Tag Archives: Stone Mountain State Park

Don’t think you can? Meet Elizabeth and Peggy

Trail? As Elizabeth discovered, you miss out on the interesting stuff if you stick to the trail.

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.” read more

Dig it: 300-continuous miles of Mountains-to-Sea Trail

I cringed when I picked up the July Outside magazineand saw that it had the Mountains-to-Sea Trail listed under “Best Through-Hikes You’ve Never Heard Of.” No mention was made of the fact that the roughly 1,000-mile MST is only a little over half done, meaning that roughly 500 miles of this best-trail-you’ve-never-heard-of actually is on pavement, often competing with cars. Not exactly the escape most of us seek when we hit the trail. read more