Sat, Dec 19 2020 - Hike around Stone Mountain via the Cherokee Loop with scenic off-trail Hidden Gems (View Original Event Details)|
It turned out to be a beautiful blue-sky day for an adventurous 4-hour hike at Stone Mountain Park. We had a good time together on this ~8-mile mile exploration of the forests and lakeshores that surround the 300-million-year-old monolith. Our zigzag route included a few portions of the popular Cherokee Trail and numerous off-the-beaten-path "hidden gems." After a stop below the world-famous Confederate carving we next hiked up the hill past Memorial Hall to visit the NY World's Fair Carillon tower & peninsula and marina area. Then after enjoying a sunny picnic lunch stop on the hill above the old Grist Mill we continued our hike through the outdoor Quarry Museum, historic Railroad Yard and Boy Scout wilderness campground area. We next enjoyed the beautiful native plants & trees along the green-blazed Nature Garden trail, and from there took a orange-blazed rocky shortcut spur along the rocky base of the mountain back to our original gathering spot at the walkup trailhead near Confederate Hall.
It was a treat having newly active member Hailley and her delightfully energetic rescue dog, "Captain" with us on her first outing with the AOC. Thanks to Hailley's friend Chris for introducing her to our fine club and for hiking with us today as well.
Special thanks to my dear friend Joyce for a very thoughtful little "surprise party" that she hosted as we gathered this morning by Confederate Hall. The occasion was to celebrate the fact that this was my 1000th Atlanta Outdoor Club event. Joyce honored me with a beautiful poster, hand-painted "AOC 1000" stone paperweight and keepsake bandanna - also brought delicious homemade brownies to share with everyone!
Joyce also did her "too often taken for granite" masterful job of capturing the spirit and scope of this "big rock" event in dozens of colorful photos and sharing them in an easy-to-access Facebook album. Click "View Photo Album" above to enjoy it. Joyce also wrote me this kind note:
"Charlie, here's the link to the photos from your very special hike today. I'm so happy that I was part of the celebration. Congratulations once again! The day was terrific in every way.