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(PHOTOS) Into the great wide open

COVID-19 Metro ATL

(PHOTOS) Into the great wide open

Martini Salien reads a book and Porsha Stallings relaxes during their first visit to Arabia Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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By Dean Hesse, contributor 

DeKalb County, GA —  The health benefits of a walk in the woods are well documented.

It can lower blood pressure and re-energize and refocus our minds. With Halloween events canceled, a visit to Arabia Mountain with its otherworldly landscape and Constitution Lakes Park with its Doll’s Head Trail may be especially timely to help lift your spirits.

Arabia Mountain is a former granite quarry on the far southeast corner of DeKalb County in the city of Stonecrest. It is part of the protected 2,500-acre Davison-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve and in addition to its moon-scape like topography, it is home to many rare and endangered plants.

Doll’s Head Trail is located in DeKalb County’s 200-acre Constitution Lakes Park at 1305 South River Industrial Blvd. S.E., Atlanta, just off Moreland Avenue. Local carpenter Joel Slaton created the folk-art inspired installation with objects found in the park, including many doll parts.

At 200-acres, Constitution Lakes Park also features scenic wetlands ideal for bird watching and walks on paved and unpaved trails. Both parks are free and open dawn to dusk. The two main lots for parking at Arabia Mountain are the AWARE lot at 4158 Klondike Road and the Nature Center lot at 3787 Klondike Road. (Note: they tend to fill up so visit the website for alternatives.)

Click here for more information about Doll’s Head Trail to find out more and visit www.arabiaalliance.org for information about Arabia Mountain.

Starting in September yellow daisies thrive in the sandy patches called solution pits on the bare rock face of Arabia Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse.

The ruins of the quarry office building of the Arabia Granite Company built around 1910 at Arabia Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Large granite outcropping along a trail at Arabia Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse.

At the end of a white-blazed trail lies the final resting place of Mary Wade 1853-1888, whose family-owned acreage along Rockland Road within what is now Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. It is believed she died of influenza. Legend has it that Mary’s son Grover fled to Los Angeles to avoid the family curse. The superstition was when the shadow of the cedars on their property became larger than the individual, that person’s life ended. Mary died in an epidemic after cedars on their property had grown too high. Fearing an early death, Grover chopped down all the cedar trees on the Wade property before leaving for California. He was never heard from again. Photo by Dean Hesse.

A view of the frog pond at Arabia Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Arabia Mountain formed 400 million years ago as a pluton or a bubble of magma that welled up from beneath the earth’s crust and hardened over time. Photo by Dean Hesse.

The Forest Trail at Arabia Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Timmesha Burgess sits along the Mountain Top Trail at Arabia Mountain. Burgess said being there made her feel unrestricted. Photo by Dean Hesse.

 

Sights along Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Sights along Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Fine art photographer Steve Director passes by a dinosaur head on Superman’s body along the Doll’s Head Trail after photographing wildlife at Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Sights along Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Ivonne Rios (l) and Marcella Lopez walk the Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park for the first time. Photo by Dean Hesse.

A social statement piece along the Doll’s Head Trail. Visitors are encouraged to add to the installation but only by using items found at the park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Constitution Lakes Park is located on the site of the former South River Brick Company, therefore many of the art installations along the Doll’s Head Trail include bricks found on-site. The pits where the red clay was dug out for bricks filled with water over time creating the lakes. Photo by Dean Hesse.

A runner makes their way across a boardwalk over the wetlands at Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

A view of Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Sights along Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Sights along Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park. Photo by Dean Hesse.

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