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Duluth Massage


Arabia Mountain
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 2.3 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: DeKalb County, GA Our rating: Moderate
Features: visitors center, scenic, family, bathrooms, 60hikes Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: May 31, 2005
Last hiked: May 08, 2012 Updated on: September 03, 2013
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in DeKalb County, GA

Directions
Directions to Arabia Mountain

Scenic view from Arabia Mountain
Introduction

At first glance Arabia Mountain may seem as though its a lot like Georgia's Stone Mountain. The massive rock outcrop has vernal pools, red moss, even the rare Georgia oak that grows on its neighbor to the north, but underneath it all there is a small difference of 350 million years. While Stone Mountain is a granite pluton formed during the Alleghenian Orogeny, Arabia Mountain is part of a massive belt of much older gneiss (pronounced "nice").

Trailhead kiosk at Arabia Mountain
Arabia Mountain Hike

Look for a split rail fence at the east end of the South parking lot. A trail head kiosk contains a one-page map produced by the Arabia Alliance, which also offers it in a download from its site in pdf format (Arabia Mountain map). The trail is mostly on solid rock with a few low areas where pine trees now grow. It is marked to the top of the first peak by knee-high circular cairns, then an unmarked trail circles Arabia Mountain. Bradley Mountain is designated as Arabia Mountain on the USGS maps, but we have chosen to use the Arabia Alliance names. Initially the trail is mostly level, through an area with many vernal pools (small indentations caused by erosion that hold water after a rain). As the cairns make a sweeping curve to the right they pass a stunted growth pine forest on the left until the trail curves left at 0.2 miles, dips into a normally moist area then breaks out into full sun as it begins climbing to the top of Bradley Mountain. Note the interpretive sign talking about the omnipresent red moss (in season).

Cairns designate the trail
Easily climbing the 140 feet to the top of Bradley Mountain, by the time you reach the halfway point it should be apparent why we love this trail. Like its neighbor to the north, the unimpeded 360 degree views are simply stunning. Normally, you will be able to see black vultures circling in the air, but sometimes red-shouldered hawks and Coopers hawks can be spotted. Once at the top look for a major river valley to the south. Known as the South River, Archaic Indian villages here are the earliest evidence of man in the area. Later villages, including some from the Woodland Indian Era have been found within the nearly 2,000 acre Arabia Mountain Heritage Area. Later Creek Indian sites have also been discovered.

Facing Arabia Mountain from Bradley Mountain, look down at about the 10 o'clock position for a rock trail with trees on both sides. This will bring you to the hiking path through a small wooded area. If you can't see this, don't worry. Just head for the tree line and follow it to the right, looking for an interpretive sign similar to the red moss sign you noted at the start of the climb to Bradley Mountain. A nearby path quickly leads to an old road at a four-way intersection. If you want to hike the Arabia Lake portion of the hike, turn left and cross Klondike Road. Otherwise, turn right and walk out near an old quarry operation on Arabia Mountain. Two six-foot high ledges with sharp edges show the lasting work of the quarrymen. The Lithonia gneiss was used extensively in Atlanta and beyond, as blocks, bricks and aggregate for the building industry.

Private Lake at Arabia Mountain
Turn around and return to the four-way intersection, where you turn right and continue around the base of Arabia and Bradley Mountain. Walk 20 to 30 feet to the right of the tree line to find the paths through the occasional forested sections. A private lake, visible on the left should help orient you to the location on the map. As you pass the top of Bradley Mountain on the right, watch for the cairns coming down the mountain, joining the trail at the interpretive sign.

Please stay near the cairns. This is a fragile environment.

Map of the Arabia Mountain hike


Map

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Arabia Mountain
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Georgia Hikes
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Article Links
Arabia Alliance
Arabia Lake
Stone Mountain
Woodland Indian

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