Stone Mtn. is the highest point in the DuPont State Recreational Forest, at 3620′. Much of the top of this knob is exposed granite, offering 180 degree views during the summer and nearly 360 degree views in the winter. Elevation gain on this hike is 1100′. See “Shorter Hike to Stone Mountain” for a quicker access to the top.
Follow the directions to the Guion Farm Access Area, BUT instead park near the intersection of Sky Valley Road and Old CCC Road (about a mile BEFORE you would get to Guion).
About 50 yards before the pavement ends on Old CCC Road, find a dirt road (“Rocky Ridge Trail”) on the uphill (east) side of the road. Take Rocky Ridge Trail up a steep grade for about 1.5 miles until it intersects with Stone Mountain Trail (formally West Stone Mountain Road) on the top of the ridge. Take a left turn at the marked intersection onto Stone Mountain Trail.
(***)Follow a level grade on Stone Mountain Trail for a few minutes until the junction with SwitchBack Trail on the right. Bear left, continuing on Stone Mountain Trail. Continue up a steep grade for over a mile until it leads to a large wildlife clearing. The top of this clearing offers views of the entire Pisgah range, including Cold Mountain and Toxaway Mountain.
Continue on the road through the clearing (which is hard to distinguish when the grain is mown down). Just as the trail bears to the left in the clearing, find a small footpath on the right leading to the upper right corner of the clearing and into the hardwood trees. The trail follows the gentle ridgeline through a pleasant hardwood forest for 1/2 mile, then climbs very steeply for the last 1/10 mile up to the summit.
The top of the mountain consists of several large inclined granite slabs (all facing south) spread out for a hundred yards or more. Most of these slabs offer southerly views of the rest of the State Forest and the continental divide ridgeline. Continue walking along the ridgeline towards the east (toward the prominent Pinnacle Mountain) until you find several more granite slabs, each with a slightly different view. The extreme northeast outcropping offers winter views of Kanuga Road, downtown Hendersonville, Laurel Park, Bearwallow Mountain, Mount Mitchell and more.
An impressive westerly view of the Pisgah range can be found by returning to the first, western-most granite opening. Just to the left of the trail leading back down the mountain is an uncleared route marked by flagged trees. The flags lead you down about 200′ to a large boulder with an unobstructed view west (including the Guion farmhouses).
Return along same route.