Hike the Arabia Mountain Trail through massive exposed granite fields and past shallow basins of rare plants, climbing to stunning summit views.
From a glance at Arabia Mountain photos, you wouldn’t guess these beautiful landscapes were in Georgia, let alone a half hour east of Midtown Atlanta. The Arabia Mountain Trail hikes a wild, rugged granite ecosystem – one so barren, it’s seemingly worlds away from other nearby Atlanta-area hiking trails.
The mountain’s stunning ecological and geological diversity can be explored on the 8 mile Arabia Mountain Trail at Lithonia’s Davidson Arabia Nature Preserve. The 2500+ acre preserve hosts three mountain summits (including the popular Arabia Mountain) and two lakes.
Arabia Mountain’s massive exposed granite faces reveal its history as now-abandoned quarry. Cut granite slabs, drilled cores and abandoned structures are scattered along the Arabia Mountain Trail. Today, Arabia Mountain is a serene world of exposed granite punctuated by lakes, wetlands, young forest, and a diverse natural environment.
Throughout the preserve, the Arabia Mountain Trail winds 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 open granite fields and on 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, so step carefully to avoid destruction of the fragile, slow-growing plant life. Shallow depressions along the Arabia Mountain Trail are home to diamorpha, an extremely rare, tiny red succulent plant that grows in winter months and blooms in early spring.
The Mountain Top Trail, accessed from a Klondike Road trailhead (view maps and driving directions), 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 the Arabia Mountain Trail 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 Arabia Mountain’s peak, which rises 940 feet above sea level and 180 feet above Arabia Lake in the forested valley below. Departing the summit, hike the blue-blazed Arabia Mountain View Trail around a glassy lake for more Arabia Mountain scenic beauty.
The incredibly scenic Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, including nearby Panola Mountain State Park, has recently opened over 30 miles of meandering, beautiful PATH Foundation trails. Looking for a great run, bike or hike on a nearby paved trail? The Panola Mountain PATH Trail and Alexander Lake PATH Trail explore Panola Mountain’s beautiful landscapes and a glassy pond near Arabia Mountain.
33.672095, -84.117488 (N33 40.326 W84 07.049)