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First Hike of 2023 - Sunrise on the Rock
|Event Location:||Stone Mountain Park|
|Date(s) & Time:||Sun, Jan 1 2023 6:47 am >> Sun, Jan 1 2023 8:07 am|
|Registration Opens:||Thu, Jan 6 2022 5:16 pm|
|Registration Cut Off:||Sun, Jan 1 2023 6:27 am|
|Event Duration:||1 Hours 20 Minutes|
|Difficulty Rating:||D3: Moderate|
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|Who's Invited:||Members Only, 21 And Older Only|
|Maximum Group Size:||10|
|Minimum Group Size:||2|
|Number Registered So Far:||10 / 7 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)|
|Are Dogs Permitted:||No|
Full Disclosure: It's my birthday and I'll hike if I want to... And yes, I've sent a memo to the Weather Gods requesting a partially cloudy morning, just so we can experience a glorious sunrise to bring in 2023.
Sunrise is scheduled for 7:42 AM so we'll start our hike up the mountain at 7:00 AM sharp, from the Whistle Stop station (near the restrooms, next to Confederate Hall). Plan to arrive at least 5 minutes early for check-in and introductions. I plan to hike at a moderate pace but you are welcome to adopt a pace that's good for you.
Once we get to the top, we find a suitable place to watch the sunrise and ooh and aah as the golden orb makes it debut for the New Year. Then we stretch, tag the geo-markers, enjoy other New Year celebrations on the Rock, and then make our way down the mountain to the parking lot.
BTW, entry to Stone Mountain Park is $20 per vehicle, unless you buy an annual pass for $40. If you want to avoid the fee, you have two options:
1. Park on Main Street in Stone Mountain Village (free) and walk into the park - see directions below, or
2. Call me a few days before the hike to arrange a ride - I will be happy to give the FIRST TWO PEOPLE who contact me, a ride from Stone Mountain Village. I will pick you up from Stone Mtn. Village at 6:30 AM. Time is of the essence here - sunrise waits for no one - so if you arrive at the Village after 6:30 AM, you will have to walk to the Whistle Stop meeting point.
|How to Get There:|
FROM I-285 TO THE PARK'S "EAST GATE" ENTRANCE:
From the I-285 on the east side of town, take US 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 $15 for the daily parking fee if you don't display a valid annual pass. Suggestion, especially if you're new to the Park, ask the gate attendant for a free color map.
ONCE INSIDE PARK, DRIVE TO CONFEDERATE HALL PARKING LOT:
After entering via the East Gate, first follow Jefferson Davis Drive about a mile straight ahead past the lake, to the big fork in the road. Swing right onto Robert E. Lee Blvd and follow it for a mile. Stay in the left lane to avoid the West Gate exit (on your right) and then park in the parking lot on the LEFT, next to Confederate Hall. Look toward the mountain and you'll see the restrooms in front of you. We'll gather at our usual AOC "meetup spot," by the stone wall near the restroom building at the base of the Walk-Up Trail (about 100 yards toward the mountain from Confederate Hall). For a zoomable map & aerial view of this spot, click on the red "Location Icon" at the top of this article.
OPTIONAL FREE PARK ENTRANCE FOR PEDESTRIANS & BICYCLISTS:
There's no charge for pedestrians or bicyclists to enter Stone Mountain Park or to enjoy the numerous free attractions inside the Park including the nice trails. If you don't have an annual Park Pass and wish to save the daily $20 parking fee, there are usually plenty of free parking spots just outside the Park in Stone Mountain Village. The Village is near the Park's West Gate entrance which is a 15-minute walk to Confederate Hall and the Walk-Up trailhead. One such free parking lot is the "Stone Mountain Visitor Center" lot on the 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 to the "caboose lot" on your left. In about 15 minutes you can walk or ride your bike eastward into the Park via the paved PATH trail, turn left on Robert E. Lee Blvd (for ~300 yard) and join the AOC group at the Walk-Up trailhead.
* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.
Cancellation/Partial Attendance: Please review the AOC cancellation policy.
I understand that stuff happens, and if it means you cannot make it, please deregister on the AOC website, or TEXT me at 4O4-7five4-5OO5 and let me know.