From the Appalachian Trail and Bartram Trail to an endless array of State Parks, WMAs, and waterfalls scattered all through the region, North Georgia is a tremendous place for anybody who loves hiking.
But even should you can’t make the drive to discover the Blue Ridge Mountains of North GA, hiking in Atlanta offers a surprising wealth of green space to explore.
Popular hiking trails in Atlanta such as the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve and the Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park provide you with a chance to see native birds and wildlife within the heart of the town.
If you do have time to venture past the I-285 Perimeter, there are additionally some excellent hikes near Atlanta, together with hiking trails in Kennesaw, Roswell, Stone Mountain, Woodstock, and beyond.
All of those are technically a half of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, which is the 8th largest metro space within the United States.
Read on for our in-depth information to the 20 finest hikes in Atlanta GA, together with the most effective access points, total difficulty degree, and the approximate round-trip distance of each trail.
READ MORE:The 30 Best Hiking Trails in North Georgia Bucket List
Best Hiking Trails in Atlanta GA Guide
1. Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail
2. Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
three. Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
four. Cochran Shoals Trail
5. Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park
6. East Palisades Trail
7. Morningside Nature Preserve
eight. Powers Island Trail
9. Arabia Mountain Top Trail
10. Iron Hill Loop Trail at Redtop Mountain
eleven. Kennesaw Mountain Trails
12. Olde Rope Mill Park & Allatoona Falls
thirteen. Panola Mountain
14. Pine Mountain Trails
15. Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats Trail
16. Silver Comet Trail
17. Sope Creek Trail
18. Stone Mountain Trail: Walk-Up & Cherokee Trails
19. Sweetwater Creek State Park
20. Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill
READ MORE: The 25 Best North Georgia Waterfalls (& How to Get to Them)
Hiking Trails in Atlanta GA
Hiking the Atlanta BeltLine1. The Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail
Location: Piedmont Park, 1320 Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta GA
Distance: 3 Miles
Funded by non-public and public donations, the 3-mileAtlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail is an ongoing project designed to extend and improve natural and neighborhood spaces all through the city.
The BeltLine’s projected completion date isn’t till 2029, yet it’s already one of the most in style and finest hikes in Atlanta, with Instagram-worthy nature pics all along the way.
Along with self-guided hikes, guests can seelive music, take free fitness courses, use sports activities facilities, and picnic in Perkerson Park, Gordon White Park, and other parks along the BeltLine.
The BeltLine’s Eastside Trailhead could be accessed on the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive, in Piedmont Park.
The BeltLine is free to access and sometimes offers walking and bike tours for guests. Interactive and downloadable maps can be found on-line.
READ MORE: The 52 Best Georgia Hiking Trails for the fifty two Hikes Challenge
Brown-Headed Nuthatch at Cascade Springs Nature Preserve by Shawn Taylor through CC BY 2.02. Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
Location:2852 Cascade Road, Atlanta GA
Distance: 1.6 Miles
The 120-acreCascade Springs Nature Preserve follows a creek surrounded by beautiful historic buildings, ultimately leading to the Cascade Springs waterfall.
The creekside hiking trail comes throughout an old stone springhouse, which saved the water clean from particles and kept meat and dairy products cool earlier than fridges have been invented.
This is one of the extra popular Atlanta hiking trails due to the photogenic springhouse, which boasts a novel swirling design and has moss and ivy crawling up its sides.
After about 1.3 miles, you’ll reach Cascade Spring Falls, which rushes down the facet of the steep slope and flows under an old bridge covered in crawling English Ivy.
Leashed canines are allowed on the Cascade Springs trails, so be happy to deliver your furry pals along!
READ MORE:The 25 Best Easy Hiking Trails to Waterfalls in Georgia
Photo courtesy Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve3. Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
Location:2580 Pine Bluff Drive, Decatur GA
The 28-acreClyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is home to round 300 species of Georgia’s native flora and fauna, as properly as numerous quick hiking trails and a beaver pond.
The privately owned preserve’s aim is to guard wildlife habitats (including wetlands, ponds, and trees) in Decatur’s South Peachtree Creek Watershed.
The preserve occasionally offers guided nature hikes and community education programs centered on the conservation ofwildlife in Georgia.
Trail maps can be found to obtain onto any cellular system, exhibiting hikers the place they will can find benches, remark decks, chook feeders, and a photo blind.
The Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is an particularly great place for bird watchers: To date, around one hundred sixty five species of birds have been recorded there.
READ MORE:20 Beautiful Birds of Georgia
Cochran Shoals Trail, photo by Shawn Taylor through CC BY 2.04. Cochran Shoals Trail
Location: Eugene Gunby Road, Marietta GA
Distance: three.1 Miles
The Cochran Shoals Trail is situated in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which is doubtless certainly one of the hottest locations for hiking in Atlanta.
It’s extensively considered among the best hiking trails near Atlanta as a end result of its flat, wide path. So it’s suitable for trail running, household hikes, and taking side trails to discover the verdant forest.
With 3 miles of hiking trails along the Chattahoochee River, Cochran Shoals offers stunning views of the river, wetlands, and wildlife.
Weekends are a busy time to go to the Cochran Shoals Trail, so get there early (or go through the week) if you would like to avoid the crowds.
READ MORE: The 10 Best National Parks in Georgia to Visit
Doll’s Head Trail in Atlanta, picture by Marcus O. via CC BY 2.05. The Doll’s Head Trail
Location: 1305 S. River Industrial Blvd SE, Atlanta GA
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Deep in Constitution Lakes Park lies a Atlanta trail that’s wealthy in creative expression and local historical past. It’s additionally rich withGeorgia snakes, so watch your step!
Accessed by way of the Rail Ridge Trail, the 1.6-mile Doll’s Head Trail was constructed by development worker Joel Slaton in 2011, when he hit a rough patch after the 2008 recession.
This area was residence to the South River Brick Company from the late 1800s to 1907, and it turned a dumping floor for bricks, pink clay, and trash from close by homesteads.
Using junk he discovered discarded along the trail and within the old brick pits, Slaton built strange little buildings within the trees and on the ground surrounding the trail, which can be haunting for some visitors.
Note that hikers are encouraged NOT to add to the scary attraction, which prominently features dismembered doll heads and other discarded objects.
READ MORE:The 10 Most Haunted Places in Georgia to Visit
East Palisades Trail, picture by Shawn Taylor through CC BY 2.0.6. The East Palisades Trail
Location: 4058 Whitewater Creek Road NW, Atlanta GA
Distance: four Miles
This Atlanta hike follows alongside the Eastern Banks of the Chattahoochee River, which presents opportunities for kayaking, river tubing, and white water rafting on Class I and II rapids.
The East Palisades Trail passes by way of certainly one of Georgia’s few bamboo forests, stone partitions of historic ruins, and high-elevation scenic overlooks.
The East Palisades Trail is pet-friendly (as lengthy as they’re leashed) and presents four miles of well-marked paths for you to discover collectively.
If you’re craving extra journey after your hike, you could also visit the West Palisades Trail for a brand-new view on the alternative aspect of the Chattahoochee River.
READ MORE:The 10 Best Kayaking Rivers in Georgia
Morningside Nature Preserve Walkway, picture by Jim Hodgson through CC BY 2.zero.7. Morningside Nature Preserve
Location: 2020 Lenox Road NE, Atlanta GA
Distance: 2 Miles
Located in an upscale neighborhood within the Atlanta suburbs, the Morningside Nature Preserve protects land that was practically razed to the ground and used for urban growth within the late 1990s.
Thankfully, the protect was funded by local residents in 2006 and has since been introduced again to its relatively pristine pure state.
One of our favourite features of this trail is the wooden suspension bridge over South Fork Peachtree Creek, the place you would possibly see wildlife similar to foxes, beavers, turtles, and birds.
Below the bridge is a sandy creek shore that is a popular seaside for Morningside’s canine to play.
Some of the preserve’s Eastern trails occasionally turn out to be overrun by vegetation, but many of the park’s hiking trails are simple enough for beginners.
READ MORE:25 Fun Activities Where You Can Experience Fall in Georgia
Powers Island Loop Trail, photo by Shawn Taylor via CC BY 2.08. Powers Island Loop Trail
Location: 5450 Interstate North Pkwy, Sandy Springs GA
Distance: 2.6 Miles
This popular Atlanta trail was named after ferry operator James Powers, who supplied rides across the Chattahoochee River during the 1800s.
The 2.6-mile is ideal for hikers who wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of town life, as properly as nature photographers and wildlife lovers.
The Powers Island Loop Trail is rated as moderate due to the rock- and root-strewn path, but most able-bodied guests are in a position to navigate it safely by paying attention to where they place their ft.
Like the East Palisades Trail, the Powers Island Trail crosses via the Chattahoochee’s evergreen bamboo forest, which is beautiful even after the fall colors in Georgia have faded.
READ MORE: The Best Christmas Lights in Atlanta and North Georgia
Hikes Near Atlanta GA
Vernal Pool at Arabia Mountain, photo by Eric Foster through CC0 1.zero.9. Arabia Mountain Top Trail
Location: Arabia Mountain, Stonecrest GA
Distance: 1.three Miles
Located within the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, this hike near Atlanta offers a novel landscape consisting of granite outcroppings and reflective swimming pools.
Open from dawn to sunset, the 1.3-mile Mountain Top Trail will get steep in some areas. So be sure to convey yourhiking necessities, despite the fact that it’s thought of to be a reasonable hike.
At an elevation of 955 feet, the summit provides a reward for hikers once they attain the highest of the trail– a stunning 360º view of the Georgiamountains (including Panola Mountain and Stone Mountain).
If you’ve been itching to see a bird’s-eye-view of the East Atlanta panorama, the Arabia Mountain Top Trail provides you with the perfect scratch!
READ MORE: The 20 Best Hiking Trails within the Chattahoochee National Forest
Sunset on Lake Allatoona, photograph by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett10. Iron Hill Loop Trail
Location: Red Top Mountain Rd SE, Acworth GA
Distance: 3.eight Miles
The 3.8-mile Iron Hill Loop Trail in Red Top Mountain State Parkis set again from the State Park’sroads, exploring the shorelines and inlets of Lake Allatoona.
This trail is listed as reasonable problem due to its gravel path, which crosses several picket bridges.
Along with the Iron Hill Loop, Red Top Mountain provides 12.5 miles of hiking trails, in addition to a full-service marina for boat rentals and jet ski rentals.
This is one other dog-friendly trail, but hikers are urged to stay alert for passing mountain bikers so that you simply and your pooch don’t get injured.
READ MORE: The 20 Best Lakes in the North Georgia Mountains
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, picture by Tom Wilson through NPS11. Kennesaw Mountain Trails
Location: 900 Kennesaw Mtn. Drive, Kennesaw GA
Distance: 20+ Mile Trail Network
The Kennesaw Mountain trails are part of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, the site of an important 1864 battle during the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War.
This intermediate trail presents a possibility to view one of many mostly importantCivil War battlefields in Georgia, including some canons used in the historic battle.
The park additionally provides environmental trails and a battlefield trail, which are rated as reasonable in difficulty and include steep terrain leading to the summit of Kennesaw Mountain.
Due to the rocky terrain, hikers should come ready for a little bit of a problem. But on clear days the summit rewards you with views of Stone Mountain and the Downtown Atlanta skyline.
READ MORE:The 15 Best Historic Sites in Georgia
Allatoona Falls in Olde Rope Mill Park, picture by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett12. Olde Rope Mill Park & Allatoona Falls
Location: 690 Olde Rope Mill Park Rd, Woodstock GA
Distance: 3.2 Miles
With over 20 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, Woodstock’sOlde Rope Mill Parkis also a fantastic area for kayaking, fishing, or wading in the Little River.
The numerous trails embody one which leads to the ruins of the Depression-era Rope Mill, which was destroyed in 1950 through the building of Lake Allatoona.
There’s an unmarked trail in the park leads to Allatoona Falls (a.k.a. Toonigh Creek Falls), which could be reached by hiking on foot or by way of paddling a kayak or canoe from the lake.
Olde Rope Mill Park also features designated picnic areas, a coated pavilion, and quite a few swings and benches for many who wish to loosen up and luxuriate in its natural magnificence.
READ MORE:The 24 Best Pumpkin Patches in Georgia to Visit
Panola Mountain State Park, picture by way of gastateparks.org13. Panola Mountain
Location: 2620 Highway 155 SW, Stockbridge GA
Distance: 30+ Mile Trail Network
Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1980, Panola Mountain State Parkis protected by the State of Georgia as a spot of notable organic and geographical options.
Within the State Park, you’ll discover the 15-acre Alexander Lake in addition to distinctive granite formations similar to these of nearby Stone Mountain and Arabia Mountain.
Because of the trail’s average difficulty and the area’s delicate biology, Panola Mountain guests must make reservations to find a way to climb to the mountain’s summit with a park ranger.
But guests to the state park don’t want a reservation to hike the 1.3-mile Alexander Lake Loop Trail, which options rocky outcroppings and delightful pine forest.
READ MORE:The 25 Best Day Trips From Atlanta GA
Waterfall at F.D. Roosevelt State Park, photograph through GA State Parks14. Pine Mountain Trail
Location: 2970 Georgia one hundred ninety, Pine Mountain GA
Distance: 23 Miles
The Pine Mountain Trail community is in the 9,049-acreFranklin D. Roosevelt State Park, the most important of the North Georgiastate parks.
This 23-mile trail (indicated by a Blue blaze) provides wondrous views of the Pine Mountain ridge valley and its scenic overlooks, wildlife, and waterfalls.
The trail begins on the park entrance off Highway 27 across from the Callaway Gardens Country Store and ends at the WJSP TV Tower on Highway 85W.
But there are additionally 6 shorter loop trails along the greatest way, ranging from three.2 to 7.eight miles, that make nice day hikes for many of the 60,000 hikers who visit each year.
For those that want to do a multi-day trek, there are sixteen designated backcountrycampsites obtainable for reservation at FDR State Park, but you should have a allow.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Campgrounds in North Georgia
Indian Seats at Sawnee Mountain Preserve, photograph by Jason Dominy15. Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats Trail
Location: 2500 Bettis Tribble Gap Road, Cumming GA
Distance: four Miles
If you’re a sundown fanatic, the moderateIndian Seats Trail at Sawnee Mountain Preserve is truly a must-see. Much like Arabia Mountain and Stone Mountain, it features putting granite outcroppings.
The Sawnee Mountain area was beforehand house to the Cherokee, Creek, and prehistoric Native American tribes, and is believed to have been used for sacred ceremonies and rituals.
With interpretive signs guiding guests by way of the area’s historical past (including deserted Georgia gold mines), the trail offers an informative and educational experience.
If you’re visiting the preserve with kids, make certain you cut via the Yucca Trail, where you’ll happen upon a captivating fairy garden and a treehouse!
READ MORE:Fall within the Mountains of North Georgia: 25 Places to See Fall Colors
Silver Comet Trail Bridge, photograph viaCC-BY-SA 4.0.sixteen. Silver Comet Trail
Location: Silver Comet Trail, Smyrna GA
Distance: 61.5 Miles
Built on deserted railroad traces, the Silver Comet Trail runs 60+ miles, from Smyrna GA west to the Alabama border (where it becomes the Chief Ladiga Trail).
The 12-foot extensive rail trail is paved and comparatively flat, making it nice for biking, hiking, or jogging.
Construction of this North Atlanta trail is ongoing. It will finally hyperlink to the Atlanta BeltLine and Chattahoochee River trails, creating a city-wide community of Atlanta trails and recreation areas.
There are interactive online maps available for visitors, showing trail instructions through three Georgia counties (Cobb, Paulding, and Polk) as well as in style tourist spots and hotels alongside the means in which.
READ MORE:The 15 Best Fall Fairs in Georgia to Visit
Sope Creek, photo by Lee Coursey through CC BY 2.0.17. Sope Creek Trail
Location: 3726 Paper Mill Road SE, Marietta GA
Distance: 1.5 Miles
Part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Marietta’s Sope Creek Trail is home to the castle-like ruins of a paper mill that was destroyed and abandoned during the Civil War.
The 1.5-mile creekside trail is a loop, so you’ll get to see each the haunting paper mill ruins in addition to Sibley Lake (in which fishing is allowed) along the way.
The Sope Creek Trail connects to the aforementioned Cochran Shoals Trail by way of a walkway, so hardy hikers may simply mix these two Atlanta trails for a reasonably troublesome four.6-mile trek.
There are additionally a quantity of mountain biking trails nearby, plus water-based actions similar to fishing and kayaking. So the recreation area is a superb place for a full day of outdoor adventure!
READ MORE:The 15 Best Breweries in Georgia
Sunset atop Stone Mountain GA, photo courtesy Chenyi Pao18. Stone Mountain Hiking Trails: Walk-Up & Cherokee Trails
Location: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain GA
Difficulty: Moderate & Challenging
Distance: 15-Mile Trail Network
Open day by day from dawn to dusk, the Walk-Up Trail at Stone Mountain Park is a reasonably tough trek that takes hikers 1,686 ft up to the highest of the enduring mountain.
Yellow arrows and trail-markers make it straightforward to comply with the path to the summit, where you presumably can see spectacular 360º views that, on clear days, stretch for 60 miles.
The Cherokee Trail (marked with red arrows) lies at the base of Stone Mountain. It was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1971 as a outcome of its illustration of the area’s geography and indigenous folks.
Since most visitors take the Walk-Up Trail, the Cherokee Trail is arguably probably the most peaceable hiking trail near Atlanta. It provides a lot of sunny patches and beautiful views of the stark granite rock formations.
If you do select to climb Stone Mountain, it’s important to remain mindful of your step, as these rocks get particularly slippery after it rains.
READ MORE:52 Best Georgia Hiking Trails for the fifty two Hikes Challenge
Sweetwater Creek State Park Ruins through gastateparks.org19. Sweetwater Creek State Park
Location: 1750 Mount Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs GA
Distance: 20+ Mile Trail Network
Located in Lithia Springs GA,Sweetwater Creek State Parkoffers hiking trails near Atlanta that wind by way of the park’s azaleas, hardwood forest, ferns, and wildflowers.
Like Kennesaw Mountain and Sope Creek, the State Park has a trail that leads hikers by Civil War-era ruins, these from the New Manchester Manufacturing Company textile mill.
Park guests have to make a reservation for a guided tour with a Park Ranger in the event that they want to go to the mill.
Sweetwater Creek State Park also has loads of different amenities, in case hikers want to make a day trip out of their go to to the park.
The 200+ acre George Sparks Reservoir is great for fishing, and so they have yurts, picnic shelters, campgrounds, and an occasion room available for hire.
READ MORE:The 25 Best Fall Fairs and Festivals in Georgia
Vickery Creek Falls, photo by Christina Maggitas20. Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill
Location: 1 Mill Street, Roswell GA
Distance: four.7 Miles
Although it’s a part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, the Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill doesn’t follow the banks of the river. But it does boast one of metro Atlanta’s greatest waterfalls!
The Roswell Mill (one of two mills located alongside the trail) was home to the Roswell Manufacturing Company, and was destroyed through the Civil War’s Atlanta campaign.
The ruins lie alongside the Vickery Creek Trail, and the broad waterfall was created by a dam that was built to provide water and energy to Roswell’s mills.
For help navigating the 4.7-mile Vickery Creek Trail to the falls and mill ruins, trail maps can be found on site and on-line. –by Kait Miller; featured image of Stone Mountain Sunset courtesy Chenyi Pao