Oh Arabia Mountain, I wish I could explain how fun this place is. It’s a great place for a short hike or for a long day of exploring. This quest was done on the day of my birthday, March 21st and was the first of three monadnocks. The next two blogs after this will be the other two monadnocks I visited in the month of March during Monadnock Madness.
What exactly is a Monadnock? It’s a defined as a small mountain that rises abruptly from a level surrounding plain or an isolated rock hill, knob or ridge. It’s actually a Native American term for an isolated hill. Atlanta has three monadnocks, all very close to each other. Can you guess which ones they are? Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain and Stone Mountain.
Arabia is one of five places you can see Isoestes Melanospora and one of forty-four locations you can find Amphianthus Pusillus. These are endagered species so when you are hiking Arabia Mountain, you should always be extremely careful about where you are stepping. It’s also home to the beautiful Diamorpha Smallii and it’s absolutely awesome to see and photograph. Diamorpha is active in late fall and winter and blooms in late March, then it dies. It’s found in the little solution pools or vernal pools and you can only find it In Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
During the month of March, if you visit Stone Mountain, Panola and Arabia with the passport you get a special little gift! You can also participate in a group tour of all three in one day. So next year, add to your quest list Monadnock Madness! I missed the three in one day hike so I had to get them all in during the last week of March. The best thing is that all three parks are all within the Atlanta area.
So here’s the scoop about Arabia Mountain:
The trail is 2.3 miles and much easier than Stone Mountain, follow the cairns that designate the trail. If you decide to explore you can go down the other side towards the woods and look for little blue dashes. If you follow those you can be sure that you won’t disturb the ecosystem around the area. I recommend the exploration because you can check out Arabia Lake and explore the woods and quarry. Fun fact, you can see evidence of Archaic Indian villages here. It’s the earliest evidence of man in the area. They have also discovered villages from the Woodland Indian era and the Creek Indians.
Your exploration should be limited to the areas seen in the photo below. It’s a very fragile ecosystem here and you don’t want to be a horrible human mucking up the place.
Here’s the website for the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area if you want to check out more information about the place. They even talk about the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, which is a quest I haven’t done yet but am planning on soon!