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Cherokee Trail

Intermediate

Trail

4.6 mile 7.5 kilometer loop
96% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 409' 125 m
Descent: -411' -125 m
High: 1,158' 353 m
Low: 839' 256 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Kevin M.

A white-blazed loop trail that showcases a variety of terrain and views that Stone Mountain has to offer.

Kevin M.

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Check Stone Mountain Park's website for date restrictions.
$15 per day to park or $40 per year for an annual pass.

When on the mountain or any rock surfaces, do NOT step on any water or pine needle clumps. Slipping becomes extremely easy and dangerous if the rock is wet at all. Use caution!

Runner Notes

Trails are pretty well maintained. Obstacles and terrain vary considerably along this loop. Use caution and common sense when needed.

Description

Start at Parking Lot 5 (labeled on the park map and houses the children's playground) and take a short run (past the bathrooms) towards the white-blazed Cherokee Trail (which crosses the road at this juncture). Taking a clockwise route will allow you to tackle the mountain ascent/descent first instead of last.

Start by going down the small staircase (north side of Robert E. Lee Blvd.) and into the wooded area. You'll encounter some roots, rocks, and grading on your way to the mountain. Pay attention and slow down at some of the more difficult obstacles (it can get a bit tricky in some areas). Follow the signs and white blazes at the junctures.

Once you reach the base of the mountain, this is a good place to slow down and recover while ascending the backside of the mountain. Because of the grade, running at this juncture becomes a bit difficult. Some nice views can be had traveling up the mountain, so take a minute to enjoy. Once you reach the dirt vehicle road, running can commence with only minor obstacles to worry about. The descent isn't too difficult, but take your time, if needed.

At the bottom, you'll make a right (following the white blazes) and run a fairly easy part of the trail through the woods. You'll eventually reach the park area and the trail will bring you inside this area, at which point you'll run in front of the famous Stone Mountain carving.

Exiting the park area, you'll encounter very similar terrain until you reach and cross Robert E. Lee Blvd. At this point, you'll be running next to an aqueduct-type structure on the ground, and eventually reach the mill area. Take the sidewalk to the wooden bridge that hugs the mill and follow it. From here, the trail will follow the lake around; there's a portion where the trail turns into a stone path with no rails. You'll reach the covered bridge and associated small parking lot. The trail picks up on the other side of the lot (do not cross the bridge), and continues to follow the lake around under a wooded canopy. Along the way, you'll meet a few areas where you are once again on stone.

Turn left at the orange/white trail juncture to bring you to the other side of the lake. There is ~1.5 miles to go at this point. There are some up and down portions with roots and obstacles mixed in here. Cross Stonewall Jackson Dr. for the home stretch. There is a small waterfall that you'll eventually encounter. At the very end is a series of roots; use caution. You'll pop out across the street from the start.

Flora & Fauna

Fauna: Chipmunks, squirrels, deer, and birds. Flora: Usual Georgia plants.

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Feb 10, 2017
izno 7

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes

#7408

Overall
  4.2 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
83%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#113

in Georgia

#7,408

Overall
13 Views Last Month
628 Since Dec 23, 2016
Intermediate

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71%
29%
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Photos

The view of Stone Mountain from across Venable Lake doesn't get much better than this.
Dec 23, 2016 near Stone M…, GA
Enjoy this small waterfall and creek in the woods near Venable Lake.
Feb 14, 2017 near Stone M…, GA
Another lovely little stream trickles down the rocks on the forest floor.
Feb 14, 2017 near Stone M…, GA
Water flows heavily from the creek into Stone Mountain Lake after a couple days of rain.
Feb 14, 2017 near Stone M…, GA
Wintertime can provide more scenery like this view of the mountainside through the forest.
Feb 14, 2017 near Stone M…, GA
Just after the Grist Mill, you'll have ample opportunities to take in lovely views of the lake.
Feb 14, 2017 near Stone M…, GA

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