Saturday, January 31, 2004 I decided to make a spur of the moment trip to nearby Arabia Mountain (just east of Atlanta). Ninjaduck3000 was still complaining about the condition of his feet so I left him to recuperate.
Arabia Mountain is about a 30 minute drive out of downtown Atlanta. The site is a naturally occuring outcropping of granite gneiss. Structures like this include Stone Mountain and Panola Mountain and are known as “monadnocks” (Abenaki for “island mountain”). Arabia Mountain was once the site of quarrying and the remains of stone buildings that once housed various facilities as well as unfinished slabs are scattered throughout the site. After being acquired along with Panola Mountain, the site has been slowly transformed into a preserve and park. I saw some signs of path development nearby that looked very much like Atlanta’s Path Project, perhaps the sites will be linked in the near future.
I learned from locals that Arabia has a reputation for vandalism and as a hangout but the off season of winter as well as caretaker efforts seems to have dented signs of such during my trip. Consisting of an east and west side, the park is divided by Klondike Road. I decided to the walk the western portion first before crossing over and trying the eastern half of the park.
Even in the winter, the site has some attractive sections and is quite stoic with its massive stone surfaces. The entire dome of rock is dotted with persistant lichens, mosses and solution pits filled with tenacious plants, which visitors are encouraged to avoid trafficking to preserve them. Instead of the normal system of blazes, small rock cairns mark the trail. I have some small issue with their placement, however… markers are nice in areas where the trail is uncertain, not in place where it is obvious, and the creators seem to have forgotten that in their placement.
That aside, Arabia Mountain was a good leg-stretcher for about half a day. I recommend it for a half-day outings, picnic or scenic walk.