Welcome Winter! Solstice Sunrise and Cherokee Trail Hike - Tue, Dec 21 2021

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.

Welcome Winter! Solstice Sunrise and Cherokee Trail Hike

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Stone Mountain Park   Hike: Welcome Winter! Solstice Sunrise and Cherokee Trail Hike  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Tue, Dec 21 2021  7:00 am >> Tue, Dec 21 2021 10:00 am
Registration Opens: Thu, Dec 16 2021 8:03 pm
Registration Cut Off: Tue, Dec 21 2021 5:00 am
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:8
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It also is the first day of winter. Let's give winter a big welcoming hello by greeting the sunrise from atop Stone Mountain. The sun will rise at 7:36 am, so we'll start our hike up to the top promptly at 7:00 am.

We will meet in front of the Confederate Hall restrooms a few minutes before 7:00 am for brief introductions before we head to the top to wait for the sun to make her appearance. We'll ascend via the main walk-up trail. Once atop, we'll settle in to watch the sun rise and celebrate the fact that, starting now, we will get a few more seconds of light every day. Hurray!

After enjoying Mother Nature's performance, 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.  

Required Items to Bring:

Boots/Shoes with good traction
Headlamp or Flashlight for the hike up in the dark

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:
http://www.stonemountainpark.com/activities/map/overview. aspx


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

Cost Includes:

Parking is $20 unless you have an annual pass. Bicyclists and pedestrians may enter the park at no charge through the South Woods Gate.

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