Arabia Mountain & Panola Mountain: our favorite hikes

Hike through beautiful and stunningly diverse landscapes at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and Panola Mountain State Park just east of Atlanta.

The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area spans hundreds of acres and includes two of our favorite hiking, running and cycling destinations near Atlanta: Panola Mountain State Park and Arabia Mountain Nature preserve. The area is packed with beautiful landscapes, from breathtaking mountain summits and wildlife-filled grassy meadows to small, glassy lakes and wide-open fields of rock and boulders. And, despite its location just minutes east of downtown Atlanta, this is one amazing destination for outdoor exploration, seemingly worlds away from the nearby urban cityscape.

Hike to stunning mountaintop beauty at Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain near Atlanta

Arabia Mountain’s massive exposed granite faces reveal its history as a quarry: cut granite slabs, drilled cores, and abandoned structures are scattered along the mountain’s many trails. Today, the mountain is a serene world of exposed granite punctuated by lakes, wetlands, young forest, and a diverse natural environment.

And unlike its nearby neighbor, Panola Mountain was spared from granite production, and is now host to a stunning, fragile ecosystem of rare plants, mosses, and lichens. In fact, access to the actual Panola Mountain summit is restricted – but hikers can explore this beautiful landscape by way of a guide-led twilight tour.

Arabia Mountain Trails: video on YouTube

Throughout theNational Heritage Area, paved and unpaved trails wind over 30 miles through rugged mountain summits and wetlands, exploring diverse lichens and mosses, flowers and trees, and wildlife habitats. These are our favorite hiking, running and cycling trails at these two mountains – all equally worthy of an afternoon of exploration. (And while you’re in the area with energy – and daylight – to burn, combine two or more trails to explore this park’s incredible diversity of sights and landscapes.)

Arabia Mountain & Panola Mountain trails: our favorite hikes

share this: