Exploring Stone Mountain Village & Park

BikeDeKalb - Stone Mountain2Cyclists taking a spin in Stone Mountain, Georgia’s most famous carved monodnock, shouldn’t miss the charming historic Village of Stone Mountain just outside the park.

Cyclists can easily travel to Stone Mountain from downtown Atlanta’s Piedmont Avenue along a 19-mile trail supported by The PATH Foundation. The trail does require on-street travel for about 4 miles in Candler Park and through Clarkston, but conveniently ends a block outside this lovely 19th century railroad town. The Stone Mountain Village Visitor Center is located along Main Street where cyclists can rejoin the multi-use path that rolls directly into the park. See RideWithGPS map for details of the off-path route.

It is well worth planning your riding schedule so you can take part in the local cultural offerings. The town hosts many great events year round that will make a bike traveler feel right at home. A new addition to the calendar is Tunes by the Tracks, where the locals and visitors alike bring their lawn chairs and enjoy local musicians filling the evening air with southern rock, country, jazz and more.

The weekly Stone Mountain Farmers Market is also a way to connect with the locals. Visitors will experience true southern hospitality each Tuesday from 4:00-7:00 along Main Street. The Market opens in spring each year and runs through Fall, be sure to check the calendar for exact dates.

If your two-wheeled steed needs attention, visit the Aztec Bicycle Shop on Stone Mountain’s Main Street, just outside the park. The Group Pedaling and Sightseeing ride leaves from behind the shop on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. for a long ride of 30 to 55 miles, often going to downtown Atlanta. Feel free to reach out to shop owners Kris and Michele to find out if other cycling events are planned during your visit to Stone Mountain. Just next door to the bike shop is the Stone Mountain Visitor Center and the PATH that will lead you directly into Stone Mountain Park, free of charge!

Just outside the park is the Village Corner German Restaurant, where hungry cyclists can find a popular bakery, breakfast, lunch and dinner menu as well as locally brewed craft beer.

If you need a boost, check out Café JAYA where the owners will make you feel at home and visitors brag about Atlanta’s best chai latte. This community coffeehouse and drinker serves Selva Negra Estate Coffee from Nicaragua, including a special dark roast, Smoke Rise, created exclusively for the café. In addition to outstanding coffee drinks, Café JAYA also carries a selection of craft beer and wine along with Colossus Pizza.

For an icy, sweet summer treat, stop at the New Orleans Snowball Café, featuring authentic mounds of finely crushed ice drenched in gourmet syrups just like they do in the Big Easy. Trick out your treat by having it stuffed with ice cream or sorbet, or topped with cream or pureed berries. The café also serves gourmet popcorn.

The Sweet Potato Café, located in an 1800’s craftsman-style house, offers a farm-to-table menu featuring locally grown fruits, vegetables and grass-fed beef. Their new patio is the perfect spot to put up your feet, rest those hard working legs and enjoy a sunny afternoon. The Wells Cargo Café features intimate dining in soft candlelight with dinner specials including fish,meat, and pasta entrees, and a regular menu featuring finger food, burgers, and sandwiches.

BikeDeKalb Stone Mountain ART StationWhile you’re in the village, stop in at the Center Town Gallery to enjoy some original artwork. Local artists create everything from fine jewelry to mixed media artwork.  The ART Station is home to its own professional theater company and houses five art galleries, a fine crafts gift shop, a gift shop dedicated to Southern food and culture and a cabaret theatre presenting Atlanta’s music legends. Also, be sure to explore The ART Station website to see if a play or musical is offered during your visit.

Once you have explored the shops and fueled up at one of the great restaurants in town, you’ll find The PATH connects directly to Main Street where the Stone Mountain Visitors Center and the Aztec Bicycle Shop is located.

The Stone Mountain Village Business Association publishes a complete listing of Stone Mountain restaurants. Check out the Stone Mountain Village calendar for year-round events!

Stone Mountain Park has created a great place for cyclists to ride. The route around the mountain offers a bike lane rolling in one direction and the freedom to use the car lane going in the opposite direction. If you felt the ride was too flat going to the mountain, your experience is about to change! The mountain offers climbs that challenge and downhills that thrill!

As you circle the stone sculptures of Generals Jackson, Davis and Lee, you’ll also be pedaling near the venue of the 1996 Olympic track cycling events, though the actual track is no longer there. You’re sure to see other cyclists enjoying the park and it’s occasional climbs. If you clip in on your ride, be sure to bring a change of shoes for climbing and enjoy the hike up the mountain to see the breathtaking view of downtown Atlanta. The park itself boasts a number of attractions including a cable car skylift to the mountaintop, mini golf, a historic covered bridge, an old grist mill, a campground, a scenic railroad, and much more. During the winter, there’s Snow Mountain, maintained with artificial snow.

Within the park, enjoy a meal with a breathtaking view of the mountain in The Commons, a country-club-like restaurant overlooking Stone Mountain Lake and Golf Course.

Stone Mountain Park hosts events year-round, including the nation’s top arts and crafts show at Yellow Daisy Festival, a celebration of Native American culture at the
Indian Festival & Pow-Wow, a The Highland Games, and the folksy Stone Mountain Christmas, a fireworks-filled Fantastic Fourth, and more. Check the Stone Mountain Park events calendar for details.