Hiking to the Top of Stone Mountain

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Atlanta, Georgia is known as the ‘City In a Forest’ since its skyline buildings are surrounded by an abundance of trees! 🏙🌳 Georgia took full advantage of this by placing countless parks and hiking trails around the state! The most iconic trail is at Stone Mountain Park, which attracts locals and visitors daily and is considered the most visited destination in Atlanta.
📍 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
🖥  www.stonemountainpark.com
⏰  Open daily: 5:00 a.m. to Midnight; attractions vary (check website)
💲They do require a $20 parking fee to enter or they offer a $40 annual pass. Other attractions have their own pricing.

stonemountain.2Stone Mountain Park is located about 20 miles away from the heart of Atlanta. It’s not only a scenic park with natural and historical sights, but also has an amusement park and many other attractions! The attractions include different shows, mini golf, a sky ride, outdoor rock climbing and adventure courses, a museum, historic homes, “The Lost World 4D” experience, and a train ride. For just the parking fee, you can enjoy 3,200 acres of natural beauty featuring over 15 miles of hiking and nature trails. However, if you’re looking to do the attractions they offer there are a few options.

Historic Pass: $20, includes access to the skyride, farmyard, historic square, and museum
All Attractions Pass: $34.95 ($31.95 if you buy online), includes access to all of their attractions
And before the park gates close (mid-April through October) they show their latest version of their laser show, the Lasershow 2.0 with fireworks!🎇 The laser show is complimentary with your admission and shares all of Georgia’s history and background, updated with popular hit songs of today! At the end it highlights the controversial carvings of the three Confederate leaders that lead the South during the Civil War.
They also have seasonal attractions such as their Pumpkin Festival and Glow by Night on the weekends during the fall. During the holidays, their skylight spectacular Christmas show and sledding on “Snow Mountain”. And is one of the most popular spots to catch 4th of July fireworks!🇺🇸
There’s also Campgrounds, lodging, golf courses and more! But the main attraction is the one-mile hike to the top of Stone Mountain.⛰

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The mountain is 825 feet tall and covers 583 acres. There are two ways to get to the top, either by the Summit Skyride, a cable car ride ($8 for a one-way ride) or our favorite and most rewarding way, by walking up! The trail starts at Stone Mountain Park’s Confederate Hall (the park ranger at the gate will offer out a map). The hike is a steeper climb with several rocks and other natural elements along the way.  About halfway, there’s a picnic area which makes a good resting point to stop and take a breather.

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Although the walk is short, the elevation (‎1,686 ft) makes the hike more difficult especially if you’re working out in the Georgia heat and humidity during the summer. Luckily for beginners there are rails to help with the climb, but we’ve seen several people run up and down even some with weights in hand!💪🏼 This trail really is the best hike for any skill level, newbies to athletes.

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But of course, the most satisfying part of the hike is reaching the very top and being surrounded with all the gorgeous views. You’ll see the panoramic views of the Atlanta skyline, Kennesaw Mountain, and on a clear day even get a glance at the Appalachian mountains off at a distance!😍

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Things to pack:
  • The rock is smooth and some areas can get slippery so definitely wear some good walking shoes that have a good grip!👟
  • Bring plenty of water💦, as soon as you get about a quarter of the way, the trail becomes steeper and the difficulty intensifies
  • Don’t forget your camera!📸 You’ll want to capture the stunning views for later
  • Although some areas are shaded by trees we recommend wearing sunscreen!☀️Because you’re so high up you’re a bit closer to the sun, and the sun is way stronger than you think on the top of the mountain!

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At the top you’ll also find the visitor center. Inside of the center is the launch/drop off for the Summit Skyride, restrooms, a gift shop, and snack bar with drinks and snacks like popcorn, coca-cola products, and dippin’ dots! We also found a few different displays about the formation of Stone Mountain and the habitat and wildlife that call the Stone Mountain home!

Summit Skyride hours: 10am-5pm daily

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Below is Stone Mountain Lake where they also have duck tours! These open-air vehicles will take you from land to water bringing Stone Mountain history to life with fascinating facts and funny stories along the way.

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Stone Mountain Park is an important part of Georgia’s history and is even mentioned in Martin Luther Kings speech, “I have a dream” (1963), “let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia!”. And if history isn’t your thing, another interesting fact is that a few scenes from Stranger Things were filmed at Stone Mountain!

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There’s so much to do at Stone Mountain Park. Whether it’s fishing, hiking, biking around the park, or having a reunion with family and friends it offers so much historical and environmental education, that it’s perfect for all ages. It’s the best family-friendly destination surrounded by Georgia’s natural beauty. These are the many reasons why Stone Mountain is a must stop for anyone visiting Atlanta!

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