This unusual park near Atlanta was created to protect a 100-acre granite monadnock (mountain) often compared to Stone Mountain and Arabia Mountain. Minimally developed, Panola Mountain shelters rare plants of the Piedmont region. Hikers may explore the parks watershed and granite outcrop on their own, or they may join park staff for guided hikes onto the restricted-access mountain. Children especially enjoy the interpretive center with animal exhibits. Due to its delicate ecological features, Panola Mountain was designated a National Natural Landmark, and pets are not allowed on most trails. Bicycles are allowed only on the paved PATH trail.
Shayla H. on Rock Outcrop and Watershed Trail
The park is a wonderful work in progress. Many improvements and a lot of history. The Park Rangers are very helpful, knowledgeable and passionate about their park. Beautiful view (on a clear day excluding most Georgia humid summer days) of Stone Mountain. Perfect place for anyone who loves geology. I'm a north Georgia girl but, my daughter and I were very pleased with our visit and hike.
We grabbed this park on our muddy spokes tour. It is paved and well maintained. It is a little more difficult than it lets on,as you have steep climbs and switchbacks that are occupied by hikers and families out enjoying the park mind your manners and be polite to all you meet.
First off, the park is beautiful and is deserving of more than 3 stars. However, we paid to go camping a their "hike in" campsites and were extremely disappointed to find cars there - and they were Boy Scouts. Anyway, the campsites were actually fairly nice and the hike to them was not far at all. Unfortunately, they surround a pretty nasty looking pond (or black bog) that was a mosquito magnet. There was also a taped-off abandoned house right across from one side of the campgrounds - creepy. We decided not to stay and took off on a hike around the lake. We forked off onto what appeared to be a paved walking track that was not longer maintained that wound through a swampy area, eventually leading to an archery area on the backside of the lake. There was a picnic table there, so we dropped our packs and fixed lunch, then enjoyed a couple of hours in the neatly mowed, wide-open fields near the lake. Saw some deer and a limpkin in the swamp. The weather started out with the threat of rain, but cleared up and ended being sunny and very hot.
Overall, the park is very nice. Lots of people fishing, walking, and running. I was very disappointed in the camping though...just not what I expected at all. I would definitely go back with my family under different circumstances and give it a higher rating.
There are three trails here. One is called the Outcrop trail, very nice trail, great views of some of the local granite outcroppings in the area. The second is called the Watershed trail. This one is longer and has a chance to see more wildlife. My first time out, I came across a herd of deer, 3 stags and about a dozen does. Was only able to get one doe on camera. The third trail is on the mountain itself and you have to make reservations for that trail, details on the website