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Stone Mountain Walk Up and Cherokee Trail Loop

  4.1 ( 14 ) Favorite


6.3 mile 10.2 kilometer loop


Ascent: 776' 237 m
Descent: -836' -255 m
High: 1,666' 508 m
Low: 842' 257 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)


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Trail shared by Leah Rawdon

Hike up the Walk-Up Trail and then back down to the intersecting Cherokee Trail, to circle Stone Mountain.

Leah Rawdon

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Views, Wildlife, Historical Areas

* Dogs are NOT allowed on the Walk Up Trail.

* Leashed dogs are allowed on all other trails.


This trail encompasses all of Stone Mountain's most interesting and unique features. After summiting the mountain by way of the Walk-Up Trail and taking in miles of views from the top, use the Cherokee Trail to circle the mountain's base and its historic past.

Need to Know

Daily Parking Pass: $15, Annual Parking Pass: $40
Use caution during wet conditions, the rock surfaces of the Walk-Up Trail can be extremely slippery.


The Walk-Up Trail starts off with gradual inclines at the Confederate Hall parking lot and becomes steeper as you hike higher toward the top of Stone Mountain. There are several areas with grades steeper than 20%, but there are metal hand rails to assist with the steeper grades. There are many roots and small boulders that form stepping stones up and down the trail. The trail passes by many stone carvings, some dating back to the 1800s. At the top of the mountain, there are trash/recycling cans, restrooms, refreshments, lookout decks, and a lift that goes up/down the mountain.

As you make your way back down the Walk-Up Trail, it intersects with the Cherokee Trail in roughly a north/south direction. The Cherokee Trail is blazed with white markers and all intersections with other trails are well marked. This trail makes its way north and then turns to the east as it follows the base of the mountain toward the Confederate Memorial Carving viewing area at the front. Heading toward the east side of the mountain, there is a working spring house and grist mill and beyond that, a covered bridge. On the far side, the trail comes to a fork where the Cherokee Trail turns to the left to cross over Venable Lake, and the Connector Trail (orange blazes) turns to the right.

The Connector Trail follows along the north side of Venable Lake and continues on to cross Stonewall Jackson Drive. It follows alongside Robert E. Lee Boulevard for a short period before picking up again on the right side of the road, and continuing in a northwest direction. At this section, the Cherokee Trail, Connector Trail, and Stone Mountain State Park Loop have merged into a singletrack. This section also runs quite closely to the railroad tracks and the train can be seen passing periodically.

Eventually, the Cherokee Trail veers to the right as it starts to move back up the mountainside. The Connector Trail/Stone Mountain State Park Loop continues northwest to pass over the foot of the mountain and completes the entire loop back at the Confederate Hall parking lot. During this section of the trail there is also a smaller loop, the Nature Garden Trail (green blazes), that branches off from the main trail and then brings you back to the Connector Trail/Stone Mountain State Park Loop after 0.8 miles.

Flora & Fauna

Squirrels, Hawks, Diamorpha, Azaleas, Bluegill, Bass

History & Background

* Stone carvings throughout the Walk-Up Trail, some dating back to the 1800s, made by quarry workers and residents.

* Chimney flues still standing from old homes and lodges.

* The working Spring House built by the Venable brothers contracting company.

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Jul 6, 2019
Clay Stennett
6.3mi — 2h 00m
Jul 4, 2019
Danny Wang
12h 17m
Jun 29, 2019
Peter O
Apr 8, 2019
Luis Subauste
Mar 30, 2019
Bunny Sandefur
4.3mi — 2h 34m
Feb 21, 2019
Jasim Shuja
Feb 13, 2019
M Dubuque
Dec 29, 2018
Suneye Holmes
great workout to ascend with few breaks at a steady pace. bring water and be careful of water on the trail. totally family friendly! 2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 14 votes


  4.1 from 14 votes
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1,502 Since Mar 15, 2017



Enjoy this small waterfall and creek in the woods near Venable Lake.
Feb 14, 2017 near Stone M…, GA
Atlanta skyline at sunset
Mar 23, 2018 near Stone M…, GA
Sunset at Stone Mountain
Mar 23, 2018 near Stone M…, GA
Stone Mountain
Mar 23, 2018 near Stone M…, GA
Top of Stone Mountain, overlooking downtown Atlanta
Jul 30, 2017 near Stone M…, GA
You may often encounter small cairns along this mountainside trail.
Feb 14, 2017 near Stone M…, GA


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