Established in 1969, Stone Mountain was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975. Located in Roaring Gap, the park includes more than 14,100 acres in NC’s Wilkes and Alleghany counties.
Its most defining feature, is of course the 600-foot granite dome, part of a 25-square-mile igneous rock formed by molten lava beneath the earth’s surface.
Activities include over 18 miles of hiking trails, a 5-mile bridle trail, 20 miles of streams designated to trout fishing, plus rock climbing, and four small to mid-sized waterfalls. Hutchinson Homestead is also in the park as a restored mid-19th century mountain homestead.
Best of all, like most North Carolina State Parks, entrance is free.