it was pretty crowded, so this is all I managed to get. (Google says the location of this photo is 36°22’51.1″N 81°02’08.1″W.) If we come back to this park, I would like to do this hike in the morning to see the area with fewer people around.

This trail is listed as moderate, but the stairs make this one almost as difficult as the hike to the summit of Stone Mountain, in my opinion. I wish I’d counted them, but I didn’t think about it in time, so all I can say for sure is there were a lot of stairs. I wouldn’t take young kids on this hike unless you’re prepared to carry them. Or at least, I wouldn’t plan on going all the way to the middle falls. The good news is, if you need to take breaks when coming up the stairs, you probably won’t be alone.

Hutchinson Homestead

The trail to the summit of Stone Mountain (the Stone Mountain Loop Trail) is a loop. If you do the whole loop, you would see the Hutchinson Homestead along the way, but we just went out and back to the summit and decided to reach the homestead from the other direction another day.

The closest parking lot to the Hutchinson Homestead is a 2.2-mile drive from the campground. From our Google research, we thought there was a small parking lot only 250 feet from the homestead, but it turns out that lot is only for accessible parking. The main parking lot is about one mile (maybe 1.5 miles?) from the homestead. The parking lot has trash cans and restrooms. It’s a beautiful hike, with several bridges and lots of access to the creek. There are some stairs, but they’re nothing compared to the stairs on the trail to Stone Mountain Falls.

The buildings are all locked, and Google even says the homestead is “permanently closed.” However, it’s still quite a sight to see them from the outside, walk around, and imagine living here with Stone Mountain in your backyard. The signs do a good job of explaining what each building was for and providing information about what life would have been like on the homestead.

I think the most interesting tidbit was that the property was in the family up until fairly recently. The State of North Carolina purchased the farm in 1969, from Jim and Ruth Hutchinson, as part of Stone Mountain State Park. Jim became the park’s first ranger and eventually moved away in 1979.

Widows Creek Falls

Just a few minutes by car from the parking lot for Hutchinson Homestead is a gravel parking lot with a sign for Widows Creek Falls. There are two trash cans at the start of the trail. From the parking lot it’s just a short walk to a beautiful waterfall.

This trail is a good walk for kids and dogs. The falls aren’t far from the parking lot, and the trail is relatively flat with no crazy rocks or roots to trip over. If you have small kids, I’d recommend exploring the area to the right (at the bottom of the falls). There are plenty of lovely spots with shallow water for kids to explore. Our dogs liked this area as well.

The trail continues past the first water area to the left. Adults and older kids (and plenty of dogs) will love this part of the trail, as it takes you up and closer to the top of the falls.

Where We Ate

North Flow Steakhouse and Tavern

North Flow Steakhouse and Tavern is about 25 minutes from the campground, but it is definitely worth the trip! I felt a little underdressed in jeans and sneakers (though we weren’t the only ones dressed this way).

I think this was the best burger I’ve ever had. It was a half-pound burger, so bring your appetite. Of course, you could also choose from crab cakes, filet mignon, and more, if you want something a little more special. We definitely recommend eating here if you’re ever in the area!

Stone Mountain Country Store

This rustic building, less than three miles from the campground, is the perfect setting for a general store. As the only option within seven miles of the park (as far as I could tell from some research on Google Maps), it is a missed opportunity. The ice cream was mediocre, and the burger and hot dog we ordered weren’t worth the trip. We were even underwhelmed with the customer service. It felt as if the employees were annoyed to have customers. Given the location, it seems the store has a lot of potential, but I can’t recommend stopping there at this point.


We heard lots of birds and saw them flitting around in the trees/bushes, but no one ever stuck around long enough for me to identify them. I did find this very photogenic praying mantis while bird-watching by the creek.

We also saw this small group of deer near the park entrance.

More Photos

Happy travels!

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