(Get ready for your nature fix with this post, folks.) For my readers who live in Georgia, I bet you've heard of Stone Mountain, right? Maybe even Panola Mountain. But I'm curious if you've heard about Arabia Mountain? And, taking it a step further... have you ever been out there??
View from the top
I hadn't either, LOL. At least not until a friend of mine became a ranger out there. But pretty soon he sold me on the place.
The first time he invited me, it was to watch for shooting stars last summer. A group of about 20 of us gathered and waited for night to fall, relaxing around a fire and sharing homemade meals, but it ended up thunderstorming before any prime-time star-gazing could take place. I have fond memories of that night, even the sheets of rain and the chiggers that nipped my ankles.
So at his invitation, I headed out to Arabia again, this time to walk the mountain. Two things to know about me are that I really like being outdoors and hikes thrill me. I will admit, however, that I like to stay in my comfort zone.
As my Facebook friends know, any given weekend you might find me at Sweetwater Creek State Park, eschewing city life for a while. But I am glad that I switched up my routine with Arabia; my body enjoyed the exercise, my lungs enjoyed the fresh air, and my eyes feasted on granite outcrops, wetland areas, forested paths, lakes, and rare plants species.
- Height: Arabia Mountain is about 954 ft above sea level.
- Size: Arabia sits on 2,550 acres of protected greenspace.
- Location: the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in DeKalb County.
- Nickname: affectionately called "Stone Mountain's lesser-known, older sister".
Plumes of red diamorpha sprout all over Arabia, growing primarily in shallow basins on rocky outcrops that contain seasonal pools. There isn't always water, as in the picture above, but when it appears, this plant makes do. It is very fragile, though, so be sure to keep all footsteps (and dog-steps) on the rock and not on the plants.
The end of March is a good time to visit because the mountain should be an explosion of red blooms.
Arabia is steeped in history. A highly unique form of granite was discovered at this mountain, which resulted in a thriving quarry industry. The granite featured both a distinctive swirl pattern and high structural density, which made the stone attractive as a building material. Click here to learn all about it.