The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is home to 16 unique parks and trailheads, each telling a different part of the Heritage Area’s history.
Bruce Street Park
This four-acre park includes a playground, basketball court, pavilion/picnic area with water fountains and a multi-use field. This petite park is just down the street from the Historic Bruce Street School and a short walk from Downtown Lithonia.
Street parking only at 2566 Bruce St, Lithonia, GA 30058.
Take a look at the Lithonia Walkabout Map.
Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve (DAMNP)
The crown jewel at the heart of the Heritage Area, the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve boasts 2,550 acres of trails and green space that comprises lakes, creeks, forests, otherworldly outcrops and, of course, Arabia Mountain itself. Parking is available at the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Center or the Arabia Mountain Trailhead, which is also the headquarters of Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE), offering wildlife tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm.
Please park at the Nature Center at 3787 Klondike Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038.
Click here for more DAMNP trails.
This trail includes fascinating sites to visit such as the only wooden suspension bridge in the Heritage Area, the DeCastro family graveyard, including the resting place of Hatchet, “a good dog,” and beautiful mountain laurel along the South River in the spring.
The trailhead is on Daniels Bridge Rd just off of Union Church Rd. Limited street parking.
Find DeCastro on the Arabia Mountain PATH System Trail Map.
Evans Mill Trailhead
This trailhead includes picnic tables and offers the opportunity for walking on the paved Flathead Spur of the Arabia Mountain PATH (AMP) as well as several well-defined soft trails that can be connected into loops. Immediately off the parking area, you can walk to the partial ruins of the old Evans Mill. A short distance down the paved path is the Cascades Trail. This trail ends by looping back to the paved PATH where you can cross onto the Wilburn Farm Trail. A loop can be made from this trail by connecting to the boomerang trail South back to the paved PATH and returning to the Evans Mill Trailhead.
Address: 4028 Evans Mill Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038.
Find Evans Mill on the DAMNP Trail Map.
This green space borders the South River in Stonecrest. This park is undergoing a major renovation in 2023-24 with the addition of several miles of walking trails and a new kayak takeout. These efforts are a collaboration with the South River Watershed Alliance, the City of Stonecrest and the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance.
Park at the News Bridge, Stonecrest, GA 30038.
Find Everett Park on the Arabia Mountain PATH System Trail Map.
Grounds at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit
The beautiful, manicured grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit are explorable with groves of chestnut trees, a scenic lake with trails, one of the National Heritage Area gateways, the southern end of the PATH and the Monastic Heritage Center, which includes interactive exhibits and a gift shop. These grounds comprise one of the largest privately-owned greenspaces in metro-Atlanta with a conservation burial ground along the South River. Of course, the incredible, hand-built concrete Abbey Church isn’t to be missed either.
Address: 2625 Highway 212 SW, 2625 GA-212, Conyers, GA 30094.
The Monastery of the Holy Spirit is the last stop on the Arabia Mountain PATH System.
Lithonia Community Park
Just blocks from Lithonia’s historic downtown, this quaint community park is perfect for a quick run, picnic, basketball game, playground visit or to enjoy a fun event at Lithonia Stuart Amphitheater made with local mountain stone! The community park is also home to Lithonia Pool, perfect for cooling down on hot summer days.
Address: 2501 Park Dr. Lithonia, Ga 30058.
Check out the Lithonia Walkabout Map.
Lorraine Park and Trailhead
Located between the DeCastro Trailhead and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Lorraine Park and Trailhead is connected to the 34-mile PATH trail system with two beautiful river overlooks and access to a future-paddle launch point in the South River. There’s also a playground with bathrooms, pavilion and picnic table.
Address: 3465 Highway 138 Stockbridge, GA 30281.
Find Lorraine Park on the Arabia Mountain PATH System Trail Map.
Murphy Candler Trailhead
A trail attached to Murphy Candler Elementary! This trail system connects to many others throughout the Heritage Area. Start here to access the Laurel Creek Trail Loop and to see the Horace King Memorial Bridge and interpretive sign at Steven’s Creek or continue on the paved AMP toward the DAMNP or Evans Mill or Pole Bridge parking areas. Parking is available only on weekends during the school year.
Address: 6775 S Goddard Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038.
Find Murphy Candler on the DAMNP Trail Map.
Panola Mountain State Park
Panola Mountain State Park (PMSP) is designated a National Natural Landmark and the only monadnock in the area (Arabia and Stone Mountains are the others) never quarried. Of all the parks in the National Heritage Area, PMSP boasts the broadest array of programming and recreational activities. Visitors can sign up for classes in archery, tree climbing, survival skills, the popular annual Junior Ranger Camp or a guided hike to the top of Panola Mountain, a conservation success story of a pristine monadnock environment. All-terrain wheelchairs can be reserved for folks with disabilities.
Parking $5. Address: 2620 Georgia 155 SW, Stockbridge, GA 30281.
Phone: (770) 389-7801
Check out the Panola Mountain Trail Map.
Panola Mountain State Park, Alexander Lake Entrance
This end of Panola Mountain State Park includes Alexander Lake with a walking trail surrounding it, fishing and boating. Here you will find the archery range including both a target range and a 3D range, with foam animals you can shoot at in more than 20 animal vignettes. From the parking area, you can walk to the historic Parker House, built around 1822 and one of the oldest houses in Rockdale County.
Parking $5. Address: 5015 Flat Bridge Rd SW, Stockbridge, GA 30281.
Find the Alexander Lake Entrance on the Panola Mountain Trail Map.
Panola Shoals Trailhead
Panola Shoals is a historic South River crossing before there was a bridge. This is the future put-in for the South River Watershed Alliance’s popular summer paddles. Visitors can walk on the PATH to Lyon Farm or MLK Jr. High school, a nice stroll along the South River.
Address: South River Trail, Stonecrest, GA 30038.
Find Panola Shoals on the Arabia Mountain PATH System Trail Map.
Pole Bridge Creek Trailhead
Follow the PATH to Lyon Farm and learn about the story of Flat Rock‘s ancestors or walk the PATH toward the Murphy Candler Trailhead to see the Horace King Memorial Bridge and get to the Laurel Creek Trail. The under-utilized parking provides access to a beautiful spot to see mountain laurel in spring.
Address: 6262 Browns Mill Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038.
Find Pole Bridge Creek on the DAMNP Trail Map.
Rivers Bend Park
The latest park addition to Rockdale County and the Heritage Area, Rivers Bend Park boasts a brand-new paddling launch, riverside trails and the Heritage Area’s own Krog-Street-like graffiti under the Oglesby Bridge.
Address: 2451 Oglesby Bridge Rd SW, Conyers, GA 30094.
Find Rivers Bend on the Arabia Mountain PATH System Trail Map.
South Rockdale Community Park
Small but mighty, South Rockdale Community Park has something for everyone. From biking, hiking and walking on the PATH-Rockdale River Trail to mountain biking for multiple levels on marked trails and even marked horseback riding trails! Walkers are welcome on the horse trails as well. If you encounter a horseback rider step to the side and let the horse pass or ask the rider for instructions.
Address: 3909 E Fairview Rd SW, Stockbridge, GA 30281.
Find South Rockdale Community Park on the Arabia Mountain PATH System Trail Map.
Vaughters’ Farm Trailhead
Enjoy the gentle Meadow Loop Trail and Woodland Spur as well as Vaughters’ Barn, seated in the last remaining dairy meadow landscape in DeKalb County (as well as a filming location in the popular HBO series The Outsider, starring Jason Bateman). The farm’s parking lot includes one of the historic gateways into the National Heritage Area, easy access to the PATH and the Arabia Alliance office at 3350 Klondike Road.
Address: 3366 Klondike Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038.
Find Vaughters’ Farm on the Arabia Mountain PATH System Trail Map.