A cyclist passes historic Vaughters Farm on the PATH trail to Arabia Mountain. (Courtesy PATH Foundation)

Gasoline is still sky-high, which might put the kibosh on a long road trip or weekend getaway this summer. For a cheaper alternative, hop on your bike and head for the hills that are literally in Atlanta’s backyard.

If you’re a cyclist, Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain, and the South River Trail offer easy daytrips for all skill levels. 

Arabia Mountain PATH Trails: Hike and bike more than 30 miles of recreational trail. Just 20 minutes east of Atlanta, cyclists will pass historic landmarks and stunning vistas. 

Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve Trails: The Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve is made up of rolling hills, woodlands, and secluded lakes. This granite outcrop has well-marked trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Trails can be accessed from parking lots on Klondike Road or from the paved Arabia Mountain PATH trail.

Exploring Arabia Mountain. (Courtesy Discover DeKalb)

Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail: Rent a bike from Atlanta Bicycle Barn or one of the many bike-share stations. A combination of multi-use trails and linear greenspace, the Eastside Trail connects with the Freedom Parkway Trail and Stone Mountain Trail for biking. Enjoy dozens of featured art installations along the 3 miles of multi-use trails that make up the Beltline.

Stone Mountain: In Stone Mountain Park, take the 4.5-mile loop trail around the base of the mountain for a look at the local flora and fauna and lake views. The Stone Mountain Trail has numerous access points with places to park.

South River Trail: About 15 miles southeast of Atlanta, the South River Trail offers a wooded route along its namesake river. Enjoy nature, scenic views, and sounds while biking the trail running parallel to the river. This trail ties into the extensive trail network with a connection to the Arabia Mountain Trail, which connects to the Rockdale River Trail. 

Panola Mountain PATH Trail: A little further south is Panola Mountain State Park, which features a gorgeous five-mile trail through the park to glassy Alexander Lake. It’s a great way to check out the granite outcroppings covered in lichen, moss, and wildflowers.

For more information, visit pathfoundation.org and discoverdekalb.com

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.