Over the holidays, my friend and I decided to check out some other "Stone Mountains" near the big, famous Stone mountain southeast of Atlanta. There are two smaller granite domes nearby that you can also visit. First, we went to the next biggest dome, at Panola State Park. There's lots of little trails there where you can observe the granite outcroppings and the plant life that survives there. Isay survives because during hot summer droughts these plants and lichens are baked for days on end, but when the rains come, the natural depressions in the rock spring to life, each pool it's own mini ecosystem. You can't hike to the top of panel mountain yet ( a trail is promised ),but you can see it.
We then went to the smallest dome, Little Arabia Mountain, also a state park, and were pleased to find we could climb up it. We found our way by stone cairns set every so often. the puddles reflected the blue sky. The wind was gentle and the rocks were warm. A great place to go.
photos and words by Rebecca Wood