Hiking to the Top of Stone Mountain

Published: 01/27/16 12:48 PM in Local, North America, Travel.
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In late October, Lauren came to visit us in Atlanta!! Of course, we were excited to see and spend time with her, but we were also excited to experience some new (to us) Atlanta hot spots with such a good friend’s company. It is always more fun when a friend or family member visits and you can take the opportunity to see the popular tourist attractions together. It breaks up the sometimes corny nature of these tourist stops and, honestly, it is always fun to feel like a tourist for the weekend.

So when Lauren let us know she was coming to visit, we decided to finally get around to visiting Stone Mountain Park on the outskirts of the Atlanta perimeter. This park is a privately owned attraction that has seasonal festivities to keep visitors coming throughout the year. However, despite the time of year, the park’s 15 miles of hiking trails are always available for exploration and offer one of the best views of Atlanta.

The uneven granite rocks on the hike up to the top of Stone Mountain.

The sparse tree coverage on the top of Stone Mountain is beautiful in the summer.

Meredith Lambert Banogon, Kevin Banogon, and Lauren Branzei rest as they reach the top of Stone Mountain.

Many visitors to Stone Mountain make the hike up to the top to see a beautiful view of Atlanta, GA.

Lauren Branzei points at Meredith Lambert Banogon as she rests on the way to the top of Stone Mountain.


The Trail to the Top of Stone Mountain

The most popular and well-known hike at the park is the trail to the top of Stone Mountain known as the Walk-Up Trail. This 1-mile trail leads directly up the granite slope of Stone Mountain to the summit which is 1,686 feet above sea level and offers a beautiful view of Atlanta and the mountains of North Georgia. On a clear day, you can see 60 miles out and around the mountain. If the hike is too much for you, the park offers a Summit Skyride to the top where there is a building containing a small gift shop and a refreshment stand.

The Walk-Up Trail was a fun and easy trail that had just enough of an incline to get your heart rate up, but not too much to categorize it as strenuous. Since this is an extremely popular trail at a well-known attraction in Atlanta, the entire hike is very crowded with people of all ages. If you are looking for peace and serenity in nature, this is not the hike for you. However, it is definitely a must-do in order to get the full range of Atlanta’s outdoor opportunities.


Meredith Lambert Banogon and Lauren Branzei take break on their way to the top of Stone Mountain.

A peek through the trees at the top of Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kevin Banogon sits between two rocks at the top of Stone Mountain and contemplates the hike ahead.

The view of Atlanta from the top of Stone Mountain, a granite mountain on the edge of the city.

Meredith Lambert Banogon, Kevin Banogon, and Lauren Branzei enjoy their time climbing up Stone Mountain.


Another Pre-Birthday Weekend with Lauren

Not living in the same city as your friends can be hard, but the positive side of that reality is how great it is to visit each other. It also gives you more places to visit and experience with each other. So even though I have not lived in the same city as Lauren since we were both in High School, it has been exciting to visit her and have her visit us throughout the years.

In fact, we have managed to see each other at this time of year for the past two years in a row! Since it is right around my birthday, it adds to the excitement of the visit. Last year Kevin and I made the drive up to Orlando to visit Blue Springs State Park with Lauren on the same weekend. And next year we already have plans locked in since another close friend of our’s is getting married in Chicago on my birthday!


A view from the top of Stone Mountain of the city of Atlanta below.

Kevin Banogon poses like Don Bailey on the top of Stone Mountain.

Lauren Branzei and Meredith Lambert Banogon jump for joy on Stone Mountain.

A beautiful view off the top of Stone Mountain through the trees.

Meredith Lambert Banogon and Lauren Branzei get ready to hike down Stone Mountain after an afternoon on top the granite formation.

Lauren Branzei hikes down Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Confederate Carving in the side of Stone Mountain towers above Atlanta, Georgia.

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1 year 9 months ago

I had so much fun! Friends forever!