Hike the Arabia Mountain View Trail over vast granite expanses to a glassy, reflective lake and through a grassy meadow just outside of Atlanta.
Arabia Mountain offers some of the best hiking, cycling and running trails near Atlanta. And despite the mountain’s proximity to the city, the mountain’s terrain and ecosystems are seemingly worlds away. Rare, fragile plant life punctuates the mountain’s broad expanses of exposed, cratered granite. Glassy lakes nestle in forests of sweet-scented pine. Wildlife scurries through sun-drenched meadows and across lichen-crusted fields of rock. Wander though for a few hours, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll see.
One of the newest trails in mountain’s extensive network of hiking, biking and walking trails, the Mountain View Trail explores a stunning diversity of landscapes on the Arabia Mountain’s lower elevations. The trail explores the mountain’s crater-filled base and catches reflective mountain views from a nearby lake. The hike crosses through a wide variety of terrain, from shady forests to sunny lakeshores, and massive fields of rock to golden, grassy meadow.
It’s not a terribly long or difficult hike, but this route does require some careful wayfinding. The trail’s blue blazes are painted on trees and rock outcrops, and the trail requires some careful blaze sleuthing, patience and occasional backtracking to remain on the trail. But the hike’s glassy pond views and adventurous exploration on the mountain’s lesser-traveled elevations make the wayfinding effort worthwhile.
Arabia Mountain View Trail: the hike
The adventure begins at the same trailhead as the Mountain Top Trail (view maps and driving directions), hiking eastbound from the parking area. The hike follows large, cemented rock cairns over massive expanses of exposed granite, meandering around pockets and pools of vegetation on the rock. Rare plant life thrives here, so please watch where you step.
At .3 mile, the Mountain Top Trail veers left to crest the mountain’s summit. This hike veers to the right, venturing northeast and following blue trail blazes on trees and rocks. The hike passes pitted pockets in the granite where plants and wind-swept trees cling to the angled rock.
The trail dives into the woods at a half mile, hiking a short trek under a forest canopy before re-emerging onto the mountain’s open, sun-drenched lower slopes. The trail follows the contours of a lakeshore, catching intermittent views of the lake’s glassy surface on the trail’s right side.
The trail arcs southbound at 1 mile, diving back into the shade of the forest and circling the lake. The hike meets an old road bed at 1.4 miles, turning right to follow the road westbound. An abandoned building stands on the trail’s right side, and the treeline opens to reveal beautiful views of the mountain’s reflection on the lake’s surface.
The trail continues westbound along the lake’s shore before turning left at 1.65 miles, hiking south. Reaching an open expanse of granite at 1.7 miles, the trail veers to the right, following blue blazes emblazoned on the granite. The hike rolls elevation through a grassy cleared meadow, passing through the windswept golden grasses under a blue sky and wispy clouds overhead.
The trail enters and then exits tree cover once again before emerging onto open granite, reaching the Mountain Top Trail at 2 miles. This hike turns left here, retracing the trail westbound to return to the trailhead and completing the adventure at 2.3 miles.
Have energy and daylight left? If you haven’t summited the mountain, it’s worth the extra distance! At 2 miles, turn right and follow the stacked stone cairns to the mountain’s summit for some incredible views. Check out our trail review of the Arabia Mountain Top Trail for more info, photos and maps.
Mountain View Trail navigation
With trail blazes scattered on trees and open rock, this can be a tricky trail to navigate. Run a GPS track to help with wayfinding on the trail,, either on your smartphone or on GPS device like our favorite, the Garmin Oregon 700. The trail is blazed fairly regularly, so if you haven’t spotted a blaze in awhile, backtrack to the last-seen blaze on the trail and eagle-eye for the next blaze.
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
Free parking is available at this trailhead in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area.
33.659883, -84.123833 // N33 39.593 W84 07.430