One of Georgia’s most popular attractions, Stone Mountain Park is located on 3,200 acres of wooded forest, lake, and of course Stone Mountain itself. Stone Mountain is open year-round, which means you’re free to hike up the popular Walk-Up Mountain Trail during any season you choose.
Stone Mountain Walk-Up Mountain Trail
You have a couple options for getting up the mountain: hiking the trails or taking the Summit Skyride.
The Walk-Up Trail is a 1 mile hike up rocky surface of the mountain. The trail passes a pavilion at .6 mile, giving you a resting point before the climb steepens considerably. The trail climbs between two handrails to help you up the steep part. Before the handrails, you’ll get a sampling of the views the summit offers.
At the summit, you’re 1,686 feet above sea level. The top of the mountain is made up of bare rock and rock pools. On clear days, you can see 60 miles out, including views of the downtown Atlanta skyline, Kennesaw Mountain, and even the Appalachian Mountains. The top of the mountain has restrooms, a snack bar, and gift shop.
You can either ride the Summit Skyride back down the mountain or hike the mile back to the base. We rode the Skyride back down, a Swiss-built cable car that offers one of the best views of the carving and the mountain side.
The Confederate Memorial Carving on the side of Stone Mountain is the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world. It depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War. The carving was begun by Gutzon Borglum, who later went on to begin Mount Rushmore. In answer to debates about government-sponsored Confederate displays, Stone Mountain Park has begun plans to erect a Martin Luther King, Jr. monument on the top of the mountain.
Stone Mountain Park offers many more attractions beyond Stone Mountain summit, including a scenic train ride, a ropes course, a historic square, camping and picnic areas, as well as seasonal “Snow Mountain” activities.
Have you hiked Stone Mountain? Let me know in the comments!