Thanks to two camping compadres in Florida, my one stop in North Carolina was Stone Mountain State Park. Long before becoming a park, Stone Mountain was settled by families of English, German, Irish, French, and Scots-Irish descent who built the log homes, farms, churches, and schools that formed the community. The restored Hutchinson homestead and the historic Garden Creek Baptist Church are featured on the park grounds.
This 14,000+ acre landmark is great for camping, hiking, climbing and trout fishing, though be weather-prepared, as I had three days out of 7 that were heavy rain and thunderstorms. However, adding to the enjoyment of the trip is the fact that there is no phone or WiFi service here. You are truly able to be off the grid!
While I did quite a bit of peaceful hiking, and some sheer sitting quietly at the mountaintop, I missed cycling. That said, the terrain here is not rolling hills! The one day I ventured out on two wheels, it was a ride of 23 mph down and 8 mph up. God help me.
I am sorry to say that the North Carolinians can't compete with the southern hospitality of Georgia or South Carolina. Yet, on my last morning, I had a change of plans due to a breakfast invitation I just couldn't refuse. Many thanks to Rebecca (Park staff extraordinaire) for the farm tour and fresh egg breakfast as I was rolling out of town.
People continue to pleasantly surprise me with their generosity.
Worth noting: The Mountains-to-Sea Trail passes through Stone Mountain State Park -- it's a nearly 700-mile trail from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey's Ridge in the Outer Banks. There's so much to see and do!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover