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Stone Mountain - Widow's Creek Trail

posted May 12, 2012, 6:02 PM by Justin P
Today, we did hike #87 from 100 Classic Hikes at Stone Mountain State Park.  We left the Triangle early in the morning and arrived at Stone Mountain a little after 10.  Although the book warns of a false trailhead at the waterfall, we accidentally parked here anyway.  Since it was only a few hundred meters to the actual trailhead, we just walked down the road and hit the trail.  At first, the Widow's Creek Trail had a gradual slope as it followed its namesake creek.  After about a mile, the trail split with the Widow's Creek Trail heading to backcountry campsites and the MST splitting right.  Almost immediately, the slope jumped up and was very steep for a mile or so (it seemed like much longer).  After a while, it started to level off and we took a break near a closed trail and saw a snake along the trail.  We continued on, heading steadily upwards, although not as steep as before and shortly after leaving the park boundary, there was a stretch of trail with several blooming rhododendron.  I was surprised to see them blooming so early, but the weather has been crazy this year.  A little further ahead, the MST turned to the left and we continued on straight, expecting to come to Mahogany Knob.  Somehow, we came out on Mahogany Rock Road and followed this to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We never figured out where we got mixed up, but having a time constraint, we ate our lunch along the Parkway and then turned around.  The way back was much easier going down than up.  However, the very steep stretch was very hard on my knees.  I think I actually would have preferred to go up.  When we got to the bottom, we stopped at the waterfall to dip our sore feet and take some pictures before heading back.
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