A couple weekends ago I set out to find two of the hardest group hikes around.
I struck gold.
On Saturday, I tapped into one of “wild & crazy” Steve G. Martin’s infamous off-trail hikes at Stone Mountain State Park. Since discovering Stone Mountain 5 years ago, Martin has been been trying to uncover every one of the 14,100-acre park’s many secrets, very few of which lie along the park’s 16.5 miles of blazed trail. Among other things, Martin has found 350 stills, “Area 15” (a fenced area that may or may not be the entrance to a secret underground military base) and numerous old homesteads previously unknown to park authorities. He has lead about 200 hikes, mostly through the Triad Hiking & Outdoors Group, mostly off-trail, most with multiple disclaimers such as “there’s a 50-50 chance we won’t make it back.”