Sandtown Community Association


Site Map

Boat Rock Preserve

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

History                                                                    Back to Top

The street 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.


Today 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                             Back to Top

Bouldering Topography Guide Map (source     Back to Top

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