A Beautiful Place
Imagine camping between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Thurmond Chatman Game Lands on a mountain. You are camping beside a cool mountain stream with no cell service, no wifi, and no television reception, nothing but peace and quiet on over 14,000 acres. Now throw in cascading waterfalls, over 18 miles of scenic mountain hiking trails, and quiet forests with abundant wildlife, especially wild but curious deer. Add to this, a 600 foot granite dome on the mountaintop, fly fishing on over 20 miles of designated trout streams, and intermediate/advanced rock climbing and now you have a picture in your mind of Stone Mountain State Park.
Stone Mountain State Park has 90 campsites for tents and RVs in three loops, some sites have water/electric hookups. Four group sites are available for up to 25 people at each site. There are also six backpack camping sites which are located from 1.5 to 3 miles from the backpacker’s trailhead. Additionally, there is a picnic area with 75 individual picnic sites, as well as, a Visitor’s Center with a Mountain Culture Exhibit.
When we were here the kids were still in school and it was empty on the weekdays but the weekends in the park were busy with people and activities. During these busy days the Rangers offered classes on everything from beginning fly fishing to guided hikes.
The Fog Snaked Over the Mountain
During our stay at Stone Mountain State Park we were treated to foggy days when the fog came down the mountain making every twist and turn around every bend like a snake slithering through grass. It made for some interesting times where we could watch it inch its way towards us until we were socked in. This gave us plenty of time to talk, read books (lots of books), and watch DVDs, as we were snug and comfortable inside our RV.
Cool Days and Cold Nights
The temperatures were generally in the high thirties to the mid fifties. We could be seen digging through our stored clothes for jackets, long pants, and sweat shirts. Sleeping at these temperatures was amazing and we slept snuggled together with our windows open and our heated mattress pad on. We love this weather.
My Dad is from Tennessee but he moved to Louisiana after he met and married my Mom, but it must have been hard to leave the mountains. They are beautiful.
A Little Lagniappe for My Teaching Friends: Free educational materials about Stone Mountain State Park were developed for grades 5-8 using the Common Core competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts @ http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/2397. Major concepts covered include the rock cycle, geologic time, weathering and erosion, igneous rocks, geologic processes, resource use and stewardship. I have always been impressed with North Carolina’s efforts to support their teachers with Common Core implementation and much of their information can be modified to meet Louisiana’s standards.