Accessibility – Moderate
Height – 160′
Distance – 1.20 miles + 300 steps to get down to the bottom (out and back)
Beauty – 8
Photo rating – 6
Solitude – 6
GPS Info: LAT 36.3810 LONG -80.0342
Stone Mountain Falls is a 160 foot waterfall in Stone Mountain State Park and is most easily accessed from the parking area just past the visitors center on the left. There are facilities here and the trail system is well marked. To get to the falls follow the sign indicating Stone Mountain Falls. This trail will split when it reaches the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. For the sake of getting to the waterfall, bear to the left at the loop trail. The trail will head generally downhill for a short time before a set of steps leads you onto an exposed section of rock at the top of the falls. The edge of the rock is fenced off but the way down follows along the fence to more steps. A lot more steps, 300+ steps. Near the bottom of the stairs the staircase splits. The loop trail bears to the right while the base of the falls is to the left. As you descend the steps there are several observation decks that don’t give a very good view of the waterfall.
The steps empty onto a sandy beach area at the base of the falls. About the only way to get a decent shot of this waterfall is from the rocks in the creek and only with a wide angle lens. There isn’t a lot of room to back up. There is a collection pool at the base if you want to get your feet wet, which my daughter and I did on our visit. The base of the falls is a cool place to hang out and we did so for a while until the crowds arrived, indicating it was time for us to ‘mush on’. From here you have two choices. If you want the short route to the summit you can climb all 300+ steps. If you want to go to Middle Falls and Lower Falls first, bear to the left off the staircase and continue on the loop trail. The trail to Middle and Lower Falls is on the left about 0.50 of a mile from the base of Stone Mountain Falls. The loop trail to the summit is going to be about 4.0 miles from the base of the falls but it does avoid the steps!