High Meadows Golf & Country Club, located in Roaring Gap, NC, is just a stone’s throw away from one of our state’s beautiful state parks. Stone Mountain State Park, with 18 miles of hiking trails, is known for it’s massive rock face and stunning waterfalls. But there’s more to do at Stone Mountain than hike up to the falls. A great education program run by the park ranger provides interesting things to do throughout the year. And of course, with the proper gear, you can hike almost any day as well! Here are a few things going on at Stone Mountain during the month of February.
Wilkes County, which neighbors Alleghany, was once known as the moonshine capital of the America. During prohibition, the hideways of the mountains provided the perfect cover for people to build stills and produce their own liquor. At Stone Mountain State Park, you can see first-hand the equipment used to make moonshine at a still just a quarter of a mile from the Garden Creek Church parking area. Join a ranger on Sunday, Feb. 11, at 2:00 to learn more about the still and how moonshine is made.
The Blue Ridge Parkway and the surrounding area is home to more than 100 species of trees. Even if you do happen to remember how to identify a few trees from that school leaf identification project your science teacher made you do years ago, you probably didn’t even scratch the surface of what’s around us here in our beautiful mountains. Join a ranger at Stone Mountain State Park for a short hike to identify some of the different trees in our forest and how to spot the differences in the winter. This event is at 2:00 on Sunday, February 18.
Don’t let the chilly temperatures keep you off the hiking paths! Layer up and get out there. Hiking in the winter is a great experience, because you see the woods in a different light than in the summer of fall. There is still some wildlife scurrying around, gathering up food to stay warm, and without leaves obscuring the view, the bark and limbs of the trees take center stage. Stone Mountain State Park has a number of trails of different difficulty levels, so you can choose the type and length that is right for you. Plus, the trails are less crowded, which makes for a nice time for enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
Remember, just because it’s not hot and humid, you still need to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. And always tell someone where you’re going and when to expect you back.