Thursday, May 12

PERSONAL | Family Trip To Stone Mountain

georgia camping stone mountain park

The first stop main on our summer cross country trip was Stone Mountain, Georgia. We visited Stone Mountain last winter and LOVED it so we knew we wanted to go back on this trip too! The campground is BEAUTIFUL! It's up on the side of a few small hills against the lake and across from the mountain itself so from the campground you have beautiful views of the mountain coming up from the lake! There's a golf course and an amusement park but we didn't do either this time. (Last time we went to the park because it was all holiday themed and so fun so if you are there for the holidays you should definitely do that!) There's also a free laser light show that we missed because we didn't realize it was only on Saturday nights... whoops. Next time!

stone mountain with kids

 Stone Mountain Park Campground has lots of little walking paths and Cadence begged us constantly to "go explore" them! We found giant pinecones and giant acorns, tons of Robins, a few red-headed woodpeckers, some geese (or honkers as we call them), and a few thorn bushes so be careful!
 The sun sets right over Stone Mountain when you are watching it from the Campground. Here's sunset and moonrise over the mountain so you can see how gorgeous it is! I really wanted to take my paddleboard out on the lake but we just ran out of time. I'll have to make that happen next time because that backdrop can't be beat!
camping in georgia at stone mountain park
I love Stone Mountain Campground because it's so secluded and even when there are lots of RV-ers it still feels peaceful because each spot is nestled into the trees which arch over the road. It's really pretty. Each section is on a loop so it's perfect for quick bike rides in the morning to walk the pup.
Something Cadence had never seen is clover. Which was something I never think about knowing. But he saw a field of these little flowers and was so curious about them!
clover field stone mountain park
Last time we were there we didn't hike the whole mountain. It's about a mile up and a mile down and last time we weren't wearing the right clothes to hike the whole thing and we were worried about Cadence making it since we are from Florida which is flat flat flat. But this time I was determined to hike the mountain as a family so on Mother's Day I pulled the Mother's Day card and proclaimed that we would all hike it and everyone would be happy about it. HAHA! Cadence kept making us stop to take pictures of him. And about 3 minutes in he started complaining about his legs hurting. He made Nate carry him for a few minutes toward the end but I made him walk up the steep climb at the end and told him that he had to hike the last little bit himself so he could feel proud at the top and he happily did! (He also chose his outfit that day, just throwing that out there. His hiking outfit of choice was: kids Nike running tights, Shaun White sunglasses, boots, and a black tshirt. He told me he needs a "real exercise shirt with a check on it" for next time. HA!)
Our son is almost 4 1/2 and LOVES to climb and jump so this was actually a really awesome hike since Stone Mountain is all stone and smooth instead of tree roots and dirt like other mountains. I think this was the PERFECT first mountain hike for him to understand what it's like, but also be able to do it without tripping or tumbling downhill in dirt and leaves (like he did in Kentucky.. more on that later... haha!)
He said this rock looked like a Stars Wars spaceship. Which I think is pretty appropriate since Stone Mountain kind of looks like the surface of the moon or another planet!
stone mountain with kids
We made it to the top!!!!! The last little bit of the climb is steep. There's a handrail to hold on to. If you aren't very stable or don't have shoes with good grip, I'd recommend it. Or if you have kids that are a little distracted or clumsy you might want to have them hold on. The coolest thing about the top is that every angle it looks as if the mountain just drops off. So in photos it always looks like you're about to fall off the edge, but in reality it's a gentle slope so you really don't have to worry about your kids near the edge for the most part! There's no railings or anything. Which can make for some epic photos!
At the top of the mountain is a little concession stand with popcorn, drinks, and snacks. You can also take a gondola up to the top if you don't want to hike and the gondola drops you off and picks you up at the concession stand. We stopped for some popcorn and drinks and had the guy fill our popcorn only halfway because they didn't have a non-buttered kind. Which was a little bit of a bummer but beggars can't be choosers and our 4 year old was getting hangry. Next time I'll probably plan ahead and bring a backpack with some of our own popcorn and granola bars to eat at the top!
He was pretty proud of himself for hiking up his first mountain (even if Dada had to carry him for a little ways). He kept telling us how he did it all by himself. Which wasn't entirely true but close enough. 
Jumping photo fail! This was the closest we got to all being in the air at the same time.
Family selfie at the top!

Would we recommend Stone Mountain Park to other people looking for an awesome place to visit? Heck yes! Would we tell other families to go there? Absolutely! There's so much to do, both free and with admission so there's lots of options. Plus you're super close to Atlanta, Buckhead, and Brookhaven so there's tons of options for dining or culture or whatever else you might want! Here's some links too in case you are looking to get more info for your own trip!

Our Holiday Trip to Stone Mountain 

Come back to read about our next stop on our trip and see what we did with 24 hours in Chattanooga, TN!

"Tell me, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?"
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