Height: 160 feet
Trail Type: Gravel, dirt, rock, and stairs
Hike Distance: 1.2 miles round trip
These falls are located on the property of Stone Mountain State Park. For some reason, many people are surprised to learn that there is a Stone Mountain in North Carolina since the one in Georgia tends to get all of the publicity. And if you’ve visited Stone Mountain in Georgia, then you know exactly what the one in North Carolina looks like. Just add more trees.
As with most waterfalls in this part of the state, it would be a lot nicer if there was some higher flow. If you go after a heavy rain, it might be a prettier sight. Still, the falls is worth seeing. From the base, almost your entire view is filled with the falls, but because of the angle of the slope, the entire thing can be hard to see. You might be tempted to slide down the entire waterfall since the flow is relatively low and it doesn’t look like it ever slides that fast, but don’t. Several morons have died here trying to be cool. Don’t add your name to the list.
From Exit 286A on US 421 in Wilkesboro, follow NC highway 18 north for about 5.5 miles and turn right onto Mountain View Road. Follow this road until it ends and turn left onto Traphill Road. Go about 10 miles and turn left onto John P. Frank Parkway. Follow this road as it enters the park. You’ll come to a crossroads for a parking area and a maintenance building. Keep going a short distance to the larger parking area on the left.
The trail starts out gently sloping along the mountainside within earshot of Big Sandy Creek, which feeds the falls. The downside of taking this route is that the trail comes out to the top. Here, you leave the dirt and gravel and walk along pretty heavily slanted exposed rock, which could be slippery if it’s recently rained. You’ll then descend approximately 300 steps – hence why I gave this a high difficulty rating – to the base. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll find a relatively cramped area to view the falls.
If you stay on the trail and follow it along the creek, you’ll eventually come to two smaller falls – Middle and Lower Falls. If you’re not doing anything else, go for it, but they’re really not worth the extra effort.