Sunday, October 5, 2014

Panola Mountain State Park - Moonlight Mountain Hike

Taken from my Yelp review that I just posted.

Panola Mountain Park is the underdog to Stone Mountain Park. Everybody and their momma go to Stone Mountain. Yes, Panola is smaller but very few people have heard about it cause it's tuck away in Stockbridge. 

When I was a child, the Hmong community used to have picnics there so I was no stranger to it, which was a yearly event growing up. We all used to live in Dekalb County and preferred Panola over Stone Mountain for these events. 

I loved the walking trails. The trail leading on top of Panola is not public. You have to reserve a spot and pay a fee to have a ranger take you. Since it's a state park, you will have to pay $5 for parking. A lot of the plants that are still on the mountain are extinct so that's one reason why the mountain is not public for walking and you will need a ranger so they will educate and show you around. It wasn't my first time hiking. The last time I came was many years ago when I was in high school. I went with my Earth Science class and we made the hike up. There are no paths going up the mountain because the ranger takes a different path every time so there will not be signs of a trail (that's what they told us).

I am mainly reviewing the Moonlight Mountain Hike this time (there's a campfire at the end of the tour and even smores!) but I've been to Panola so many times when I was younger that I still enjoyed it. I cannot wait to go back again for the regular trails. Hopefully my family and I will go camping there in the future. My brother already ask me about fishing!.

After meeting with the ranger, the group to go hiking up Panola Mountain had to drive half a mile away so we could "cheat" and get a head start. We're going to walk up and rest at the lake for more instructional information.

The ranger is explaining about the lake not allowed for fishing or swimming. On the other side, there's a campfire where they can camp and do paranormal activity investigating.

We're just walking and following the rangers (there were four of them with us). Since there are no visible trails, we just walked in a single line like in school lol. 

Plus they wanted us to be careful not to step on any plants on the mountain...and if by chance, we do, don't step on hard and too long.

Ranger explaining to us about how green it is at  Panola versus Stone Mountain, that's why you have to have a guided ranger with you.

See? That's how Stone Mountain would look like if it didn't have hikers every minute.

Can you see Atlanta? We're on top of Panola Mountain.

We're walking to the other side to get a better view of Stone Mountain.

Can you see Stone Mountain?

The sky is just so beautiful. Do you see the moon?

The sunset.

Coming back down the mountain is really steep. I was afraid I was going to fall but I didn't. We didn't come back the same way we did.

It's cause now we're ready for the campfire! We're on the other side of the lake now! This concludes the trip. It was between 1.5 to 2 miles overall.

And we all get smores.

Everyone just chilling and hanging out.

It was a fun time. I would do it again.

Panola Mountain State Park
2600 Georgia 155 North
Stockbridge, GA 30281

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