If you’ve done the hike to the top of Stone Mountain, take your next step at nearby Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Arabia Mountain and Stone Mountain share much of the same look and feel – lots of boulders and outcrops, exposed tree roots and unique plant life on the mountain’s surface. Beyond those similarities, we discover that Arabia is actually much older than Stone Mountain. Maybe her old age explains why Arabia Mountain is a quieter, easier, more relaxed hike. [Scroll down to the video if you’d rather hear me talk about it!]
Arabia Mountain Trail Review – Mountain Top Cairns Trail
According to the Arabia Mountain Trail Map, there are almost 8 miles of hiking trails to explore at the National Heritage Area near Atlanta. That 8 miles doesn’t include the 30 miles of paved multi-use PATH Trails for walkers, bikers, and strollers.Today, I’m talking about the Mountain Top Cairns Trail. This is the half-mile path that leads to the top of Arabia Mountain.
The one-mile, round trip, Mountain Top Cairns Trail makes a great option for beginners and those seeking a quick escape to nature. Arabia doesn’t rise nearly as high as it’s popular younger sister, and you won’t find as many rocky obstacles on the open trail. Arabia is also less crowded than Stone Mountain and the lower impact from foot travel allows more of the interesting plant life to grow. In fact, you’ll see signs warning hikers to avoid stepping on the diamorpha. This tough plant growing, on our monadnocks, is easily disturbed by humans.
The landscape opens up to wide, level areas, on the mountain’s rock surface. It’s perfect for exploring – which can add a little more distance to the hike. The view, from Arabia Mountain, may not be as far-reaching as what you see from Stone Mountain’s loftier height. But, it’s just as incredible. Hiking Arabia, on a summer afternoon, treated us to a show of distant showers and rainbows.