Stone Mountain is located about ten miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, in the Piedmont Region. It was formed about 300 million years ago, during the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is 1,683 feet above sea level at its summit and more than five miles in circumference at its base. It is said to be the largest piece of exposed granite on earth.
It is also known as the largest carving in the world. The images of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis are carved on the face of the mountain. Before the 1800’s the Native Americans held meetings and ceremonies at Stone Mountain. European Americans settled around the base of the mountain in the late 1820’s. Soon railroads were built and in the 1850’s Stone Mountain became a popular tourist area.
Stone Mountain granite was mined and used for building stone for a while. This destroyed a geological feature known as the Devil’s Crossroads which was located on top of the mountain. In 1996, Stone Mountain Park was the site of three events during the summer Olympics.
Plants and Animals
There are several different and unique environments in the area around Stone Mountain. If you take a hike on the Cherokee Trail, around the base of the mountain, you might see animals such as the white tail deer, red tail hawks, cottontail rabbits, and monarch butterflies. Along the lake you might see mallard ducks and great blue herons. Hundreds of flowering plants, including the yellow daisy and mountain laurel grow throughout the park.