Yes, there are too many "Stone Mountain"s. Over a dozen in NC alone. Lack of imagination among the European settlers, I reckon.
This Stone Mountain is the highest peak within the newly acquired Du Pont State Forest here in North Carolina. At just under 3,800 feet, it's no monster, not even by NC standards. But it is the highest point in the park and has a lot of exposed rock at and near its summit. It offers 180 degree views even in summer. and somewhat more than that during winter months.
Hiking in the patches of protected land from Du Pont State Forest over to Whiteside Mountain, one cannot but be depressed over what might have been, if only. That area, if it had been protected as parkland, would have rivaled most western parks in geological grandeur, and surpassed them in outright botanical diversity. However, only bits and pieces of this amazing "Yosemite-of-the-East" were protected from development, and so we are left to enjoy what there is of it and imagine what might have been had others succeeded in making it a park.
From I-85 take 276 North past Ceasar's Head State Park, and cross the NC border (and eastern continental divide). Soon after entering NC you will come to a turnoff on the right, marked with a "Du Pont State Forest" sign. Turn right onto Cascade Lake Road. From here, there are two ways to get to the trailhead for Stone Mountain.
If you have a good truck with high clearance, or four-wheel drive, take the first, and almost immediate right (in fact, two roads converge almost at the intersection with 276). The branch on the right is Reasonover Road. Drive that for a couple of miles until you come to a gravel Forest Service Road called Pinnacle Mountain Road. Relatively well maintained, I still would not recommend driving a car on it. Take Pinnacle Mountain Road for about two miles to Sky Valley Road (left hand turn). Also a gravel road, but more well maintained. Drive another couple of miles past the Guion Farm Access Area until you come to the Old CCC Road (paved). Turn right and almost immediately you will see the small parking area for the trailhead (marked as Rocky Ridge Road, but actually a trail). Do not block the gate.
A slightly longer, but much easier access route can be had by taking the Cascade Lake Road to Staton Road (take a right on Staton). After some distance, Staton Road become Du Pont Road. From Du Pont Road, turn right on Sky Valley Road (gravel, but very well groomed), then a left on Old CCC Road (paved), and almost immediately see the trailhead for Rocky Ridge Road (trail, not a road). Do not block the gate.
Du Pont Map:
A detailed version of this map can be seen here.
Red TapeNo red tape. Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are all free.
A great website full of information for Du Pont State Forest can be found here.
When To Climb
Map detail of the trails to Stone Mountain. (For a link to this entire map, see the "Getting There" section.)
CampingNo. A newly formed state forest, there is, as yet, no camping allowed anywhere in the 10K+ acres. As I understand it, camping will be allowed after environmental impact studies are made and funds are set aside to establish both developed and backcountry sites.
There are some private campgrounds near the park. And there is camping some miles away at other state parks and in the Pisgah National Forest.
Mountain ConditionsCheck weather for Brevard, North Carolina.
- Du Pont State Forest.
Semi-official website for NC's newest state forest. Actually maintained, I think, by Friends of Du Pont State Forest.
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