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Southeast of Atlanta, the Arabia Mountain Trail winds its way through giant rock outcroppings, past rushing streams plunging in woodland waterfalls and among farmland and fields of wildflowers undulating in the breeze. In addition, Klondike Park and the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve provide beautiful vistas and quiet splendors.
There are several side trails, which are all part of the main trail complex and which link the town of Lithonia as well as Evans Mill Road and Panola Mountain State Park. At its southern end, the trail connects to both the South River Trail and the Rockdale River Trail.
Lithonia is just north of I-20 and US 278. Parking is available in town (the north end of the trail) as well as at the following: Stonecrest Square/Mall Ring Road; Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve off Klondike Road (north and south parking areas); along Evans Mill Road between Rockland Road and Salem Road; along Brown's Mill Road (Rt 212) southeast of Evans Mill Road; and at Alexanders Lake on Flat Bridge Road SW.
I sometimes take a walk/jog on this trail from the library near the mall to Vaughters farm and back. You may recognize the barn from the HBO series "The Outsider" by Stephen King.
NOT FLAT! There are a lot of hills with, in my opinion, and equal amount of challenge and enjoyable. I have spent two different days on this trail and did slightly different paths. I did 20 miles the one day and 21 a few days later. What I like about it is in some ways if feels like a mountain bike trail without the rocks and roots. You get nature in the woods but you also get open fields. This will be my go to trail when I come to Atlanta.
I loved this trail
Fun and challenging during each trip. One of my favorite tracks.
Enjoyed a day of beautiful biking. Definitely would recommend.
The title is based on this trail connecting to so many others. You could ride this trail all day!
First, a public service : The StoneCrest Mall trail head is a bit tricky to find. You can park anywhere in the vast parking lot, but my gps pointed me to the bus stop outside the theater. I parked a bit south of there and hunted for the trail along Klondike Rd. Mistake! Park north of there and cross the ring road and you'll find the trail. Better yet, park at the Library or Vaughter's Farm, at least the first time. You can follow it North to learn how it ends.
That said, this trail has much to see - creeks, woods, meadows, a covered bridge, granite outcrops, a lake if you continue on the Panola park trail, and wildlife! I spotted deer and turkeys while riding. The trail is also in better shape than most.
For you e-bikers like me, note that this trail is hilly. It will consume more battery than the flat trails you're accustomed to if you ride former rail trails.
I ride this entire trail twice a week (weather permitted) including the Panola Mountain Part --- I love every inch of this trail
The review below regarding trail closure was correct when written (Summer 2018) due to water line replacements throughout Arabia Mountain Park in DeKalb County.
In addition, on the Rockdale County side, there were closures related to dam improvements between the upper and lower lakes of Panola State Park.
However, the good news is the entire trail system (Arabia Mountain, South River, and Rockdale River trails) is now (Fall 2019) back to normal (trails opened again!).
Very nice trail. Wide, paved, multi use trail. It should be noted however, that about 6 miles from where the trail is picked up at the mall, it is dead ended. Construction has it closed and there is no real viable detour. I would avoid this trail for now until this is fixed, but evidently the construction has been going on for years.
After a pleasant day of biking and upon our return to parking at the Browns Mill Trailhead, we found that our vehicle back window had been smashed, along with another trail patron's car. Had to get repaired this week. Be careful! They need a security patrol and cameras at this site.
This trail is about a 3 hour drive for us so we decided to give it a try. Its paved and very nice but if you are not use to hills be prepared, there are a lot of them. If you don't like hills I would not recommend this trail. For those that said it wasn't enough of a work out they must be out of their minds. We were headed to the Rockdale River Trail and met a local man
riding the trail and he warned us about the "monster" hill that went straight down. We were very thankful for that information.
This trail has many sub trails but i tried to stick on to Arabia Mountain trail. It is around 10 to 12 miles
If you want to have a good workout, this is one of the best trail for it. It has lot of up hill/down hill which makes a perfect spot for weekend workouts.
Its a well built concrete trail running through the woods. Plenty of choices for parking at "Stonecrest" mall.
I rode this yesterday 5.21.2016. I saw a big rat snake too (about 5-6ft) getting some sun right in the middle of the trail. So, be careful not to run over these guys. I connected to the Rockdale River trail for 3 miles, which definitely added some extra challenge. I see no way this would be considered an urban trail unless just the lack of leaves during early spring enabled seeing houses through the woods better. In May with the recent nice temps this was a wonderfully scenic-enough and challenging-enough ride, after living in Central Florida (flatlander ¿ ) for the last 15 years.
- I did 26 miles total between the two trails, and my heart thanks me! My legs, will thank me in a couple of days..HA! Overall, very thankful to find this trail that is only about 40 minutes from me. Cheers!
Well worth it beautiful waterfalls it was my first time there, saw a black rat snake oh about 4ft long along the way We snap some pics together then let it go on its way. Love the trail going back this weekend.
I guess for an urban trail, it's pretty good. It lacks scenery but I was looking forward to the 12 miles. I'm having a tough time finding long traps nearby. I really thought the hills would be more challenging. I parked at the city hall in Lithonia and rode it to the end and back. It took about 90 minutes because I had to stop for traffic frequently. It's definitely good for a lazy ride. However, I wouldn't drive 45 minutes again to do it.
I casually rode this trail with my wife. I really like to tral it has a lot of mix of everything. Not very many people to cause congestion. I was roughly 2 hours away and will def come back.
I almost selfishly don't want to rave about this trail, as it seems a hidden secret. It isn't crowded, it is pretty, and it is a nicer workout (biking) than the comet which now seems boring and flat.
This keeps you occupied with a lot of little ups and downs. You can get a nice little workout without having to deal with roads and cars. My only complaint is lack of bathrooms. I've only found one at the end of another trail connecting. Sooo, plan wisely if you're a huge water drinker like myself.
This is a wonderful trail. It's fully paved, well laid out & well maintained. You've a number of trailheads to choose from for getting onto & off of the trail. The people we've encountered are pleasant, polite folks. This extends to folks with small children & those walking dogs. The terrain is hilly so cyclists should know there is some climbing with a switchback or two but those are short so not bad. For walkers you even get the benefit of dirt side trails to explore. This is our "home" trail & I consider us blessed to have access to it.
Road this trail on a Sunday afternoon with my boyfriend and there were not a lot of people at all, which I was suprised about. A big change from The Silver Comet Trail where it is crowded all the time. The path is very wide and well kept. We parked at Stonecrest Mall (easiest access is to park in the Dillard's lot), the trail starts about 100 feet from the back parking lot in front of the hotels on the back side. We rode 8 miles out and back. I am a beginner cyclist and I thought it was a very good mix of ups and downs and I felt I got a good workout in. My boyfriend is a seasoned cyclist and he said it was a little easy for him. The only complaint I have is for the first 2 miles (coming from the mall) there are about 4-5 crosswalks where you have to stop completely, look for cars, then go. Obviously safety is first, but on a greenway, I expect to there to be less stopping to cross streets. Overall all very nice, I would ride again.
This trail is concrete surface, center lines with road signs (including speed). Nice boardwalks over swampy areas and a large steel bridge over the South River. Top quality construction. Mostly in woods, much in a wildlife area, some parts parallel roads (at a safe distance). It has curves and hills and is definitely not a railroad grade. Some hills need very low gear or walking the bike - but only for short distances. A very enjoyable trail.
This trail is getting longer, give it time. It would be nice if the trails that merge in the vicinity of the South River had a big loop somewhere. Arabia Mountain is getting a new trail along Klondike...it would be great if somehow it extended to the Rockdale River Trail (when it gets built)...another nice optional loop would be if the side trail to Evans Mill connected to the Lyons Farm Leg of Arabia Mountain. It could even end when it reaches Browns Mill since Lyon's Farm is lightly traveled and the trail is close.
I road the hole trail and I had 13 miles in. I drove 200 miles to ride this trail looking to do 24.7 miles one way.
Road from Stonecrest to Alexanders Lake total 13 miles it is not worth the drive 3 1/2 hours and 200 miles
I rode the Arabia Mountain Trail for the first time in almost a year. I found that they have added a couple of miles and from Stonecrest Mall to Panola is completed for a distance of about 12 miles. It's not a typical flat rail trail and the 24 miles round trip are a great workout for your legs.
"I rode the Arabia Mountain Trail this weekend. After reading some of the other comments, I would recommend that you start at Stoncrest Mall where I started. You will find plenty of parking, restrooms, etc. The trail is almost complete and ends up being over a 20 mile loop if you ride from here to the present end on a bridge over the river just a little ways from Panola Mountain. Please be prepared for some climbing. This is not a flat rail trail, but the scenery is very nice. I didn't find that the climbs were overly difficult. I didn't use any gearing except for my middle chainring on my mountain bike, but I would imagine that some people that do not ride very often may find a few places that they will have to walk up the hills. If you do, use the opportunity to take in the view. There are plenty of benches for rest stops, but there is a lack of restrooms. I hope they will be in the future plans. "
"This trail is currently (7/2006) about 8 miles long, with a couple of spurs that add a couple of miles. It's about to be much longer. PATH, the outfit building this trail, has built about 3 more miles of trail that's separated from the existing trail by a missing bridge. The bridge is under construction.
My son and I explored the new trail section last weekend. There's a mile or so that parallels Browns Mill Road. That section is not so great. The trail then dives back into the woods and goes through beautiful terrain for a couple of miles before reaching the South River. There, construction is underway on the boardwalk approach to a bridge over the river. The bridge itself, a great steel arch, is in place.
Construction on the far side of the bridge, in Panola Mt. St. Park, has not started.
This is a fine trail. The sections south of Lithonia are particularly pretty. With the additions, the trail is getting better. Check it out!
As for the comments from other posters about hills: It is certainly not flat, but it's no worse than most Atlanta neighborhoods. It's a lot less hilly than my neighborhood."
"Just wanted y'all to know that my family and I took this bike trail yesterday. While it was overall a beautiful setting, there are many hills and sharp turns. It can be quite exhausting for occasional bike riders, even when they're in pretty good shape! We parked at a small lot on Evans Mill Road. This lot only holds about 10 cars, and was pretty full. We took the trail to Stone Crest Mall and were pretty worn out. My sweet husband had to do the return ride to get the van and pick the rest of us up at the mall. So, if you're looking for something flat and relaxing, you might want to choose the Alpharetta Greenway. P.S. As a point of reference, my husband and I are in our forties and our kids are 12 and 16. Happy biking!"
"My daughter Susan wanted to go on a “Rail Trail Ride” for her birthday and so after surfing traillink.com for trails nearby we chose this one, hopped in the van and headed out. When we arrived in Lithonia we had a very difficult time finding the trailhead. Eventually we ran into a local that offered to take us there and we followed him to the beginning of the trail. There was no where to park and so we had to drive about a half mile beyond the trailhead to park. We ended up parking in a grocery store parking lot. Rode our bike back the half mile back to the beginning. This trail is very nice. It is very well maintained. It passed through a few backyards and then went into a deep patch of woods and with less than a mile under our belts we saw three deer come bounding out of the woods and ran across the trail right in front of us! It was a very enjoyable experience and my daughter was ecstatic! The trail has a missing section in it and after a mile or so you have to ride on the road for about a half mile. Then you’re back on the trail and it does not have any other missing sections. It has a spur that forks off the main trail and takes you down to the Stonecrest Mall. This is very nice as the roads around the mall are quite busy. We went down to the mall and ended up having a bite to eat for lunch in the food court before continuing on. The food was excellent! The trail wandered through several neighborhoods crossing quite a few roads before it finally moved out into some pretty desolate pastureland and woods. It also went through low swamplands where the engineers built boardwalks for us to ride above the whole swampy mess. Very cool. There was another spur that went up to a public school which was handy for us as we need to use the restroom and was able to do so that particular day. Although I do not know if the school will always be open and available. That was the one thing that Susan did not like about the trail - Lack of restrooms. They did have a porta potty about halfway at the nature center which was not open when we rode through. But Susan will not go in a Porta Potty unless she is quite desperate and even than I think she would rather go in her pants. But the trail itself was very nice. Very scenic. It crossed over several streams. It is definately not a rail trail as far as following a rail road grade goes. It had some very sharp hair pin turns in it which were no problem to navigate on a bike but it also had some very steep hills on it that you would never find on a true rail trail. In all the trail was about 7.5 miles long and when we reached the end of it there was a very nice parking lot for cars. It made me wonder if we shouldn’t have started at that end. As is our usual practice we normally call a cab to take us back to the beginning. This practice got started when we rode the longer trails such as the Silver Comet (36 Miles) and the Chattahoochee River walk (32 Miles). Fortunately this trail had not been that long because the cab company had no idea where we were and would not come out looking for us. It made me wonder if we had started at this end finding a cab in Lithonia would have probably been much easier. But no matter. We were tired from the steep hills and the heat. (August 11). But we hit the trail and headed back. We were rewarded with another sighting of deer near the part in the trail that has the large rock over top of the trail. And we made it back before dark. It started to rain really hard about 10 minutes after reaching the car so I was happy we hadn’t been delayed any longer. All in all it was a very fun ride with lots of nice views and plenty of adventure for both adults and kids alike. My daughter Susan and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend this trail.
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