Original article for the Odyssey by Sammi Hudock
For nature lovers like myself, living in the busy city of Atlanta can pose a unique set of issues. The bright city lights fail to fill the gap left by the lack of stars and cars on the highway are nothing compared to crickets in the night. Although we love the city (at least that’s what we tell ourselves so we don’t lose our minds), sometimes you have to get away from the skyscrapers and surround yourself with trees and fresh air.
Less than 30 minutes out of Atlanta lies Arabia Mountain, a paradise for those who love the outdoors. Just take I-20 east toward Augusta, get off at exit 74, turn right and keep straight until you find the preserve. There will be a parking lot on your right and then another a little further up on you left.
The hike is fairly easy but offers incredible views. If you go after it rains, the fairy pools on the top of the mountain will be full and are amazing.
Visitors can either hike directly up the mountain to take in the landscape around them or take a series of trails around the lake and then cut across the top of the mountain, giving them a longer hike. The lake trails are marked in blue and can pose a challenge in locating (I, for instance, missed them the first time.)
As an added bonus, dogs are allowed on the mountain, so lonely college students can visit the Fulton County Animal Services and rent a dog for the day to hike with. (Note, you have to preregister for this through Dog for Day.)
So nature lovers, grab your friends and some snacks and take a break from the stressful city life.