We are sharing tales from the MST as hikers are pursuing the 40 Hike Challenge.

This week we are exploring the trail Great Day Hike #13 Stone Mountain State Park, Backpack Parking to Upper Trailhead Parking in Segment 6 as hiked by Keith Sidden, MST trail volunteer and Elkin Valley Trails Association board member. 

On a hot July evening after work, I went for a hike on the MST through Stone Mountain State Park. My dog, Baymax, and I arrived at the Stone Mountain backpack parking lot at 6 pm on a Monday evening.

We quickly started our hike to Wolf Rock. This new section of the MST was very quiet and secluded. The trail gained just over 600′ in elevation in the first couple of miles.

With the heat of a hot July evening, Baymax and I took several water breaks along the hike. We met two hikers in this section that were hiking with their pup. At the top of the climb, the MST made a right turn joining the Wolf Rock trail. We soon arrived at the sign pointing to the right for an amazing view of Wolf Rock.

We then returned to the trail to hike further on the MST. When we arrived at Cedar Rock we were greeted with beautiful views of Stone Mountain. After descending for a few minutes, the trail joined the Stone Mountain Loop Trail.


Baymax had the opportunity to relax in the creek on some of the several creek crossings (bridges available as well) along the hike to Stone Mountain Falls. We enjoyed the view of Stone Mountain Falls briefly before climbing the 300 steps to the top of the falls.

Soon afterward our hike ended at the Stone Mountain Upper Parking Lot. Hiking on a weekday evening granted us a lot of solitude on the trail. We only met 8 hikers along the 5-6 mile hike at this popular state park. We had a great time as always at Stone Mountain State Park.

I fell in love with hiking and nature on a trip to Linville Gorge six years ago. Knowing that the MST went through my hometown of Elkin and also through the gorge, I made a resolution in 2017 to hike from my house to Linville Gorge. Along the way, I fell in love with the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. I found a greater appreciation for the state in which I have lived since birth. After completing this goal, I decided to keep completing sections. I have currently hiked the trail from Pilot Mountain State Park to Waterrock Knob. A friend of mine completed the trail earlier this year. He completed it 15 years after he started. He has inspired me to take my time, enjoy the trail as time allows, and to complete it on my pace. I am thankful for the trail, everyone involved with Friends of the MST, and I look forward to seeing more of our state on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

We invite you to hike all 40 of the hikes in Great Day Hikes – take the 40 Hike Challenge!  If you’ve hiked one of the 40 Hikes, share your story with us. Hashtag #MST40Hike or email with your tale.

MST 40 Hike Challenge