STONECREST—Daisy Days, the celebration of the beautiful yellow daisies growing on Arabia, Panola and Stone mountains, kicks off on Sept. 1 with an added competition: the first people to finish hiking all three mountains will receive a monadnock-themed prize package in addition to the Daisy Days prize.
The Daisy Days Triple Hike Challenge runs throughout the month of September and celebrates the fall flower bloom on metro-Atlanta’s massive granite outcrops. Instead of a large group hike, this year’s event is “Hike as you Like,” meaning that participants can hike the mountains on their own time and at their own pace, all while filling out a digital passport to earn their prize. Presented by the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, Friends of Panola Mountain State Park, Panola Mountain State Park and the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, this event invites you to step into autumn by hiking Georgia’s granite monadnocks.
The yellow daisies (Helianthus porteri) are native to the rock outcrops of the Southeastern United States, especially in the granite formations (“monadnocks”) found around metro-Atlanta. While these rock outcrops seem barren, especially during the scorching summers, fall and winter see a profusion of wildflowers grow out of patches of thin soil called “solution pits.” The Daisy Days Triple Hike Challenge is an opportunity to celebrate the botanical bounty growing on the rock as autumn begins. Learn more about the event here.
As people hike the three mountains, they can take photos and then, once they are done hiking, upload the images to an online passport. When they have sent in the passport, they earn their prize. The “First to Finish” challenge will reward the first participants with an additional monadnock-related prize package. The event will end on Oct. 1, spanning the month of September.
Please remember to take safety precautions as you hike to maintain your health and the health of others. That includes cleaning your hands regularly (either by washing or hand sanitizer), wearing a mask, and staying home if you feel sick.
The Daisy Days Triple Hike Challenge is the fall counterpart to the spring Monadnock Madness event, an outdoor extravaganza in which people can enjoy triple hikes, mountaintop yoga, photography workshops and dozens of other events throughout the month of March.
Monadnock Madness accompanies another floral explosion on the granite outcrops, as plants such as the atamasco lily, granite stonecrop and diamorpha burst into vibrant spring bloom. Details for the 2021 Monadnock Madness will be announced in January.