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  1. #1
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Video: Stone Mountain State Park NC

    My daughter & I got out during an unseasonably warm January weekend & enjoyed an overnight trip to Stone Mountain State Park in N.C.
    It was 65* when we started out, and overnight lows were probably around mid-50's. Gotta love the Carolinas.

    I wanted to try Stone Mountain during the off season as there are only 6 sites, and it is first come, first serve. You sign in at the trailhead.
    I higly recommend reading eflat7's site description before going (quoted at the bottom of this).
    My plan was to re-read his site descriptions at the trailhead but that failed because there was NO cell service, so I couldn't remember if site "B" was "bad" or "beautiful".

    The hike in was nice - the trail started out uphill, then followed a creek. After passing site A (which looked like a nice option), we went further uphill to site B.
    Site B turned out to be "beautiful" (thankfully), but it had 2 strangers occupying it. Hmmm...

    Then I noticed a hammock was setup.. "Are you on HammockForums?" "Yes"... found it was CubicleWarrior (from HF) and his friend. I had camped near his dad (Groundhog) at Uwharrie this year. Groundhog also happened to be at Wilderness Logics over the holidays & happened to see them fill my order & sent me PM telling me it was being shipped. Cue the "Small World" music.

    Turns out somebody was occupying their site (F) and they were hoping site B would be free. Well, we invited them to stay & we enjoyed a night of hammock talk, a nice fire, and they shared some hot chocolate (and later pop tarts) with my daughter, and some adult beverages with me. Life couldn't get much better.

    Now I'm not sure if it was the beverages or what.. but one memorable part was CubicleWarrior shouting out (around midnight?) that he had heard a tree crack, then come crashing down in the woods someplace. I slept thru the crashing part, but I did hear him talking and heard my daughter say she was ok. I do recall being slightly bothered that his friend didn't chime in but not worried enough I guess to go check on him. (If you watch the video, check out the tree I hung off of.. probably not my best choice).

    This was my daughters first night in a hammock. She didn't sleep as much as she would have liked, but I'd warned her ahead of time it might not go perfect the first time so she wasn't put off. She was talking about a garage or backyard hang already on the way home

    One lesson learned is while hammocks allow you to camp on a hillside, the hillside can be challenge. The ground went from a little slippery to pretty slippery. We ended up holding onto the ridgeline to get everything setup. It was never a real problem but it made me realize how much longer things take compared to flat ground with trees perfectly spaced.

    Here's a short video on the trip.



    Here's a link to eflat7's 2009 write-up (an oldie but a goodie).



    Quote Originally Posted by eflat7 View Post

    Site A is the closest, about 1.4 miles from the parking lot. Very easy access, looks pretty heavily used. It sas its own waterfall and is surrounded on all three sides by widows creek, which we filtered water from all weekend. It was actually great tasting water and didnt have that creeky taste at all. Lots of trees for hammocks.

    Site B was very beautiful. Very green with a creek running through the middle of it on a steep hillside. I will likely choose this site when I go back. Lots of trees. I think it is the prettiest.

    Site C is just a little up the same trail as site B. It is a big site with two fire rings. It is back off the trail a ways so it offers pretty good privacy. I dont remember seeing a water source but I may be wrong. Lots of trees for hangers.

    Site D Was at the very top of the mountain. There is one trail from site A that leads to B C D in that order and one trail that leads from site A to site E F, in that order. The entire trail leading to sites B C D is entirely uphill. It is 1.5 miles to site D from A, but 3.0 from the parking lot, and is a heart pumper. The trail to sites E F has one big hill but isnt that big of a deal. Site D seems kinda small, has a small fire ring and no water source. I personally don't think I would enjoy it, but someone who packs in all their water and likes complete solidarity would enjoy it. Plenty of hanging opportunities here also.

    Site E sits right across the bridge that crosses Widows creek and is right on the water. Has a nice fire ring and looks like would be a great tent site. There really isnt a good place for more that one hammock in this site. I really like the site and the creek is pretty wide here, but 2 hammockers would be cramped.

    Site F is at the very end of the trail that leads to sites E F. It is a pretty good ways from any other site and would definitely offer good privacy. It sits in a horseshoe of the creek like site A. This site is very flat and has alot of room. When we were there saturday, there was a little trash from the previous tenants and some clothesline still strung between the trees. Lots of rocks here to use for sitting, eating, etc. I think I still like B better, but its a cool site.
    Last edited by TallPaul; 01-14-2013 at 23:15.

  2. #2
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Looks like a great time out with the kid, and great to hear that she is already hooked.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

    Trail name: Radar

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  3. #3

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    Looks like a nice trip! Thanks for sharing!

  4. #4
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    Hey. Awesome place. Not far from here too. Mext time your up this way let me and or gunsfan05 know. You could come hang at my place bout 15 mins from there!

  5. #5
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Fluffy - thought of you guys when I saw the Mount Airy sign on the highway.

  6. #6
    miyanc's Avatar
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    And if you let me know in advance maybe me and my shy quite son will tag along. that's if I can brake him out of his shell.
    A special thanks to Dream Hammocks, Dutchware. BIAS and Hammockforums.net for donating to our Secret Santa.

    Uwharrie hang in March https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...ad.php?t=83029

  7. #7
    Member qbiclewarrior's Avatar
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    Ditto on the great night of camping... I wanted to thank Paul and his daughter for allowing us to squat on their site. We were extremely upset that the site we registered for was taken by some other "unregistered" campers but were unwilling to hike back out to sign up for a new site. My friend did not even want to set up camp because he knew we were going to get kicked off our new home but Paul was very gracious and allowed us to share the site with him. I was itching to try out my new WBBB which performed up to its reputation.
    In reference to that tree falling.... it took me awhile to get back to sleep after I heard that.... I am sure it was farther away that what my ears were telling me at the time... but the cracking and then that boom of it hitting the ground got the blood flowing for a little while.
    My friend slept in a tent that night but had a lot of questions about my gear the next day at work so there may be a new member in the forums coming. Its just real nice not worrying about flat surfaces when trying to find somewhere to sleep.
    And for any of those going up to Widows creek trail... I would avoid site E as it is the size of a mini cooper and 2 foot off the trail. Site F would be the prime spot as it is at the end of the trail right beside the creek and plenty of trees.
    Again, thanks Paul for being a gracious host and hope to hang with you again.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Silverpalm2x's Avatar
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    what trail?

    TallPaul,
    what trail did you hike?
    also what kind of set up do you have and your daughter have?
    my daughter has asked me to go hammock camping together this year.
    "Lets drive up to the Hills and get lost somewhere..." Chinatown by Folk Soul Revival
    Life is a Thru Hike... Hike Well. ΙΧΘΥΣ

  9. #9
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverpalm2x View Post
    TallPaul,
    what trail did you hike?
    also what kind of set up do you have and your daughter have?
    my daughter has asked me to go hammock camping together this year.
    Hi SilverPalm - In Stone Mountain, the backpacking trail follows Widow Creek. There are 6 sites total.

    Some other choices that might fit you:
    Doughton Park (which is near Stone Mountain)
    South Mountain - I haven't backpacked there but it is on the list
    John Rock - go counter clockwise
    Sams Knob

    All the above have short hikes (1-4 mile) in.

    As to gear, she is pretty well setup. You can rent backpacks/sleeping bags from REI or similar places. She owns a REI passage 65 backpack. As to hammock gear, I have extra for her or my wife, so she slept under my superfly (little more privacy). hammock is a WB Traveler, but she probably should have used my WBBB.

    Let me know if you have any more questions. Happy to help.

    Oh and remember things like hot chocolate, or break out some life savers... You know, unexpected things. The most important part is for them to enjoy it, less about miles or my own comfort.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Silverpalm2x's Avatar
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    thanks for the tips

    Quote Originally Posted by TallPaul View Post
    Hi SilverPalm - In Stone Mountain, the backpacking trail follows Widow Creek. There are 6 sites total.

    Some other choices that might fit you:
    Doughton Park (which is near Stone Mountain)
    South Mountain - I haven't backpacked there but it is on the list
    John Rock - go counter clockwise
    Sams Knob

    All the above have short hikes (1-4 mile) in.

    As to gear, she is pretty well setup. You can rent backpacks/sleeping bags from REI or similar places. She owns a REI passage 65 backpack. As to hammock gear, I have extra for her or my wife, so she slept under my superfly (little more privacy). hammock is a WB Traveler, but she probably should have used my WBBB.

    Let me know if you have any more questions. Happy to help.

    Oh and remember things like hot chocolate, or break out some life savers... You know, unexpected things. The most important part is for them to enjoy it, less about miles or my own comfort.
    thanks for the tips of places to go. WE looked at some packs a while back and was really impressed with an REI branded pack. it seemed like it would grow with her. She is 9 and I would love to get her a pack, underquilt/ sleeping bag, tarp. I don't want her to go and be uncomfortable or have a totally bad experience.
    "Lets drive up to the Hills and get lost somewhere..." Chinatown by Folk Soul Revival
    Life is a Thru Hike... Hike Well. ΙΧΘΥΣ

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