The 33 mile-long trail system connecting Lithonia, The Mall of Stonecrest, Panola Shoals, Panola Mountain State Park and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, was ‘grand opened’ twice this spring. Ed McBrayer, Director of PATH, led a group of fifty cyclists on Pride Ride from the Alexander Lake Trailhead to the Monastery on May 10th, just two days after the last concrete was poured near the Lorraine Trailhead. The ride, sponsored by Atlanta Pride was followed by a picnic at the pavilion at Alexander Lakes, hosted by Georgia State Parks.
On June 14th, the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance organized an incredible event at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit to dedicate the trail. The “Try the Trail” event encouraged people to ride the trail to downtown Lithonia and back (around 40 miles). Speakers and attending dignitaries included U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson, Rockdale Commissioner Richard Oden, Interim CEO of DeKalb County, Lee May, DOT Board member Robert Brown, Lithonia Mayor Debra Jackson, and Father Francis Michael from the monastery.
Almost a hundred riders rode through the balloon arch and headed toward Lithonia. A large contingent of walkers and hikers followed the cyclists through the arch.
Hats off to Mera Cardenas and the Alliance staff, Rockdale County, and the Georgia DNR for organizing and hosting such a successful event. If you haven’t tried the Arabia Mountain PATH by now, what are you waiting for?