Morning on the monadnock: Good Day hikes up Arabia Mountain

You may be unfamiliar with the word “monadnock,” but if you live in North Georgia, you’ve definitely seen one.  Stone Mountain is probably the area’s most famous monadnock (a fancy word for a particular kind of granite mountain that juts out from the flat landscape surrounding it), but there’s another that features rare opportunities to see some spectacular Georgia animal and plant life.

We’re talking about Arabia Mountain, part of the Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve located within the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area in Lithonia.  Owned by the Davidson family and used for granite quarrying during the last century, the family donated several hundred acres of the Arabia Mountain and the surrounding area to DeKalb County back in the 1970s, and the preserved area has since grown to more than 2,500 acres.  Today, Arabia Mountain features miles of hiking and biking trails, which are open to the public daily from dawn until dusk.  Rangers also offer guided hikes on Arabia Mountain on Fridays and Sundays at 8:00 a.m.  Although the mountain looks barren at first glance, rangers say it actually plays host to some incredible wildlife and plant species.  Among those are the famed bright-red diamorpha plant, which lives in small pools of water on the mountain and becomes active in the winter.

There is no admission fee to use the trails at the Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve, and parking is available at the nature center, located at 3787 Klondike Road.

Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken is always looking for a new place to do some hiking and learn about the fascinating “hidden” world of Georgia flora and fauna, so he spent the morning with rangers at Arabia Mountain getting a closer look at this true wonder of the North Georgia landscape.