Animals in Atlanta at Stone Mountain Park

Hello, explorers! Welcome to the magnificent wilderness of Stone Mountain Park. From the towering heights of Stone Mountain to the gentle waters of Summit Lake, our park is a sanctuary for a delightful array of animals in Atlanta ready to be discovered by you! 

Remember, while we embark on this exciting adventure, we must respect our animal friends’ homes, always observing from a safe distance. Let’s dive into the marvelous world of wildlife together, ensuring a fun and safe journey.

Don’t forget to check out the activities available at the park to make your visit even more memorable.

Jump to animal sections:

Mammals

From the dense forests to the lofty mountain regions, Stone Mountain Park houses an impressive variety of mammals. Many of them have adapted uniquely to the park’s challenging conditions:

  • Small Mammals: Spot the cottontail bouncing through the underbrush or look for the lively movements of gray squirrels in the trees.
  • Predators: While walking the trails, you might catch a glimpse of the elusive gray fox, a native creature of these woods.
  • Other Mammals: Near the water or in dense greenery, you may see the industrious beavers at work or raccoons searching for their next meal.
  • Large Herbivores: Keep an eye out for the majestic white-tailed deer, which can often be seen grazing or bounding across open spaces.

Safety and Viewing Tips: Carry binoculars to enjoy sightings from a distance, and remember to never feed the animals; it disrupts their natural behavior and diet.

Birds

The skies above Stone Mountain Park are alive with avian wonders, each adding a unique note to the park’s symphony:

  • Raptors: The golden eagles, with their keen eyesight, can be seen soaring high, surveying their expansive territories. Vultures and red-tailed hawks grace the skies. 
  • Ground Birds: The ptarmigan, a master of camouflage, is often seen in open areas above the tree line.
  • Migratory Birds: Summit and Rocky Crest Lakes are prime spots, turning into bustling hubs during migration seasons. See the elegant great blue heron and sociable mallards gather around our lakes.

Bird Watching Tips: Patience is key. Early mornings or late afternoons often yield the best sightings. Carrying a field guide can help identify and learn more about the species you spot.

Fishes

Stone Mountain Park’s bodies of water, from serene lakes to cascading streams, are bustling with aquatic life:

  • Bass: A favorite among anglers, often found near underwater structures.
  • Carp: Large and impressive, typically found in calm waters.
  • Crappie: Distinctive pan-shaped bodies, found near submerged vegetation.
  • Catfish: Whiskered bottom dwellers, located in deeper, murky waters.
  • Bream: Colorful and compact, prevalent in warm, shallow areas.

Fishing Tips: Ensure you adhere to fishing park rules and regulations, respect size, and bag limits, and consider practicing catch and release to preserve the aquatic ecosystem. Optimal fishing times are typically early morning and late afternoon.

Reptiles

Navigate through the sun-dappled grounds, where reptiles slither and bask, contributing to the park’s varied ecosystems

  • Snakes: Black rat snakes and copperheads might be seen soaking up the sun.
  • Turtles and Frogs: Find Eastern Box Turtles and American Bullfrogs lounging near water edges.

Observation Tips: Tread lightly, as reptiles can be sensitive to vibrations and may hide away. Always observe without disturbing their natural activities.

Insects

Wander through a miniature world, where insects play a crucial role in maintaining the balance and health of the park’s environment:

  • Butterflies: Marvel at the colorful flight of monarch butterflies.
  • Bugs: Spot ladybugs on leaves and plants along the paths.
  • Spiders: Observe golden silk orb-weaver spiders carefully crafting their webs.

Observation Tips:  A slow walk and a keen eye toward flowers and webs reveal our vibrant insect life.

10 Fun Wildlife Facts from Stone Mountain Park

Discover the fascinating world of wildlife at Stone Mountain Park with these delightful facts about its resident creatures, offering a glimpse into their intriguing behaviors and unique adaptations.

  1. Cottontail rabbits are named after their white, fluffy tail that looks a lot like a cotton ball.
  2. Gray squirrels can leap 10 times their body length and turn their ankles 180 degrees to face any direction when climbing.
  3. Gray foxes can climb trees, usually to search for prey or to escape from predators.
  4. Beavers have transparent eyelids, allowing them to see underwater as they swim.
  5. Raccoons have dexterous hands that they often use to explore objects and even open containers.
  6. White-tailed deer, when threatened, will raise their white tail as a warning sign to other deer.
  7. Golden eagles have eyesight that’s 8 times more acute than that of a human, allowing them to spot prey from miles away.
  8. Red-tailed hawks can dive at speeds of up to 120 mph to catch prey.
  9. Great blue herons have specialized neck vertebrae that allow them to strike quickly like a snake when catching prey.
  10. Catfish possess taste buds all over their bodies, allowing them to taste and sense their environment.

Safety and Conservation

Navigating through Stone Mountain Park safely is paramount for both our visitors and the wildlife calling this place home. Remember to always respect their habitats, adhering strictly to park rules and conservation efforts.

  • Stick to marked trails and designated viewing areas to prevent habitat disruption.
  • Maintain a safe distance from all wildlife, using binoculars for a closer look.
  • In an encounter with potentially dangerous animals like bears, remain calm, avoid eye contact, back away slowly, and never turn your back or run.
  • Ensure to pack out all that you pack in, leaving no trace of your visit behind.
  • Empowering your adventure with knowledge and respect ensures a harmonious experience amidst our wonderful wildlife.

Explore Family and Nature Activities at Stone Mountain Park

Dive into an adventure where nature and excitement intertwine at Stone Mountain Park! The park sprawls across a vast expanse, offering various activities that promise not just a connection with nature but also hearty family fun.

Imagine soaring over 825 feet above ground on the Summit Skyride, offering unparalleled views spanning as far as the Atlanta skyline and the distant Appalachian Mountains. For train enthusiasts, the Scenic Railroad promises a riveting journey around the mountain’s circumference aboard a 1940s locomotive. Families can dive into a prehistoric adventure at Dinosaur Explore or engage in interactive fun at the Dinotorium. With so much to see and do, every visit guarantees a fresh experience, ensuring memories that will last a lifetime.

We have more activities in store for you and your family!

 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, Jog or Bike

Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists can circle the mountain on a 5 mile loop. Motor vehicle traffic is one-way on the back side of the mountain with wide, dedicated lanes for jogging and biking.

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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.

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