Today's hike is a very special guided hike at one of Atlanta's best hidden treasures, Panola Mountain. I recently hiked the trail, to the top of Panola Mountain, with a naturalist, at this beautiful Georgia State Park. After having hiked both Stone Mountain & Arabia Mountain, I had a pretty good idea of what Panola would be like. But, unlike Arabia or Stone Mountain, Panola's natural beauty has been preserved by limiting foot traffic to guided hikes of small groups. [Scroll down to the video to see some clips & hear about this excellent hike.]
Panola Mountain's Pristine Protected Trail
Moss, lichen and other plants that are easily swept away from our other monadnocks by hundreds of footsteps, grow in abundance atop Panola. Shades of green and red plants growing as thick as blankets, in some places, cover large areas on top of Panola Mountain. I never imagined that such simple things could be so absolutely breathtaking. A naturalist leads the way, teaching us about the incredibly resilient, yet delicate life that grows on pristine Panola Mountain.
The three-mile hike to the top starts out as an easy walk through the woods, becoming more challenging as we hike up the hidden mountain. Once we reach the familiar rocky surface of Atlanta's monadnocks, we're reminded to carefully tip-toe around the delicate life that makes the rock it's home. Touring the mountain top is an exquisite experience that really impacted me, as a person and a hiker. I highly recommend combining this hike with Stone Mountain and Arabia Mountain, which creates Atlanta's most amazing hike - Monadnock Madness. Learn more about Monadnock Madness, an annual hiking event held each March.
This guided hike is by appointment, only. So, visit Panola Mountain State Park on the Georgia State Parks website to find out when you can join the naturalist for one of the best hikes in the state.
Panola Mountain Tree Climbing & Bike Trails
Panola Mountain State Park is part of Davidson-Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. In addition to this fantastic guided hike, the park is also known for introducing outdoor enthusiasts to tree climbing. Panola Mountain tree climbing programs start with a beginners introduction to climbing trees and offers the opportunity to camp out in the tree canopy! The park is also connected to the 30+ miles of paved trails for walkers, bikers, and strollers.
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