The seemingly barren landscape of Arabia Mountain is the most easily identified landscape of the Heritage Area.
An Exceptional Ecological Wonder
The mountain itself is part of the 2,550 acre DeKalb County greenspace called the Davidson – Arabia Nature Preserve. The Preserve also includes other large formations of exposed granite, wetlands, pine and oak forests, multiple streams, and two lakes.The rare, native plant species, such as the signature red diamorpha in the winter and fall’s yellow daisies, make it seem as though the rock is in constant metamorphosis.
While this Nature Preserve is considered an exceptional ecological wonder the area is also very much influenced by human hands. The evidence of quarrying activities are apparent in the industrial debris left on the mountain and of the abandoned structures once used by workers for storage, offices and shelter. The ruins of quarry buildings are found interspersed throughout the park and metal spikes that were used to split the granite are still embedded in the rock.
Visitors can navigate the preserve through miles of hiking trails and a multi-use PATH bike trail. The trails of the Nature Preserve and Arabia Mountain are open to the public from dawn to dusk. There is no fee for parking or for use of the trails. Leashed dogs are welcome. Fishing is permitted, with a valid state license, at Arabia Lake. Special group tours and education programs also available. Please contact the Preserve offices at 770-484-3060 for more information and scheduling.
Parking has been quite crowded here during the pandemic – here’s some tips on where to park.
Leave No Trace
As you hike on the rock outcrop, make sure to leave no trace behind you! That means avoiding stepping or impacting the solution pits, the shallow depressions where Diamorpha and other flowers live. Please “stay on the gray”: step on the bare granite and avoid any puddles, pits and sandy patches (no matter how innocuous-looking!). That way we can ensure that everyone enjoys Arabia Mountain and all the wild plants that live there. Learn more here.