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Carpe Diem: Summer Edition: Up, Down and Around Cherokee Trail Hike

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Stone Mountain Park   Hike: Carpe Diem: Summer Edition: Up, Down and Around Cherokee Trail Hike  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Jun 18 2021  9:00 am >> Fri, Jun 18 2021 12:00 pm
Registration Opens: Tue, Jun 15 2021 8:53 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Jun 17 2021 9:53 pm
Event Duration:3 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:7 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 6 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


We will meet in front of the Confederate Hall restrooms a few minutes before 9:00 am for brief introductions before we head to the top. We'll ascend via the main walk-up trail. Once atop, we'll rest for a moment and perhaps have a sip from a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate and a snack before moving along.

After enjoying our view from the top, we will descend most of the way back down the mountain, via a path less traveled, through the woods, and pick up the Cherokee Trail. We'll circumnavigate the mountain at a moderate to fast pace before ending back at Confederate Hall. We will complete the full Cherokee Trail including a steep climb across exposed granite near the end. But... along the way... we get to the "Carpe Diem" part: At a scenic locale along the trail, we will pause for a brief rest and perhaps another snack on the rocks. "Carpe Diem" is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace. The Roman poet Ovid used the word "carpe" in the sense of enjoy, seize, or pluck the fruit of. "Diem" refers to day. In the creative spirit of carpe diem, please bring a poem, phrase, song verse, or riddle to share with the group as we enjoy a moment of reflection in the forest. Summer or warm-weather themes are especially encouraged. We shall seize the day before returning to our cars.

"I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed

Against the sweet earth's flowing breast."

~ Joyce Kilmer, 1886-1918


Required Items to Bring:

Boots/Shoes with good traction

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.


How to Get There:
Event Directions:


From the I-285/ US-78 interchange on the east side of town take U.S. Hwy 78 East about 7.7 miles. Bear right at Exit #8 to the Stone Mountain Park "East Gate" main entrance where you'll pay $20 for the daily parking fee if you don't display a valid annual pass. 


After entering via the East Gate, first follow Jefferson Davis Drive about a mile straight ahead to the big road fork, crossing the lake en route. Bear right onto Robert E. Lee Blvd and follow it about another mile, bearing left to avoid the West Gate exit.  Look for the spacious Confederate Hall parking lot on your left where we park during the hike.  We'll gather at our "usual AOC meetup spot," by the stone restroom building at the base of the Walk-Up Trail (about 100 yards toward the mountain from Confederate Hall). 

You can also enter through the West Gate entrance, in Stone Mountain Village. If you enter here, turn right through the gate and you're almost to the Confederate Hall parking lot on your left.

There's no charge for pedestrians or bicyclists to enter Stone Mountain Park. There is usually plenty of free parking just outside the Park in the Stone Mountain Village area. The Village is near the Park's "West Gate" entrance which is quite close to Confederate Hall and the Walk-Up trailhead. You can park near the railroad tracks and walk about 1/2 mile up East Mountain Street and directly into the park, through a small gate.
Another such free parking lot is the "Red Caboose Visitor Center" lot on Main Street, which has its own paved walking/biking trail into the Park, much like the Silver Comet Trail. To drive to that lot, get off US-78 (Stone Mtn Freeway) at Exit #5, then bear right to exit again about a half mile ahead, turn left onto E. Ponce de Leon Ave, go through the first traffic light onto Main Street and continue about a half mile and look for the red caboose on your left. In about 10 minutes you can walk into the Park via the paved PATH trail, turn left on Robt. E. Lee Blvd (for ~300 yards) and join the AOC group at the Walk-Up trailhead. 
Additional directions and maps can be found at: aspx


* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.