“A white-blazed loop trail that showcases a variety of terrain and views that Stone Mountain has to offer.
— Kevin M.
Check Stone Mountain Park's website
for date restrictions.
$15 per day to park or $40 per year for an annual pass.
When on the mountain or any rock surfaces, do NOT step on any water or pine needle clumps. Slipping becomes extremely easy and dangerous if the rock is wet at all. Use caution!
Fall Colors — Lake — Spring — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Start at Parking Lot 5 (labeled on the park map and houses the children's playground) and take a short hike (past the bathrooms) towards the white-blazed Cherokee Trail (which crosses the road at this juncture). Taking a clockwise route will allow you to tackle the mountain ascent/descent first instead of last.
Start by going down the small staircase (north side of Robert E. Lee Blvd.) and into the wooded area. You'll encounter some roots, rocks, and grading on your way to the mountain. Pay attention and slow down at some of the more difficult obstacles (it can get a bit tricky in some areas). Follow the signs and white blazes at the junctures.
Once you reach the base of the mountain, this is a good place to slow down and recover while ascending the backside of the mountain. Because of the grade, hiking at this juncture becomes a bit difficult. Some nice views can be had traveling up the mountain, so take a minute to enjoy. Once you reach the dirt vehicle road, hiking can commence with only minor obstacles to worry about. The descent isn't too difficult, but take your time, if needed.
At the bottom, you'll make a right (following the white blazes) and hike a fairly easy part of the trail through the woods. You'll eventually reach the park area and the trail will bring you inside this area, at which point you'll hike in front of the famous Stone Mountain carving.
Exiting the park area, you'll encounter very similar terrain until you reach and cross Robert E. Lee Blvd. At this point, you'll be hiking next to an aqueduct-type structure on the ground, and eventually reach the mill area. Take the sidewalk to the wooden bridge that hugs the mill and follow it. From here, the trail will follow the lake around; there's a portion where the trail turns into a stone path with no rails. You'll reach the covered bridge and associated small parking lot. The trail picks up on the other side of the lot (do not cross the bridge), and continues to follow the lake around under a wooded canopy. Along the way, you'll meet a few areas where you are once again on stone.
Turn left at the orange/white trail juncture to bring you to the other side of the lake. There is ~1.5 miles to go at this point. There are some up and down portions with roots and obstacles mixed in here. Cross Stonewall Jackson Dr. for the home stretch. There is a small waterfall that you'll eventually encounter. At the very end is a series of roots; use caution. You'll pop out across the street from the start.
Fauna: Chipmunks, squirrels, deer, and birds. Flora: Usual Georgia plants.