Stone Mountain Park Nature Guide

Welcome to the Stone Mountain Park Nature Guide! This guide is designed to help kids and parents explore and appreciate the natural wonders of the park. Stone Mountain Park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, fascinating geological features, and offers activities for every season. Understanding and appreciating nature is crucial for its conservation, and we hope this guide will inspire you and your family to become nature enthusiasts. Whether you are interested in animals, plants, rocks, or the changing seasons, there is something here for everyone. Don’t forget to check out the activities available at the park to make your visit even more memorable.

Table of Contents

Animals
Plants
Rocks (Geology)
Seasons
Family Nature Activities at Stone Mountain Park
Plan Your Visit

Animals

Stone Mountain Park is a haven for wildlife, and not just the kind you might expect! From the smallest insects to the largest mammals, and even some creatures from the distant past, the park is teeming with life. In the mammals section, you will find information about common mammals found in the park, such as white-tailed deer and raccoons, along with some fun facts about each one. The birds section will introduce you to a variety of birds that call the park home, including the red-tailed hawk and the eastern bluebird. Reptiles and amphibians, such as the eastern box turtle and the American bullfrog, are also abundant in the park and you can learn more about them in their respective section. Lastly, the insects section will provide information about common insects found in the park, such as the monarch butterfly and the ladybug. For those interested in creatures from the past, don’t miss the Dinosaur Explore attraction. And if you want to experience the local wildlife from a different perspective, consider renting a kayak or SUP from the lake rentals and paddle your way through the park’s waterways. Remember to observe the animals from a distance and do not feed them.

Stone Mountain Park Animal Fun Facts:

  • Beavers in the park build dams out of sticks and mud, and their teeth never stop growing!
  • The gray fox, found in the park, can climb trees using its sharp claws.
  • Male Eastern Bluebirds in the park have brighter feathers than females to attract a mate.
  • The Golden Silk Orb-weaver spider in the park spins a web with a golden-yellow color and incredibly strong silk.
  • The Eastern Box Turtle in the park can completely close its shell to protect itself, and each one has a unique shell pattern.

Stone Mountain Park Plant Fun Facts:

  • The Southern Red Oak, found in the park, is also known as the Spanish Oak.
  • The Mountain Laurel in the park produces beautiful flowers that are also the state flower of Connecticut.
  • The Wax Myrtle produces berries that are a favorite food of many birds in the park.
  • The Flowering Dogwood, found in the park, produces red berries that are toxic to humans but safe for birds.
  • The Turkey Tail mushroom in the park is named for its colorful bands that resemble a turkey’s tail.
Plants

The plant life at Stone Mountain Park is diverse and beautiful, and there’s no better way to experience it than by hitting the trails. In the trees section, you will find information about common trees found in the park, such as the southern red oak and the loblolly pine, along with some interesting facts about each one. The flowers section will introduce you to the colorful variety of flowers that bloom in the park, including the mountain laurel and the black-eyed Susan. The shrubs and bushes section will provide information about common shrubs and bushes found in the park, such as the wax myrtle and the flowering dogwood. Lastly, the fungi section will provide information about common fungi found in the park, such as the turkey tail and the fly agaric. For those looking to immerse themselves in the local plant life, the park offers a variety of hiking trails that will take you through different habitats and ecosystems. Remember to respect the plant life by not picking the flowers or damaging the trees.

Rocks (Geology)

The geology of Stone Mountain Park is a geologist’s dream. The park is famous for its massive granite dome, which is one of the largest exposed pieces of granite in the world. In the types of rocks section, you will find information about common rocks found in the park, such as granite and quartzite, along with some interesting facts about each one. The minerals section will introduce you to a variety of minerals found in the park, including quartz and feldspar. The fossils section will provide information about common fossils found in the park, such as trilobites and brachiopods. For a deeper dive into the geology of the park, check out this blog post. Additionally, the Historical & Environmental Education Center is a great place to learn more about the history of Stone Mountain Park and its natural features. Remember to leave the rocks, minerals, and fossils where you found them for others to enjoy.

Stone Mountain Park Geology Fun Facts:

  • The granite at Stone Mountain Park is around 300 million years old!
  • Quartz, found in the park, is one of the most common minerals on Earth.
  • Feldspar, also found in the park, is used in making glass and ceramics.
  • Trilobites, whose fossils can be found in the park, lived over 500 million years ago.
  • Brachiopods, also found as fossils in the park, are ancient sea creatures that look like clams but are not related.

Stone Mountain Park Seasonal Fun Facts:

Spring: Spring is a great time to visit the park for bird watching as many migratory birds pass through the area.

Summer: Summer is the perfect time for water activities at the park. You can rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard from the lake rentals and enjoy the water. Also, the Yellow Daisy Festival in the park is one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the country.

Autumn: Autumn brings a spectacular display of fall foliage to the park, making it a great time for hiking and photography. The park offers a variety of hiking trails that will take you through different habitats and ecosystems.

Winter: Winter at the park brings Stone Mountain Christmas a popular event with festive lights, music, and entertainment making it a magical time for a visit.

Year-round: No matter the season, the Skyride is a great way to see the park from above. The gondola takes you to the top of Stone Mountain where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Seasons

Stone Mountain Park is a year-round destination, with each season offering its own unique beauty and activities. In the spring, the park comes alive with blooming flowers and budding trees. The summer brings warm weather and a host of outdoor activities, such as hiking and picnicking. Autumn is a time of change, with the leaves turning vibrant colors and the air getting cooler. Winter offers its own charm, with crisp air and, occasionally, a dusting of snow. In each season section, you will find information about what to expect during that time of year and activities for kids and parents to enjoy. For more information about the weather at Stone Mountain Park, visit our weather information page. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather and stay hydrated.

Family Nature Activities at Stone Mountain Park

 Recreation

Fishing in Stone Mountain Lake

Fishing is permitted on the lake from 6:00 a.m. until Midnight. We have five types of fish in the lake: bass, carp, crappie, catfish, and bream.

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 Recreation

Hiking Trails

Stone Mountain Park features 15 miles of hiking and walking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Enjoy the 5-mile trail around the base, the 1-mile trail to the summit and more!

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 Recreation

Studdard Picnic Area

Enjoy a family picnic in a beautiful wooded area near the mountain. Public use tables are available on a first come, first serve basis. Public use grills are also available to be shared by several groups.

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 Recreation

Triangle Picnic Area

The Triangle Picnic Area is located on Robert E. Lee Blvd. and is the closest public picnic area to the Crossroads area. Public use tables are available on a first come, first serve basis.

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 Golf

Two 18-Hole Golf Courses

Located in one of the most popular attractions in Georgia, Stone Mountain Park, just minutes from downtown Atlanta, Stone Mountain Golf Club features two championship golf courses and offers scenic views of historic Stone Mountain and Stone Mountain Lake.

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 Recreation

Walk-Up Trail to Top of Stone Mountain

While on top, 1,683 feet above sea level, enjoy amazing views of downtown Atlanta, the North Georgia mountains and the surrounding area. On a haze-free day, you can see 60 miles from the mountain.

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Plan Your Visit to Stone Mountain Park

A FAMILY VACATION DESTINATION

The Best Things To Do In Atlanta Are At Stone Mountain Park!

Explore a wide variety of fun family activities, exciting seasonal events and more at the home of the best things to do in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

Dining

From full service restaurants to quick-service concessions, Stone Mountain Park offers a wide variety of locations where you can fill your stomach and quench your thirst.

Shopping

Stone Mountain Park is home to a variety of unique shops featuring handmade crafts and signature souvenirs for every member of the family.

Festivals & Events

Don’t miss exciting annual events at Stone Mountain Park like the Yellow Daisy Festival, Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day, Glow by Night, Stone Mountain Christmas and more! With something every season, there’s always plenty of things to do in Atlanta at Stone Mountain Park.

Plan Your Getaway!

Play and Stay as close to the fun as possible when you book at one of our onsite lodging properties.

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