Hike through ecological and geological diversity on the trails at Arabia Mountain, winding through massive exposed granite fields and fragile, shallow basins of rare plant life.
|View trailhead map & driving directions|
From a glance at Arabia Mountain photos, one wouldn’t guess these beautiful landscapes were in Georgia, let alone a half hour east of Midtown Atlanta. Arabia Mountain’s wild, rugged granite ecosystem, diverse landscape and mountaintop views are so beautiful and foreign, they’re almost surreal – a testament to Georgia’s incredible landscape diversity.
Arabia Mountain’s stunning ecological and geological diversity can be explored on an 8+ mile network of hiking trails at the Davidson Arabia Nature Preserve in Lithonia. The 2500+ acre preserve hosts three mountain summits (including the popular Arabia Mountain) and two lakes.
The massive exposed granite faces at Arabia Mountain reveal its history as a major quarry, now abandoned. Semi-polished granite slabs, evidence of core drilling, and abandoned quarry structures lie throughout the Arabia Mountain preserve as a reminder of its history in granite production. Today, Arabia Mountain is a serene, almost surreal expanse of exposed granite punctuated by lakes, wetlands, young forest, and a wildly diverse natural environment.
Throughout the preserve, hiking trails wind through rugged mountain summits and wetlands, exploring diverse lichens and mosses, flowers and trees, and wildlife habitats. Cemented rock cairns mark the hiking trails through the quarry areas and on the climb to the Arabia Mountain summit.
To preserve the vibrant, unique ecology of the nature preserve, hikers should remain on marked trails. Some of the lichen and plant life are extremely rare and unique to the mountain – hikers are urged to step carefully to avoid destruction of the fragile, slow-growing plant life. Shallow depressions in the granite throughout the trail are home to diamorpha, an extremely rare, tiny red succulent plant that grows in winter months and blooms in early spring.
The Mountaintop Trail, accessed from a parking area and trailhead on Klondike Road, is the most popular and scenic hike at Arabia Mountain. The trail ascends to the mountain’s summit, hiking through an expansive field of exposed granite slabs punctuated by scattered pockets of plants and water pools.
Hike Arabia Mountain on days following a heavy rain to see the otherwise barren granite landscape transform into a beautiful array of shallow, water-filled pools. The reflective pools are especially beautiful on the Arabia Mountain summit where they reflect the wide, open cloudscape above and feed moisture to the otherwise barren landscape of grasses and vibrant plant life. Grab outstanding, 360 degree panoramic views from the mountain’s peak, which rises 940 feet above sea level and 180 feet above Arabia Lake in the forested valley below.
View a map of the Arabia Mountain hiking trails, published by the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. Hiking trail maps are also available at the Arabia Mountain Nature Center (view a map and driving directions below) and the trailhead of the Mountain Top trail, both located on Klondike Road.
33.672095, -84.117488 (N33 40.326 W84 07.049)
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