Top trails: Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain has top trails compared to other trails around Atlanta. Certainly one of my top free attractions. Whether you like to walk, hike, bike, or explore, you’ll find something to do at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. Specifically, this review is about the trails.

Getting to Arabia Mountain

Firstly, it’s not located in Atlanta. However, it’s only about 20 miles east of downtown, in Lithonia, Georgia. Secondly, there are a couple of parking lots. So I suggest parking at the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Center (3787 Klondike Road) if you plan on taking a walk or bike. However, if you’re planning on hiking the mountain or taking the AWARE wildlife tour, try to park at 4158 Klondike Road. Sidenote: If you are there on a Saturday or Sunday at 1 pm then you should take the AWARE tour. You’ll learn about their program and see some amazing rescued animals.

Since there isn’t a MARTA stop at the location, I suggest you drive to Arabia Mountain. It’s easily accessible from I-20. But to take a more scenic route through DeKalb, Henry and Rockdale county, you can travel along major Georgia state highways: GA 155, GA 212,GA 138, GA 124 & GA 12.

Parking and safety

Since parking at the Nature Center is on gravel rocks, prepare to get your car a little dusty. And remember this is a public park so lock your doors and do not leave any valuables visible in the car.

I’ve never had any safety issues but its best to remain aware of your surroundings. There are some isolate paths and depending on the time of day, there may not be many people there. Furthermore, I’ve never seen a police officer or park ranger while walking or hiking at Arabia Mountain. Of course, dial 9-1-1 if there is an emergency but you should be aware that there isn’t any security stationed at the park.

Mountain Top Trail

To reach the Mountain Top Trail, follow the Arabia Mountain Path to the crossing at Klondike Road. Then stroll across the boardwalk to the base of the mountain. From that point just follow the trail to the top.

Along the way, take a look at the odd looking monadnocks or stone hills. Pronounced mÉ™-NAD-nok. Since the phonetic spelling probably didn’t help, hear the how to say it at this link. Monadnock is a funny word so that’s why they call it Arabia Mountain. Because who could say Arabia Monadnocks.

In addition to the monadnocks, you’ll notice several plants. Observe, enjoy and even photograph the odd little plants. But please don’t step in puddles and sandy patches where they live.

After about 2.5 miles, you’ll reach the top. So now you can relax and check out the amazing views of Panola Mountain to the south and Atlanta to the northwest. This is selfie central because of the amazing backdrop.

I have two small kids (3 year old and 5 month old) so I don’t get to go up to the top of the mountain often anymore. However, there are products available to help parents hike with infants and toddlers safely.

The Mile Rock Trail and Forest Trail

If you want a more adventurous path the follow the Mile Rock and Forest Trails. To start, park at the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Center (3787 Klondike Road). The trail begins to the right. When you see trees marked with yellow dashes, follow the trail through the woods. After about 2 miles you’ll reach Arabia Lake.

Arabia Mountain Path

Finally, my favorite, the Arabia Mountain Path. It’s over 30 miles of recreational trail. Perfect for walkers, joggers and cyclists. In fact, when i visit, I push my infant in her stroller and my son rides his bike.

Because of the length of this path, there are several places to park. Thirteen free parking lots along the trail. There is a $5 Georgia State parking fee if you park in Panola Mountain State Park unless you have a Georgia State Park Parking Pass.

I know a lot of you are pet owners. So you should know that you can bring your leashed dog along. Just remember to clean up after your pooch.

Visitor Tips

I enjoy visiting Arabia Mountain so much that I want you to have a great experience as well. Here are my tips to enjoy the Arabia Mountain Path.

  • Look down. You’ll notice that the trail is marked with yellow dashes. Just stay to the right so nobody is hogging the trail.
  • Don’t forget your headphones. So you can enjoy your tunes without disturbing other visitors.
  • Bring lots of water.
  • Use bug repellent.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.

Have you been to Arabia Mountain? If so, let me know in the comments about your visit.

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