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    stone mountain with carvings

    Published 8-28-2019

    Stone Mountain, a huge granite monolith towering over the landscape in DeKalb County, Georgia, is eye-candy in the highest form.  Its Confederate heroes, carved in giant scale on its front, is carving is breathtaking. It's the world's largest bas-relief carving in North America on the largest granite outcropping. The figures you see are Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Whether you agree with the character's role in life or not you have to admit it is eye catching.

    skylift accending stone mountain

    You can hike one of the park's 15 miles of trails or take the high-speed Swiss cable car, the Summit Skyride to the peak. The lift takes you over 820 feet to the top of the granite dome where you have a wonderful view, the Atlanta skyline, the Appalachian Mountains, and as far as 60 miles away on a clear day. At the top, you will find a mostly-glass building with informational placards on the walls and a snack bar.

    Stone Mountain Historical and Environmental Education Center is located at Memorial Hall facing the mountain with an unobstructed view of the carvings.  There's an 11 minute film, The Men Who Carved the Mountain, which tells the story of the carving.  The Confederate Hall Theater shows a 25 minute documentary narrated by Hal Holbrook called The Battle for Georgia – a History of the Civil War in Georgia.

    sign saying discover stone mountain in museum

    The museum section has thousands of artifacts tracing the mountain's history from its earliest inhabitants up to present day. There is also information, photographs, and artifacts related to the actual carving of the memorial images.

    If you are planning a large gathering, Memorial Hall had a fantastic convention space. We were hosted there for a dinner recently for Travel Media Showcase 2019 held in DeKalb County.

    crossroads village at Stone Mountain

    You'll want to visit the Crossroads and check out the shops, restaurants, and attractions there. It's laid out like an old 1870s town. It's the spot to find a unique Stone Mountain souvenir. At the Sweet shop, candy makers make fudge, taffy and peanut brittle while you watch. There is a great glass blowing demonstration at Yellow Daisy Glass and Craft. This gives a whole new meaning to "She's hot!"

    There's a 4D Theater in Crossroads that will engage all your senses. Segway Tours and Electric Bike Rentals are located there offered by Atlanta Adventure.

    The Great Barn is the perfect spot to turn the kids loose for a few minutes. The Antebellum plantation homes and farm in the Historic Section hosts many special events like A Homespun Christmas and Stone Mountain Native American Pow-Wow.  Enjoy the historic buildings and let the kids pet the farm animals at the petting zoo. Who would have thought you could train goats?

    The century-old Grist Mill is a great place to relax and picnic or just enjoy the scenery for a while. The mill was moved to the Park in 1965 from its original location near Ellijay, GA.  Starting at the Old Mill, there is a nature trail through the picnic area and on to the scene of an old Quarry Exhibit.

    lift at stone mountain park from top of mountain

    Then take a five-mile train ride on a 1940-era locomotive on the Scenic Railway. Hop on one of those open cars. They give you some great views of the mountain.

    For some sky-high adventure try The SkyHike. The course is different each time depending on your choices. They have varying level of difficulty. Step on out on that wooden suspension bridge and try the vertical net bridge but do you really want to attempt that rope walk? It's safe. They have lots of tether ropes to keep you aloft. If you want to cool off while playing in the sky try Geyser Towers. Camp Highland Outpost here is designed for the younger explorer with lower rope adventures and a rock climbing wall.

    Another attraction younger fans will love is The Dinotorium. It's filled with super slides, trampoline floors, climbing structures and lots of interactive activities designed for the five to 12 year olds.

    lake wiht pier at stone mountain

    Sports fans will want to play a round of miniature golf or the serious stuff on one of the two courses. Water Babies will enjoy fishing getting out on the 363-acre lake with a rental kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. The Rockin' Land and Lake Tour combines a land tour of the park with a pontoon boat that takes you on to the lake.

    You can stay in luxury right in the park at Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort or Stone Mountain Inn.

    Stone Mountain Park is home to Georgia's largest campground. Something to consider for your next camping or RV trip. Lots of the sites are right on the water. They have 250 full or partial hook-up  campsites for RVs. If you are more interested in glamping there are Yurt, Safari Tent, as well as RV rentals.

    marina at Stone mountain

    For some delicious dining try one of their restaurants. Base Camp BBQ, Campfire Grill, or Big Rock Cafe for down-home Southern fare; Waterside Restaurant for salads, sandwiches and burgers; The Commons Restaurant for upscale dining. Lots of other snack or to go spots in the park as well.

    lazer show at stone mountain

    At dusk, you need to continue back to the museum area to get good seats on the lawn facing the carving for the Lasershow Spectacular. Wow, look at those magnificent colors against the dark bulk of the mountainside! It's all choreographed to music and lasts 40 minutes.

    Stone Mountain is an all season park. Winter is special at Stone Mountain Park with what's known as Snow Mountain. From the end of December to the beginning of March here, you can snow-tube, build a snowman or just enjoy the white stuff that is exceedingly rare in Atlanta.

    These are just some of the reasons Stone Mountain Park is Georgia's most visited attraction. No matter what you enjoy, it's here.

    For more info: https://www.stonemountainpark.com/

    Thanks to Stone Mountain Park for the use of the first lift photo with the red car ascending and the laser show.
    The others are my own.

     

     

     

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