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Stone Mtn Comet Observing & Hike-up

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Stone Mountain, GA   Hike: Stone Mtn Comet Observing & Hike-up  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, Mar 14 2013  6:30 pm >> Thu, Mar 14 2013 9:00 pm
Registration Opens: Tue, Mar 12 2013 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Mar 14 2013 4:00 pm
Event Duration:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:3 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Harry F
Charlie Cottingham
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:25
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 20 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Above photo by Tony C.

Meet at base of walk-up trail (near restrooms) at 6:30, begin hike by 6:45.  

Harry will bring his little 90mm telescope to view Comet Panstarrs, which should be just visible to the naked eye just above the horizon at sunset.  Once it sets, we can view planets (including Jupiter) and a 1st quarter moon, then head down the mountain by 9:00.

If cancellation due to weather appears likely, an E-mail will be sent no later than noon on the day of the event.

For 3/14/12: Sunset: 7:44  Moon: 1st quarter,  Planets visible: Jupiter (up high), Mars (briefly in W after sunset) 

Entrance fee to park is $10, or $35 annually. however, free parking is available in Stone Mountain Village. See directions below...


Required Items to Bring:

Shoes with good traction, flashlight, water

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

Light jacket, snack

How to Get There:
Event Directions:
  • From I-285 to the Park's "East Gate" entrance:

    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 $10 for the daily parking fee if you don't display an valid annual pass.  Suggestion:  Esp. 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 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).

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 $10 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 quite close to Confederate Hall and the Walk-Up trailhead.  You can park near the railroad tracks and walk up East Mountain Street and directly into the park, through a small gate (Note that this gate is locked soon after sunset and you have to walk out around the nearby West Gate and then left to get back to East Mountain Street.) The Village is near the Park's "West Gate" entrance which is quite close to Confederate Hall and the Walk-Up trailhead.  One such free parking lot is the "Red Caboose 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 10 minutes you can walk or ride your bike eastward 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.

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

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