Hiking The Stone Mountain Mountaintop Trail

This historic trail takes 2.4 miles to complete and this mountain was called by the American Indians as the Lone Mountain while the settles call it Rock Fort Mountain. In 1560, the Spanish explorers also visited this place and called it as Crystal Mountain due to the quartz found around the vicinity. In 1958 the place was purchased by the state and turned this into a protected area. The start of the trail is at the Confederate Hall on the left side of the railroad crossing. An exhibit at the hall includes the geological and environmental information of the Stone Mountain and the history of the Civil War.

From the Confederate Hall at the Stone Mountain Park, cross the railroad tracks right past the rest rooms on the right. The pathway then makes a gradual ascent to the top of the mountain. The pathway comes to a level path but never downhill. Go straight ahead as the pathway passes the trail marker of Stone Mountain Loop Trail or also known as the Cherokee Trail at around 0.3 of a mile in this rock path.

Hike straight ahead as you pass by a picnic area where at a pavilion nearby you will what remains to be of a barbecue grill. From here moving forward, the road climbs the steepest section of the trail. Continue following the pathway as you approach the Cherokee Trail wherein there is an engraved plaque marking the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. Proceed further as you will pass by Bubble Gum Rock where gum eating visitors leave their chewing gums here.

At this point you will be amazed by the beautiful scenes that nature can afford. Now continue to curve left as the trail approaches some metal support structures drilled to the mountains. Climb up to the peak as you pass by a spring with clusters of red moss thriving in it. Once you have reached the top of the mountain you will see the Skylift dock and a museum. Nearby, you will find a yellow painted rock with and arrow and the word Atlanta on it. This served as a guide for airplane navigators coming from the northeast in the early 1920’s which points toward the city.

The peak marks the end of the trail where you can now make a loop to return to the starting point. Follow a white line marker down the mountain to a road that then leads you to a protected and fenced habitat for fairy shrimps. Turn left as you move past this returning to where the parking area.