Hiking at Stone Mountain GA

 Address:

1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd

Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Phone: 800-401-2407

Website: http://www.stonemountainpark.com

Overview

Stone Mountain Park is located 15 minutes east of downtown Atlanta. Though this proximity may make you believe this is an urban environment, Stone Mountain is quite the contrary. Stone Mountain is  3,200 acre, 363 acres of which is a lake. This park offers over 15 miles of trails for the avid hiker. Here is a summary of the various trails we hiked and their unique features.

 

Nature Trail:

This trail is a ¾ mile loop and includes a display of native flowers and trees with detailed explanations. The terrain is fairly easier and the path is wide. There are a few benches so you can sit back and relax with the sounds of birds and the local wildlife. Small creeks run through the trail offering a serene environment. The Nature Trail connects to the larger Cherokee Trail.

Muscogee Trail

The name of this trail can be attributed to the Creek Indians who once inhabited Stone Mountain. The trail is 1.5 miles in length. Pine trees are abundant throughout. Part of the trail parallels the lake and offers pretty views, while some of the trail runs alongside highway 78, unfortunately. The noise is not overly annoying in this part of the trail, however. Muscogee is fairly flat, though there are some challenging hills and rocky sections.

 

Songbird Trail

If you enjoy birdwatching, this is your trail. This 2 mile loop does not allow dogs for obvious reasons. It is a quiet area on the outskirts of Stone Mountain Park. One aspect of it that we enjoyed was the abundance of pine trees. The trail was fairly easy with few hills. Part of the trail is a meadow and includes a bird watching platform. We saw cardinals, bluebirds, finches, blue jays, and woodpeckers.

Walkup Trail

There is one side of Stone Mountain that one can actually traverse.  This is Walkup Trail. It is an intense mile up and 1 mile down. It is primarily a stone/rock trail.  For this reason, dogs are not allowed on this trail. If it has rained recently, this trail can be very slippery. There is a halfway house somewhere near the middle of the trail where you can rest, as the last half up is quite steep. However, there were benches scattered throughout the trail so one could stop and catch their breath at many points along the trail. Once you make it to the top, there is a gift shop and concession stand. It was ok, nothing great. Located next to the gift shop was the platform for the Skyride.

Cherokee Trail

The Cherokee Trail is the longest (5 miles) of Stone Mountain’s trails. It circumnavigates the base of Stone Mountain. Other trails connect to this main trail. Some parts are flat, yet part of the trail crosses over the Walkup Trail. We brought the dogs on the Cherokee not realizing how difficult the rock terrain would be. We began near Stoddard Park. There was a nice area dedicated to local artists and writers when we first began walking. Part of the trail passes the side of the mountain with the soldier carvings. Other areas of the trail were very remote and tranquil. It provided many opportunities to enjoy the local wildlife.

Kings Trail at Indian Island

After crossing over a covered bridge, hikers will take a one mile loop around the small island of Stone Mountain Lake. The trail is simple and really does not include any major hills. There are pretty views of the lake as well as the campground on the other side of the lake.

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