Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter service at Stone Mountain Park

Easter service at Stone Mountain Park

Back in the spring of 1944, a youth group from Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church trekked to the top of Stone Mountain on Easter morning to see the sunrise. Seven decades later, folks of all ages continue the tradition by hoofing it to the apex of the world’s largest hunk of exposed granite for a nondenominational service.

Although the service doesn’t begin until 7 a.m., park gates swing open at 4 a.m. Summit Skyride, the cable cars that go from the base of the mountain to the top and back again, also begin hauling guests at 4 a.m. It costs $9 for adults and $7 for kids ages 3-11 for a round-trip Skyride ticket or $5.50 one-way.

Those wishing to walk to the top can begin the climb near Confederate Hall, adjacent to the park’s West Gate. The one-mile walk to the top remains free of charge.

Would you rather stay grounded? A simultaneous service takes place at the base of the mountain on Memorial Lawn.

Organizers suggest allowing extra time, because the event typically draws crowds. Don’t forget to bundle up, especially if you opt for tackling the mountain.

7 a.m. April 20. Free. $10 parking per vehicle; free for church vans and buses. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Drive, Stone Mountain. 770-498-5690,

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