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We love the National Parks and today is the 100th anniversary of the National Park System. The National Parks are part of an expansive system that has a wide variety of opportunities for visitors to find anything among their interests, including hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, museums, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach exploring, historic sites, boating, and so much more! We have explored quite a few of the National Park system sites in the South and particularly the National Parks in and near Georgia, with a goal to visit all of the National Park system sites while we are living in this area. Thus far we have visited all of the National Park sites in Florida and have almost completed South Carolina and Georgia.

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In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park System, we’d like to feature one of the sites closest to Atlanta, the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. The centerpiece of the park is, as the name suggests, Arabia Mountain, a large granite outcrop that overlooks plenty of trees and the distant Atlanta skyscrapers. The outcrop is itself unique looking, but it is made more so by the small pools of water that form in it and the various plants and brush that grow on it. We went during the spring and had the opportunity to see the rare red diamorpha, tiny red plants with white flowers that grow in pools along the granite outcrops.

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During our time at Arabia Mountain, we went on a rather long hike to explore the mountain and some other granite outcroppings. Since we were there during the spring, the outcroppings were blanketed in red, green, and gold along with the sky reflecting in the pools scattered throughout the granite. In between the outcroppings were forests full of pine trees. We found Arabia Mountain beautiful and peaceful, perfect for escaping the city and getting out into nature. You should note that the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area also includes Panola Mountain State Park and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, which are both worth seeing as well.

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