Hiker's Guide to Stone Mountain Park

Get the Most from Your Hiking Experience

Stone Mountain Park is a hiker’s paradise. For those looking for things to do in Atlanta, this landmark provides 15 miles of hiking options for a variety of skill levels. Visitors can take a trip up the historic rock, venture down a designated hiking trail, or jog on sidewalks around the park. Here’s everything you need to know about hiking through Atlanta’s historic park.

Entry and Parking Logistics at Stone Mountain Park

Park Entrance

The gate entry fee is $20 per visit, but frequent hikers and walkers benefit from purchasing an annual parking pass for $40. You can buy a parking pass at the gate or ticket plaza upon entry.

Parking Lots

The trail you embark on determines where you park. Continue reading below to learn the most convenient place to park for your trail.

Hiking Trails

  1. Cherokee Trail
    • Distance: 5 miles (optional additional connecting trails to lengthen your hike)
    • What It’s Known For: Recognized as a National Recreation Trail, the Cherokee Trail encircles the entire mountain. Take in the entirety of the park on your 2 hour walk.
    • Terrain: While a majority of the trail passes through an oak-hickory forest, at one point, it crosses over the mountain, offering rocky terrain.
    • Stay On Track: White blazes
    • Dogs: Leashed dogs are permitted.
    • Steps: 7,363
    • Parking: Because Cherokee is the Park’s longest trail, you have a variety of options for convenient parking. Check the parking map to find one. We recommend starting at the point it crosses the Walk-Up Trail on the west side of the mountain.
    • Download trail map.

  2. Songbird Habitat Trails
    • Distance: 2 miles
    • What It’s Known For: Home of the 1996 Olympics Archery and Cycling events, these trails lead to sightings of Eastern Bluebirds, White-Breasted Nuthatches, and Northern Cardinals.
    • Terrain: Trail consists of dirt tread that’s family friendly and easy to walk.
    • Stay on Track: Red blazes
    • Dogs: Not permitted
    • Steps: 1,423 (Meadow Trail) and 1,601 (Woods Trail)
    • Parking: Located off Stonewall Jackson Drive on the backside of the mountain, you’ll find a parking lot once you drive through the trail entrance.
    • Download trail map.
  3. Trail of the Muscogee
    • Distance: 1.5 miles
    • What It’s Known For: If you want lake views during your hike, this is the trail for you.  This is the park’s newest and most secluded trail and is known as “The Trail Between the Lakes”.
    • Terrain: With many twists and curves, Muscogee’s dirt and narrow tread can be somewhat steep at times.
    • Stay on Track: Blue blazes
    • Dogs: Leashed dogs are permitted.
    • Steps: 2,145
    • Parking: Enter the park through the East Gate Entrance off Hwy 78, and you’ll find the parking lot .25 miles down on the right.
    • Download trail map.
  4. Evergreen Trails
    • Distance: 1.5 miles (Hawk Trail), (Heron Trail) 1 mile, (Bluebird Trail) .5 mile
    • What It’s Known For: The Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort is home to three separate trails varying in length and terrain, but beginning in the same place. These trails include a stop at Lookout Rock, a picnic area, and stunning lake views.
    • Terrain: The Hawk and Heron Trails consist of moderate dirt treads, while the Bluebird Trail is a mulched, easier terrain.
    • Stay on Track: Light blue, green, and red blazes
    • Dogs: Leashed dogs are permitted.
    • Parking: Take Stonewall Jackson Road to Lakeview Drive, following signs to the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort. Use the hotel’s parking lot to access the trailhead.
    • Download trail map.
  5. Walk-Up Trail
    • Distance: 1 mile
    • What It’s Known For: The famous walk up the mountain is guaranteed to give you endless views of the city. At 1,686 feet from base to summit, you can see for 60 miles around the mountain on a haze-free day.
    • Terrain: The Walk-Up Trail is not recommended for visitors with limiting physical and medical conditions as the trail is very steep and slippery when wet. Proceed with caution due to the moderate, rocky terrain.
    • Stay on Track: Painted, yellow line
    • Dogs: Not permitted.
    • Steps: 3,851
    • Parking: Entering in the West Gate, turn right, and park in the lot adjacent to Confederate Hall off Robert E. Lee Blvd. Please note that if you walk up the mountain but take the Summit Skyride down, you will need to walk 1 mile back to the parking lot.
    • Learn More
  6. King's Trail at Indian Island
    • Distance: 1 mile
    • What It’s Known For: For breathtaking lake views, venture down this trail along the northern and eastern shoreline of Stone Mountain Lake. King’s Trail was named after the covered bridge that Washington King built in Athens in 1891, which was later moved to the Park in 1967. It connects Indian Island (where the trail takes place) to the main land, crossing over Stone Mountain Lake.
    • Terrain: Trail consists of dirt tread that’s family friendly and easy to walk.
    • Stay on Track: Indigo blazes
    • Dogs: Leashed dogs are permitted.
    • Steps: 1,146
    • Parking: Enter the West Gate, turn right, drive down Robert E. Lee Blvd, and wrap all the way around to the opposite side of the mountain. Cross over the covered bridge and park in the trail’s designated lot.
    • Download trail map.
  7. Nature Garden Trail
    • Distance: .75 mile
    • What It’s Known For: Take a scenic trek through the forest on the southwest side of the Mountain. You’re bound to see your favorite shade-loving plants along this path.
    • Terrain: Trail consists of dirt tread that’s family friendly and easy to walk.
    • Stay on Track: Green blazes
    • Dogs: Leashed dogs are permitted.
    • Steps: 1,124
    • Parking: Enter through the West Gate, turn right, drive down Robert E. Lee Blvd. You’ll see the trail’s parking lot on the right side immediately after the Park’s maintenance area entrance.
    • Download trail map.

Download the master trail map here.

Six Hiking Essentials

For a successful hike in Stone Mountain Park, we recommend bringing the following items.

  1. Backpack
  2. Appropriate footwear
  3. Compass or GPS
  4. Trail map
  5. Water
  6. Sunscreen and sunglasses