Stone Mountain Park is home to Stone Mountain, a massive dome monadnock of quartz monzonite in Atlanta, Georgia. World-renowned for both its fascinating geology and the immense bas-relief carving on its north face of three Confederate figures from the Civil War – President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Stonewall Jackson – Stone Mountain attracts thousands of visitors to the Park every year.
Resting at the center of the Park, Stone Mountain was created during the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountains over 350 million years ago and is part of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The Mountain is is more than 5 miles in circumference and over 1,600 feet high, the summit of which can be reached by a walking trail on the west side of the mountain or by the popular Skyride aerial tram. The top of the Mountain is bare rock with a few freshwater rock pools and offers breathtaking views of the Kennesaw Mountain, downtown Atlanta’s skyline and the Appalachian Mountains on a clear day.
Stone Mountain is famous for its bas-relief carving of three Confederate figures from the Civil War on the north face. The largest bas-relief in the world, the relief depicts three prominent figures from one of the country’s most significant periods in history – President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Stonewall Jackson, as well as their favorite horses. The carving of the three men rests 400 feet above the ground, measures 76 feet high and 158 feet across and recesses up to 12 feet into the side of the mountain.
In addition to the famous Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain Park has several locations of interest and an array of attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Confederate Hall is a museum that is dedicated to the geology and ecology of Stone Mountain, as well as the history of the area. The Museum has an excellent array of exhibits and displays and is home to a small theater that presents a historical documentary about the Civil War in Georgia called ‘The Battle for Georgia.’ The Museum also offers a variety of educational programs and classes for students of geology, ecology, and history.
The Antebellum Plantation and Farmyard is a family-friendly, open-air museum designed to replicate a pre-Civil War Georgia plantation. The Antebellum Plantation is home to the Historic Square, which features 19 historic buildings that were built between 1790 and 1875 and are furnished with beautifully restored and preserved period furniture and décor. The Farmyard is home to live animals that visitors can interact with.
Other interesting things to see and do at the Park include a covered bridge dating back to 1892 that once spanned the Oconee River in Athens, a grist mill built in 1869, and a 732-bell carillon that provides a daily concert.
The summit of Stone Mountain can be reached by a Walk-Up Trail on the west side of the mountain. The 1.3-mile trail ascends fairly steeply to the summit height of 1,686 feet and boasts spectacular panoramic views and fresh winds at the top. Other walking trails in the Park include the 5-mile Cherokee Trail, which loops around the mountain base and crosses the Walk-Up Trail for a mile with beautiful views, and the Nature Garden Trail, which is a scenic 3/4 mile loop trail through a mature oak-hickory forest. The two loop Songbird Habitat Trails run cross through shady woodlands and are excellent for bird-spotting.
Visitors can enjoy a spectacular fireworks and laser light display on warm summer evenings. The Stone Mountain Laser Show Spectacular showcases the history of Georgia and the Deep South through moving images projected onto the Confederate Memorial carving on the side of the mountain and features stunning special effects and pyrotechnics.
The top attraction at the Park is The Summit Skyride, a Swiss-built cable car that offers visitors an easy way to reach the summit. The fast cable car bypasses the famous Confederate Memorial carving on the way up to the top of Stone Mountain where impressive 360-degree views can be enjoyed.
Crossroads is a replica of a southern town from 1872 and includes several attractions ranging from an adventure mini-golf course and farmyard with live animals to a modern 4-D movie theater. Based on the real-life adventures of the Great Locomotive Chase, the miniature golf course offers 18 holes of fun-filled adventure chasing the stolen General locomotive.
Designed for children, The Great Barn features climbing structures, slides, trampoline floors, and more than 65 interactive games, while the challenging Sky Hike is a fun ropes adventure course for the whole family, where participants choose their own path and level of challenge.
Visitors can climb aboard n open-air train with a full-size 1940s locomotive and enjoy a lively five-mile excursion around the mountain that boasts breathtaking views, or brave Avalanche Alley, Atlanta's only snow-covered 400-foot tubing hill that promises fun for the whole family.
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