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COVID-Distancing Hike around Stone Mountain via the Cherokee Loop and other Scenic Trails
|Event Location:||Stone Mountain Park, ~15 miles E of downtown Atlanta|
|Date(s) & Time:||Sat, May 23 2020 9:00 am >> Sat, May 23 2020 12:00 pm|
|Registration Opens:||Thu, May 14 2020 9:00 pm|
|Registration Cut Off:||Fri, May 22 2020 9:00 pm|
|Event Duration:||3 Hours|
|Difficulty Rating:||D3: Moderate|
|Trip Leader(s):||Charlie Cottingham|
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|Who's Invited:||Members Only, 21 And Older Only|
|Maximum Group Size:||6|
|Minimum Group Size:||2|
|Number Registered So Far:||6 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)|
|Are Dogs Permitted:||No|
Event Overview and Where to Meet: Hope you can join us for this clockwise loop hike around Stone Mountain, mainly via the beautiful "Cherokee Trail" and its orange-blazed connecting trails. We intend to observe the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines regarding social distancing, masks, etc. and will adhere to the Club's temporary limit of 6 participants per event. We'll enjoy stops at the awesome Memorial Carving (photo above), old Grist Mill, historic Covered Bridge, Songbird Habitat Trail, Native Plant Garden and several fascinating "off-the-beaten-path" scenic spots, for a total distance of about 6.3 miles and about 700 feet of total uphill elevation gain. Along the way we'll occasionally do a little off-trail "bushwhacking"and also take a few breaks for observing the colorful native flora & fauna and shooting photos of the mountain and its lakeside & creekside scenery. We'll have spectacular views of the mountain from all sides and hike across portions of its bare rocky shoulder where thousands of tons of its famous granite were once quarried.
We'll gather for introductions and begin the hike beside the stone restroom building near Confederate Hall - our usual gathering spot for most AOC events at the Park. (See Directions below to that Trailhead. I also include directions for Free Parking and Free Park Entry if you prefer an easy walk into the Park from nearby Stone Mtn village.)
Park Features & Activities: Boasting 3,200 acres of natural beauty, Stone Mountain Park features a wide variety of amazing outdoor activities,adventures and attractions. Hikers can enjoy more than 15 miles of scenic nature trails throughout the Park or take a variety of paved walkways if you prefer. It's also a great place for bicycling, camping, paddling, fishing or playing golf. There are lots of fun annual events such as the Yellow Daisy Festival, Stone Mtn Christmas, and Snow Mountain. Visitors who wish to learn more about the mountain's fascinating history, geology and ecology can explore the Historical & Environmental Heritage Center and visit the other museum displays, etc. in Confederate Hall and Memorial Hall.
Click these links for more about the Park, itsTrails, etc:
Above: Water sluice for the old Grist Mill by the Cherokee Trail
Fun Fact: How large is the granite that underlies Stone Mountain? Hint: Not the popular myth!
|How to Get There:|
We'll gather for the Hike at the "Walk-Up Trailhead" inside Stone Mtn Park (our "usual" gathering spot for most AOC Stone Mtn hikes). It's about 75 yards toward the mountain from Confederate Hall, beside the stone restroom building. GPS users can enter this concise Lat/Lon as your destination address,,being sure to include the comma and minus sign: 33.8107,-84.1617 For a zoomable map or satellite view of this gathering spot click the square blue & green "Event Location" icon near the top of this article.
Directions and Parking Fees for Hikers who Prefer Driving into the Park: The main entrance into the Park is the "East Gate" which has its own special "Exit #8" from the Stone Mtn Freeway. Visitors who drive into the Park must purchase and display a valid Parking Pass: The current price is $20 per vehicle for a daily pass or $40 per vehicle for an annual pass, available from the entrance gate attendants - also online.
Optional Free Parking in nearby Stone Mtn Village and "Walk-In" Directions: Park visitors are welcome to take advantage (as I do) of the always-free Park admission for pedestrians and bicyclists. There are normally plenty of free parking spots available about 1/4 mile outside the "West" Park entrance in the quaint old village of Stone Mountain. For example, on weekends the Suntrust Bank is closed and there is usually space in its free parking lot, at 5399 E Mountain St, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 (corner of 2nd Street). GPS and Maps.Google.com users can enter "Suntrust Mountain St GA" as your destination. On all days of the week free public parking is usually also available near the E Main St / Mountain St traffic light, esp. in the vicinity of the Village's old train station and white gazebo.
* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.
Cancellation/Partial Attendance: Please review the AOC cancellation policy.