Cables seem like overkill here
After Stone Mountain Falls I made the side trip to Middle and Lower Falls. Middle Falls is kind of so-so, Lower Falls a little nicer destination, good for a snack and a rest. The highlight of this side hike, though, were several deer that watched me curiously as I passed them. I briefly stopped to take photos, but the gnats were merciless buzzing around my eyes and I had to keep moving to stay sane. Insects were annoying me all day long, but on this trail they were nearly unbearable. And shame on me, I think that's why I forgot to look around for the evidence of moonshining as described in Danny's book.
Full view of Stone Mountain from the valley floor
Nearly all the way around the Stone Mountain Loop Trail I passed the Hutchinson Homestead but I continued on to turn left onto the Wolf Rock Loop Trail. (This would take me to the Cedar Rock Trail and then back to the Stone Mountain Loop and back by the Hutchinson Homestead a second time.) Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock are also granite dome faces, in my opinion just as cool as the namesake rock. If you want to be by yourself and wave to the folks on Stone Mountain, go to Cedar Rock.
Looking at Stone Mountain from Cedar Rock On my family’s visit so long ago we somehow missed the Hutchinson Homestead, so today I explored a bit. The buildings are open on weekends during peak season and include a log cabin, barn, blacksmith shop, corncrib, meat house and original furnishings. Stone Mountain State Park has car camping facilities as well as group and backcountry camping, making it a great weekend base to explore. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail runs through it as well. Now that I have rediscovered it, I will return with some of my non-hiking friends (who are becoming hiking friends now!) to watch them gasp at the beauty of this place.
It was my good fortune that today they were paving the main road in the park, so I got to chat with the flag guy as I waited to get around the heavy equipment. He told me that he and his buddies frequently come to Stone Mountain to rock climb, but he's never really hiked the trails for the sake of hiking. To each his own...
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ~Eleonora Duse