Mona-what? Monadnocks are special types of mountains formed when hard blobs of lava are compressed under the Earth’s crust. Now that the softer rock around the granite clumps has been eroded away, Georgians are treated to three amazing geological oddities right in their backyard. Stone, Panola, and Arabia Mountains are all monadnocks. Throughout the month of March, Monadnock Madness celebrates these rocky wonders with events including hikes, photography lessons, historic tours and more. For those really looking to go mad, a series of Triple Hike Challenges offers the chance to summit all three monadnocks in one day. Catch a glimpse of the rare diamorpha, with bright red leaves and eye-catching white blooms. Earn stamps for a passport that can be exchanged for a souvenir as cool as the event itself. Go mad this March for Monadnocks and make rock solid memories that will last throughout the year. www.MonadnockMadness.com
The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance is a locally-run nonprofit dedicated to protecting, connecting, and sharing the unique history, rich culture, and engaging landscapes of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area for the benefit and enjoyment of all generations and is an affiliate of the National Park Service. www.ArabiaAlliance.org
Fast Facts and Trivia
- Metro Atlanta is home to three monadnocks: Stone Mountain, Panola Mountain and Arabia Mountain.
- These granite peaks are considered “monadnocks,” a specific type of mountain that juts out of the relatively flat landscape around it. The rich geological history and diverse ecosystems of these areas have created some of the best places to hike near Metro Atlanta.
- March is an especially beautiful time on these mountains because the rare diamorpha blooms and carpets the granite with bright red leaves and contrasting white flowers.
- The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance organizes Monadnock Madness to help people explore these radically unique places, throughout the month of March – and the remainder of the year.
- The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area has many stories hidden in the granite outcrops. Born over 400 million years ago, this land has a history and culture found nowhere else on earth. Within the 40,000 acres, visitors can spend the night in a tree, visit with an ancient order of Trappist monks, and explore ecosystems that have remained unchanged for thousands of years.