Posted in Countdown to Christmas

12/12/21 Countdown to Christmas: Our Travel Tree & Georgia State Parks

For this blog category, “Countdown to Christmas: Our Travel Tree & Georgia State Parks,” each day between December 1 and 25, I take a pic of a state park ornament on our Travel Tree and briefly highlight that park.

Panola Mountain State Park near Stockbridge in metro Atlanta is a unique park. Because of its protected status, the park is considered the crown jewel of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, one of just three National Heritage Areas in the state. It’s also a National Natural Landmark.

And “Why is Panola so protected?” you’re undoubtedly asking. Oh come on, you know. Of course you do. Because there’s a MONADNOCK there! And you don’t just find a monadnock in every nook and cranny. What? You don’t know what a monadnock is? Well, my goodness, let me define it for you then. Take out a pen and a piece of paper. It’s like I’m back in the classroom teaching again. Here I go: “Monadnock, students, is an isolated hill of bedrock standing conspicuously above the general level of the surrounding area. Monadnocks are left as erosional remnants because of their more resistant rock composition; commonly they consist of quartzite or less jointed massive volcanic rocks… Do I need to repeat any of that?”

[Robert is annoyingly INSISTING that I tell you I was reading the definition—while mispronouncing many of the words—straight from]

It was wet the day we visited.

To keep one foot from getting so wet, I should have stood on one leg, like the ducks. Or as I started calling them, the monaducks.

More info: “Panola Mountain is a 100-acre granite outcrop similar to Stone Mountain, but smaller and much more pristine. Park visitors see the outcrop and its rare ecosystem just as Native Americans did centuries ago.” (Park website)

We hiked along a boardwalk perched above the granite outcroppings.

The granite looks bleak at first glance but is covered with a variety of lichen species, resurrection moss and other rare plants.

We are so lucky to have such an enchanted environment in our state.

If you are interested, here is a link to a fascinating article about the entire Arabia Mountain area: