Mount Rushmore of the South: Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park

US-78 E, Exit 8, Stone Mountain This 3,200-acre park is home to the South’s greatest natural wonder and answer to

Stone Mountain Park, Georgia
The 825-foot-tall granite dome is the backdrop for a five-mile ride on the Stone Mountain Railroad, powered by vintage engines.

US-78 E, Exit 8, Stone Mountain

This 3,200-acre park is home to the South’s greatest natural wonder and answer to Mount Rushmore. Visitors will stand in awe of the world’s largest mass of exposed granite with the world’s largest relief carving.

The Memorial Carving immortalizes three of the Confederate’s most distinguished Civil War heroes: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Towering 1,683 feet above sea level, Stone Mountain covers 583 acres.

At the Summit Skyride, visitors can hop aboard a Swiss cable car for an 825-foot ride up to the mountain’s top. Upon arriving, they’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of Atlanta and the Appalachian Mountains. Back down at the mountain’s base, visitors can hop aboard a diesel-engine locomotive for a scenic five-mile excursion, departing from a scale replica of Atlanta’s Main Train Depot, circa 1870. Visitors can also take a detour back in time to a place called Crossroads, which recaptures a small Georgia town from the 1870s, featuring hands-on demonstrations in candy making, blacksmithing, and glassblowing. Hungry tourists can sample the best of down-home Southern cooking at Miss Katie’s Sideboard Restaurant.

Visitors can also explore woodlands, lakes, streams, and miles of nature trails. In addition, the park offers golf and fishing. Picnicking is available in two public areas. Camping is welcome, and there are guest rooms available at the Stone Mountain Inn.

Open year-round except Christmas. Entrance fee.

www.stonemountainpark.com

(800) 401-2407; (770) 498-5690

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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