Day three of our vacation in Georgia was Stone Mountain.
A $10 gate fee gets you into this beautiful park in Stone Mountain Georgia. This granite batholith sitting out by itself was visible to us from the Kennesaw mountains. The mountain is 825 feet tall and covers 583 acres. The top of the mountain is 1,683 feet above sea level. It is mostly open granite from top to bottom. If that weren’t enough there is a huge carving on one side of the mountain. According to the brochure it is the largest high relief carving in the world! The Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The entire carved surface of the Memorial Carving measures three acres, larger than a football field. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee’s elbow, which is 12 feet to the mountain’s surface. The brochure also boasts that it is the largest exposed granite mountain in the world. Funny, the last thing I thought I would see leaving the granite state of NH for Georgia would be granite, but here it is nearly in Florida!
Passing all but a couple people thus far, it looked like a nice quite day on the mountain. Then,we arrived at the granite trail 40-60 feet wide and We joined the others heading up the mountain. Another interesting part of the trail are the two telephone poles decorated with gum by passer-by’s. Be sure to bring your piece to chew and add to the design! It was here that the maintenance access road crosses the trail. A Ford Police vehicle was driving up the road headed for the summit. Up further past a roofed pick nick area the view began to open up around us. To the left of the Walk-up Trail was a plaque which read Old Indian Trail. We went this way away from the crowd and checked out the fenced in edge of the mountain, looking down to the park below.
Up past some boulders and a steep climb up to the crown of the mountain. Here the Police truck was coming back down. We were all in awe! This truck climbs and descends this part of the mountain at a very steep pitch. It was scary to watch! We crested the crown and arrived at the summit at 1:00pm. Views were flat in all directions with a couple lonely hills popping here-and-there in the distance including the Kennesaw mountains we hiked two days earlier. The main view up here was of Atlanta City and a whole lot of granite!
Warmed up a bit we headed back out and circled the crown of the mountain around the building and along the fence. On the less windy side we had a snack and enjoyed the moment. Heading back down was quick. Instead of taking the rest of the Cherokee loop which was about 5 miles we went back the way we came . Truly a hike for all ages and all abilities as well as views in all directions on a clear blue sky day.