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7 Popular Hikes Around Atlanta

by
May 4th, 2022

There’s nothing better than a walk in the forest, or up a mountain, or along a river, or past a waterfall, or….

Atlanta is surrounded by a wealth of outdoor recreation, thanks to the many rivers and creeks winding their ways across the state. From camping to kayaking to backpacking and more, there’s certainly enough to keep anyone busy all year long!

Here are some of our favorite hikes around Atlanta! 

Best hikes around Atlanta, Georgia

Brasstown Bald / Arkaquah Trail

Difficulty: 🌳🌳🌳

Trail length: 12 miles

Trail type: out-and-back

Trailhead location: 2941 GA-180 Spur, Hiawassee, GA 30546

Neighborhood: Macedonia

Dog friendly: yes

This hike is a little further out of town, but it’s a must-do for any avid hikers in Georgia. 

The short but steep hike up to Brasstown Bald is just half a mile from the parking lot near the visitor center’s parking lot, but it's from the summit that the real adventure begins!

Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia and offers a gorgeous 360-degree view of the surrounding Appalachian mountains. From the summit, one can head along the Arkaquah Trail that extends 5.5 miles down the mountain through stunning forests, across bubbling creeks and to an ancient set of preserved Native American petroglyphs carved on soapstone boulders. The trail is gorgeous but one of the more challenging ones in the state, due to the immediate steep return to the summit.   

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve

Difficulty: 🌳

Trail length: 1.9 miles

Trail type: loop

Trailhead location: 2852 Cascade Rd, Atlanta, GA 30311

Neighborhood: Southwest Atlanta

Dog friendly: yes

This short but sweet stroll through the trees is well worth the visit. 

The gentle loop at the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve passes by moss-covered boulders, babbling brooks, bubbling waterfalls and an old springhouse that looks like it came right out of a fairytale. There’s some history here, too, as it’s the site of the Battle of Utoy Creek in the Civil War. 

East Palisades Trail at the Chattahoochee River

Difficulty: 🌳🌳

Trail length: 2.6 miles

Trail type: out-and-back

Trailhead location: 1425 Indian Trail NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30327

Neighborhood:  Cumberland

Dog friendly: yes

This scenic trail meanders gently along the Chattahoochee River through lush forests, over towering bluffs and even through a bamboo forest! Along the way there is plenty of space to have a picnic, relax in a hammock or sit and enjoy the water!

Island Ford Trail

Difficulty: 🌳🌳

Trail length: 2 miles

Trail type: loop

Trailhead location: 1978 Island Ford Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30350

Neighborhood: Roswell

Dog friendly: yes

This section of the Chattahoochee River is characterized by wide, shallow waters surrounded by forests filled with wildlife, wildflowers and a little more peace and quiet than most other parks. Don’t be surprised to see a few deer along the path as you wind along the river bank and into the calm forest!

Len Foote Hike Inn & Amicalola Falls

Difficulty: 🌳🌳🌳

Trail length: 10 miles

Trail type: out-and-back

Trailhead location: 280 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, Dawsonville, GA 30534

Neighborhood:  Amicalola

Dog friendly: yes

For hikers seeking a hike that’s more like backpacking, the Amicalola Falls to the Len Foote Hike Inn is a must-do!

The Len Foote Hike Inn is just what it sounds like: a rustic backcountry inn that one can only reach by hiking. Whether you plan to stay the night at the inn or head right back to the trailhead, the hike itself is a gorgeous one that has sweeping views of the mountains and passes through pristine canopies. Make sure to check out the Amicalola Falls at the trailhead, too!

Sweetwater Creek Red Trail

Difficulty: 🌳🌳

Trail length: 2 miles

Trail type: out-and-back

Trailhead location: 1750 Mt Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs, GA 30122

Neighborhood: Lithia Springs

Dog friendly: yes

Here at Sweetwater Creek State Park, one can find all the rugged beauty of the rural mountains right here just west of Atlanta! 

The park contains a variety of trails, but arguably one of the more popular ones is the Red Trail that follows the Sweetwater Creek downstream to the rocky rapids, fern-covered forest floors and scenic overlooks that make the park so well-loved. Plus, “The Hunger Games” fans might recognize the old mill from the “Mockingjay” movie where Katniss and Gale rest by the river. 

Vickery Creek Falls and Roswell Mill Trail

Difficulty: 🌳

Trail length: 4.7 miles

Trail type: loop

Trailhead location: 95 Mill St, Roswell, GA 30075

Neighborhood:  Roswell 

Dog friendly: yes

This urban park is anything but urban. Located in the heart of Roswell on the north shore of the Chattahoochee River, the Vickery Creek Trail passes by a host of scenic beauties. The remains of an old mill, covered in moss and ivy, date back to the Civil War era. Walk across a shady covered bridge over Big Creek and follow the quiet trail through the forest and along grassy creek beds. An abundance of birdlife and wildlife call this park home, so keep an eye out for heron, geese, deer and more!

There are so many more places to hike around Atlanta, what with the many rivers, natural areas and scenic preserves scattered all over the Georgia countryside. These, though, are a pretty good selection of popular hikes that you’ll not want to miss out on during your time living in our luxury Atlanta apartments.

Enjoy!

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Featured photo courtesy  Pixabay/Pexels

Author of Article

Colleen Ford is a South African who now lives in Spokane, Washington. She loves to travel, camp (in warm weather) and bake.

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