DuPont State Forest - Stone Mountain Short Route (1-16-14)
Stone Mountain marks the highest point in the wildly popular DuPont State Forest straddling the border of Transylvania and Henderson Counties. Known more for its waterfalls than its peaks, the summits of DuPont have pretty much escaped my attention partly due to that fact and partly to do with how crowded it can be much of the year. At 3,620' Stone Mountain isn't a giant but I had read it offered some limited views from its rocky summit. Not having the time to travel too far from home on this day, and the fact that cool temps in the 20's were likely to provide some solitude I decided it was as good a day as any to check it out.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised. The 3-mile round trip hike was an easy one to follow for the most part, requiring just enough effort to keep me warm on this chilly morning. The summit was easily reached and a scattering of open rock slabs collectively offered views in just about every direction. My eyes have been opened to yet another natural attraction of this wonderful State Forest. It's popular, it deserves to be, and I look forward to going back not just for the waterfalls as I usually do but now also for its summits...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.212012, -82.573030
Route Type: Out-and-back Difficulty: MODERATE
Hike Length: 3.5 miles Hike Duration: 2:00
Trailhead Temp: 27'F Trail Traffic: 1-5 people
Min. Elevation: 2,970' Max. Elevation: 3,650'
Total Vertical Gain: 680' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 389'
Trails Used (blaze color): Rocky Ridge (unblazed), Stone Mountain (unblazed)