OverviewArabia Mountain is located in Dekalb County, Georgia. From Atlanta, it is a quick (under thirty minute) drive and easy (1.2 mile with easy elevation gain) hike just east of the city that allows for some nice, unobstructed views.
This mountain is often compared to Stone Mountain and Panola Mountain. However, while all three mountains were quarries before they were turned over to the state for recreation, have vernal pools, red moss, and georgia oak, Stone Mountain and Panola Mountain are granite plutons while Arabia Mountain is composed of gneiss.
While it was once a state park, it is now part of the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, a DeKalb County park.
There are two major ways to approach this mountain.
1) The most direct route, which also has the most exposed views, begins at the South parking lot (directions below). Find the split rail fence at the east end of the South parking lot. A trail head kiosk contains a one-page map produced by the Arabia Alliance, which also offers it in a download from its site in pdf format (Arabia Mountain map).
Beginning at the start of the path, hike north 0.6 miles and go up 140 feet in elevation gain and you'll find yourself on Bradley Mountain. Enjoy the views, and then hike northeast another 0.6 miles to arrive on Arabia Mountain.
2) Also a good route, offering less views along the way but some nice nature trails, is to park at the north parking lot. Proceed east and you'll ascend Arabia Mountain.
There is one last way to approach that is less direct. Twice a year, there are guided 3.5 mile hikes led by Park Rangers that will take you from nearby restricted Panola Mountain to Arabia Mountain. Note, while it is possible to hike around Panola Mountain, due to the endangered plants growing on top, it is only permissable to hike it with a park guide.
Interesting factoid: Some scenes from Stephen King's Pet Cemetary II, were filmed on top of this mountain.
Unlike Stone Mountain, there is no fee associated with parking and hiking at this site.
Getting ThereThe directions to Arabia Mountain are written as if you are approaching the trail head from Atlanta.
* Take I-20 East to Exit #74 - Evans Mill Rd/Lithonia.
* Turn right off of the ramp onto Evans Mill Road.
* At the light, continue straight onto Woodrow Drive
(Note: Evans Mill Road turns to the right. Do not turn right)
* Travel on Woodrow Drive for almost 1 mile to stop sign which is the intersection of Woodrow Drive and Klondike Road.
* Turn right onto Klondike Road and travel approximately 1 mile.
* Continue on Klondike Road and go past Rockland Road (there is a caution light at this intersection)
* One mile down the road, you will pass the North Parking lot on your right. This lot accesses other trails in the area, and a more tree-covered route to the top of Arabia Mountain.
* Continue roughly one mile further and park at the South parking lot which will be on your left. Parking here will take you up Bradley Mountain and Arabia Mountain.
Red TapeNote: Arabia Mountain is the location of several endangered species. Please do not wander off of the trail and tread carefully.
Arabia Mountain is one of a small number of places in the southeastern United States where a plant called "Small's stonecrop" (Diamorpha smallii), an endangered species protected by state and federal law, thrives. Small's stonecrop is a red plant that grows in sandy hollows all over the surface of the mountain.
CampingDue to the sensitive foliage growing in this area, camping is not allowed anywhere in the preserve.
External LinksArabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance
From their webpage: The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance is a volunteer organization established to protect and expand the preserve by acquiring critical adjacent lands to connect Arabia Mountain to the South River, Panola Mountain State Conservation Park, and South Rockdale Community Park.
Information about Small's Stonecrop
USDA information about Small's Stonecrop
More information about Small's Stonecrop
To contact Park staff:
Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve
Dekalb County Parks and Recreation
Panola Mountain State Park
Reservations (800) 864-7275
Park (770) 389-7801