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Kevin Murray | 05.25.2018

Atlanta is not typically known for being great for outdoor activities; despite boasting great weather much of the year, most people know the city better for the nightlife and food scene. What often comes as a surprise for many long-time residents are the dizzying array of hiking options that are available to anyone with a car, or in some cases just a bus pass. Tons of different natural features can be found in Georgia, including high mountain tops, deep gorges, rolling river cascades, and everything in between.

Below is a list of 10 must-hike places in Georgia, and keep in mind there are likely many more trails to enjoy at each location. Get out and explore!

  • Blood Mountain to many is the crown jewel of the North Georgia mountains. A difficult hike with many loop options and excellent views makes this a place you’ll want to return to again and again.
  • Yonah Mountain may look like a mini-Stone Mountain, but the diversity of such a short hike earns it a reputation all its own. Views of the Blue Ridge and a great flat grassy summit for camping make this a north Georgia gem.
  • Kennesaw Mountain is a prominent peak just 45 minutes northwest of downtown with dozens of miles of forested trails with several excellent panoramic views from the summit.
  • Stone Mountain inside Stone Mountain State Park just east of Atlanta is perhaps the most iconic natural feature of the state. Many trails and activities exist, and the main trail climbing to the top of the exposed granite offers a huge vista in all directions.
  • Sweetwater Creek State Park is a gorgeous area west of Atlanta featuring slow cascades, winding forested trail, and an abandoned historical mill that was used in the filming of one of the Hunger Games movies.
  • Springer Mountain Loop via Len Foote Inn starts you at the state’s highest waterfall and takes you to the southern terminus of the famous Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain. For a different way back, take the loop over to Len Foote Inn for a place to relax and to enjoy some refreshments!
  • Waterfalls to Sitton’s Gulch Trail at Cloudland Canyon takes you past several impressive falls and to the rim of one of Georgia’s most interesting natural features, a forested canyon with steep rocky cliffs.
  • Indian Seats at Sawnee Mountain Preserve is a hidden gem nestled next to Cumming quite close to GA-400 and boasts sweeping views of the country leading up to the southern Blue Ridge on the horizon.
  • Tennessee Rock Trail in Black Rock Mountain State Park, the highest state park in Georgia, has also some of the best views in the state. For extra credit, hike the longer and tougher James Edmonds Backcountry Trail, and make sure to stop at Tallulah Gorge for some quick views and a break on the long drive.
  • Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia. A 1.2-mile hike from the parking area can get you to a world of views. Or you can hike the much longer (11-mile) and more strenuous Arkaquah Trail along the west ridge for extra credit.


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