The South Eastern Climbers Organization is the
caretaker for the preserve. For any questions please email
Chris Jones or
Pandra Williams, and they
will be glad to answer them.
Southeast Climbers Website
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Boat Rock Road is named after a mile long ridge of giant boulders in the Sandtown
Community of Fulton County. Rock climbers have been visiting the
granite boulders since the late 1960’s, but the true origins of Boat
Rock date back much longer. Approximately 325 million years ago an
intrusion of magma formed a large dome under the earth. Cooling
slowly, the dome remained buried for several million more years
before erosive forces began to slowly expose the igneous rock.
we know this area as Boat Rock. It is the best example of what
geologists refer to as the Ben Hill Batholith. Boat Rock is one of
approximately five batholiths around the Greater Atlanta Area. Other
batholiths include Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain, and Panola
Mountain; these areas are already protected from development and
serve as parks for the citizens of Atlanta to enjoy and as refuges
for the flora and fauna that thrive in the parks.
The ridge at Boat Rock has been eroded to expose massive granite
boulders, some which tower over nearby houses. The rocky nature of
the ridge prevented it from being converted to agriculture, sparing
Boat Rock from the erosion and devastation caused by cotton farming.
Today the natural community of Boat Rock is a rare example of an
intact oak-hickory piedmont forest. Flowering shrubs such as Oconee
Azalea and Dwarf Pawpaw grow underneath a canopy of White Oak and
Pignut Hickory. In the spring and summer, wildflowers such as Vernal
Iris, Green Adder’s Mouth Orchids, and Catesby’s Trillium color the
forest floor. Wildlife such as Southern Redback Salamanders and Gray
Treefrogs find shelter among the jumble of boulders, while Scarlet
Tanagers and Pileated Woodpeckers nest in the canopy above.
Even though Boat Rock has the natural, historical, and recreational
qualities that would make the tract one of the premier natural parks
in Metro Atlanta, it was not until 2002 that the non-profit group
the Southeastern Climbers Coalition purchased a small 7.8 acre slice
of the ridge located at 1220 Boat Rock Road. The SCC manages the small park as a
public preserve, balancing the recreational activities while
preserving Boat Rock’s unique natural community. The parking lot at
Boat Rock overflows on weekends with climbers and hikers, adults and
children. Local citizens of the Sandtown Community have been
involved in clean-ups and trail days, while local schools have been
introduced to the area through environmental educational programs
focusing on geology and biology. The SCC has raised nearly $40,000
of the $100,000 mortgage to pay for the Boat Rock Preserve and would
eventually like to see the entire ridge conserved as green space
before the area succumbs to development.
Mapquest Directions to 1220 Boat Rock Road
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Bouldering Topography Guide Map
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