Trails

Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve

About

Once a quarry site, now a nature preserve, this 2,550-acre green space is a jewel of DeKalb County. Discover Arabia Mountain, see quarry remnants and wander through miles of trails featuring lakes, streams, craters and cascades. As you hike, keep an eye out for the rare plants that grow on the mountain – make sure not to step in the puddles and sandy patches where they live!

Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve Information

Here’s a peek at some of the trails:

The Mountain Top Trail

This takes you to the top of Arabia Mountain. Park at the Nature Center (3787 Klondike Road) and follow the paved AMP trail to the crossing at Klondike Road, then follow the boardwalk to the base of the mountain. From that point, keep an eye on the cairns to guide your way up the rock face and avoid stepping in sand pits and puddles (wildlife lives there). The mountain rises gently above the forest cover; keep an eye out for the rare plants that make this place home. At the top, marvel at your lunar surroundings and enjoy views of Panola Mountain to the south and Atlanta to the northwest.

The Mile Rock Trail and Forest Trail

This trail guides you through a site of intense quarrying and the peaceful woods of the Georgia Piedmont. The trail begins to the right of the Nature Center (3787 Klondike Road). Look for the opening in the trees marked with yellow dashes and follow the trail through the woods. Once you reach Arabia Lake, look onto the bare rock outcrop and follow the cairns to complete the route and return to the Nature Center.

Panola Mountain State Park

About

A National Natural Landmark and Georgia’s first Conservation Park, Panola Mountain is a pristine granite outcrop with a truly spectacular variety of wildflowers and woodlands growing out of the thin mountaintop soil. Because of its highly protected status, some of the most spectacular parts of the park are only accessible on a guided hike with experienced rangers and guides (check out our Events page to join the next guided mountain hike). Trek across a mountaintop covered in rare plants and fragile woodlands as songbirds sing and, in the spring, dozens of wildflower species bloom.

Panola Mountain State Park Information

Panola Mountain State Park Trails:

Guided Mountain Hike

Panola Mountain is one of the most pristine and carefully preserved rock outcrops in the state, a place where beautiful plants and plucky wildlife thrive on a lunar landscape. Sign up here for a ranger-led hike and experience an untouched granite outcrop. Panola Mountain’s granite is unsuitable for quarrying, sparing it from the industrial uses of nearby Arabia Mountain. Instead, this rock outcrop has been left conserved and today offers a stunning view of wild Georgia. Join State Park guides for a hike through forests, history and one pristine monadnock.

Photo credit: Jason Meucci

AMP Connector Trail

See all that State Park has to offer as you meander along the AMP. Pick up the paved trail at the Panola Mountain State Park Nature Center and follow it northeast, past Panola Mountain itself (be sure to stop at the viewing platform) and to Alexander Lake. You can loop around the Lake and back to the Nature Center for a view of the park’s forests, waterways and, of course, its iconic granite outcrop.

Rock Outcrop Trail

If you can’t hike to the top of Panola Mountain, some of the best mountain views sit along the Rock Outcrop Trail, a short and easy hike that begins at the Nature Center. Follow the trail through woodlands and along a boardwalk to see the imposing and untouched granite mountain in the distance. This area is a good spot for nature photography, although please note that commercial photography does require a permit from Park Rangers.