Sat, May 23 2020 - COVID-Distancing Hike around Stone Mountain via the Cherokee Loop and other Scenic Trails (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Charlie Cottingham
Participants:Charlie Cottingham, Jen, Dave F, Barbara V, Gerrilyn, Joni

Write Up:

Despite the large number of Memorial Day weekend visitors at the Park, we took advantage of Saturday morning's blue-sky weather and had a good time "social-distance-hiking" this ~6.3-mile circuit of Stone Mtn that included numerous "off-the-beaten-path" "hidden gems."  After taking in the panorama of the world-famous Confederate carving we visited the heavily wooded "American Pen Women" loop trail just beyond the carving and directly at the base of that same steepest granite wall of the mountain.  We then continued via the Cherokee Trail to the the old Grist Mill and 140-year-old Covered Bridge on the lakeshore.  After a short bushwhack up the hill we then visited the outdoor Quarry Museum and traversed its adjoining eastern flat rocky base of the mountain  that connects to the old Railroad Yard.  There we got a kick out of actually venturing inside a long-parked ~100-year-old passenger rail car where someone had obviously been living not too long ago - having furnished it with shag carpeting, a sofa, lavatory, toiletries, etc.  We then bushwhacked across Robt. E. Lee Blvd back to the Cherokee Trail connected to Songbird Habitat Trail network via a lovely small creekside trail and crossing Stonewall Jackson Drive.  We completed the loop with a visit to the lovely Nature Garden trails and hiked via a convenient railroad spur shortcut back to our original gathering spot at the Walkup Trailhead near Confederate Hall.
  Three of our six hikers (Joni,Dave & Jen) have only become active members of the Club since January, and it was a treat getting to know them during the event after our 2-month "AOC Covid hiatus"!   -Submitted by Charlie, Sun May 24th