Print-Friendly Version
Add this event to your calendar (Outlook, iCalendar)
Add REGISTRATION REMINDER to your calendar

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Rain-or-Shine Nature Walk at Mason Mill Park: Weather looks good!

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: NE metro Atlanta, near I-85 Clairmont Rd exit & VA Hospital   Hike: Rain-or-Shine Nature Walk at Mason Mill Park:  Weather looks good!   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, Aug 19 2021  9:45 am >> Thu, Aug 19 2021 11:30 am
Registration Opens: Mon, Aug 16 2021 7:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Aug 19 2021 8:00 am
Event Duration:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D1: Easy
Distance:2 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Charlie Cottingham
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:5
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


 By this Thursday morning the wet weather from tropical storm "Fred" is expected to have passed, although a few light showers may linger.  Hope some of you other nature enthusiasts can join me for this moderately paced "Nature Walk," hosted and guided by our friend Jonah McDonald - see details below.  I've made confirmed reservations for myself and up to 4 other AOC members.  Hikers of all skill levels are welcome to register below for our "AOC participation subgroup."

We AOCers will gather initially at 9:45 AM just inside the Mason Mill Park entrance (by the stone restroom building and kids' playground - see detailed Directions, GPS info & Parking instructions below).  After introductions we'll walk together to the nearby shady area in front of the DeKalb Tennis Center, where we'll hook up with Jonah and other confirmed event registrants.

"NATURE WALK" DETAILS excerpted from Jonah's webpage: "Come walk with Ranger Jonah and learn about the flora and fauna of the Mason Mill forest. We will walk one to two hours (for a total of about 2 miles) on paved paths, boardwalks, and soft-surface trails. Wear appropriate footwear, dress for the weather, and bring a refillable water bottle and hiking stick(s) if you need them."

Since Jan 2019 Jonah has served as ranger-naturalist for DeKalb County's public parks.   An avid conservationist and author, he has done an amazing job interacting with the public and overseeing the protection and improvement of the forest ecosystems and trails in the county's parks.  His wide variety of free outdoor events include guided nature walks, bike rides, bird-watching outings,  volunteer work projects and even festive campfire gatherings complete with nature stories and s'mores!   Jonah's popular book, Hiking Atlanta's Hidden Forests has become one of our Club's favorite guides to the many wonderful parks, wild habitats and trails in and around our city. 

Special Notes regarding the Pandemic and the Weather:  We intend to follow the CDC's latest guidelines and prefer that everyone be fully Covid-vaccinated.  Let's each also at least keep a mask handy during the event - esp. in case we suddenly need to be unusually close to one another or to other park visitors.
  In the event that Jonah needs to cancel this as an official DeKalb County Parks event (due to rain, etc.)  I suggest that we still do the hike together on our own as an AOC event.  If necessary we can use umbrellas, ponchos, etc. to enjoy the wide and scenic PATH trails and boardwalks.

For a Color Map of the South Peachtree Creek "PATH" Trail and how it interconnects Mason Mill & Medlock Park with Emory's Lullwater Park, Ira Melton Park and other DeKalb County green space, click this link:

Required Items to Bring:

• Wear comfortable Athletic Shoes and Clothing, appropriate for the weather.
• Hydrate in advance and please carry a filled Water Bottle (or use a "Camelbak-style"  hydration system).

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

Light Snack, piece of Fruit, etc.
 Camera or SmartPhone for our Photo-Ops.
Consider carrying a light Umbrella or Poncho in case of a shower.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:


As your Destination address
, you can enter the following Lat/Lon in lieu of a specific street addressbeing sure to include the comma and minus sign:  33.8080, -84.3066  (For a zoomable color MAP and satellite view of this spot and its vicinity you can click the square blue & green "Event Location" icon near the top of this article.)

1. From the I-85 "Clairmont Road" Exit (Exit #91) in NE Atlanta take Clairmont Rd southward (toward Decatur) about 2.3 miles to the traffic light at McConnell Drive.  (This is the next light south of the much busier Clairmont/ North Druid Hills intersection, and if you reach the huge VA Hospital you've driven a few blocks too far!)
2. Turn Left off Clairmont onto McConnell Drive, go just 0.1 mile, and turn Right at the stop sign to stay on McConnell. (Note the small "Mason Mill" directional sign here near the entranceway to DeKalb County's Avis Williams Library.)
3. Then turn Left almost immediately at the "Mason Mill Park" entrance sign and park just inside the entrance in the large free lot.  We'll gather by the stone Restroom building (which has been kept Locked during the Pandemic .  It adjoins the children's playground near the Park entrance.)
  In the unlikely event that you can't find a parking space there, the Library mentioned above also has plenty of free parking - just a 5-minute walk away.


MORE ABOUT MASON MILL and its adjoining PARKS & TRAILS:  DeKalb County's Mason Mill Park conveniently interconnects with nearby Medlock Park (and now also with Ira Melton Park and Emory's Lullwater Park) via a network of shady trails and multi-million-dollar forest canopy boardwalks.  The South Peachtree Creek "PATH" Trail is the main artery through this 100+ -acre multi-park corridor, and like NW Atlanta's Silver Comet Trail conforms to the high standards of Atlanta's nonprofit PATH Foundation.  Branching from it are several miles of ruggedly scenic narrower paths and trails, many which adjoin the banks of "South Fork Peachtree Creek" and its sinuous tributaries - notably Burnt Fork Creek and Glen Creek.  An impressive section of the main PATH trail traverses the railroad track via a 3-story wooden deck & walkway.  Here hikers and bikers are treated to aerial views of the restored ruins of the historic early-20th-Century Decatur Waterworks.  The highest portion of the deck has proven to be dark enough for urban "skygazing"  events - i.e, viewing the stars & planets, sunsets, moonrises, eclipses, meteor showers, etc.  From the creek bank beside this high deck it's easy (at normal water levels) to access Ira Melton Park and its white-blazed loop trail, etc. by walking across the creek on huge stepping stones.  In 2017 a beautiful new forest-canopy boardwalk extension of the PATH Trail opened between the DeKalb Tennis Center at Mason Mill and North Druid Hills Road, and became an instant AOC favorite. Then in 2018 a similar "double-wide" PATH spur trail & boardwalk was completed that makes it easy to hike safely from Mason Mill to the Lullwater Park trail system at Emory (via a "hiker-biker underpass" under Clairmont Rd near the VA Hospital).   The 28-acre Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is a fourth pretty DeKalb County park whose trail network and wooded wetlands are easy to reach on foot from Medlock Park (by walking ~15 minutes eastward via Gaylemont Circle & Wood Trail Lane).

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

Cost Includes:

Free Event with Free Parking!

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