Atlanta, GA

Seven Suggestions for Observing "Get Outdoors Month" In NW Georgia and Atlanta


June is designated Great Outdoors Month by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. If you're in the Greater Atlanta Area or NW Georgia and looking for an easy, close-in location to join in the outdoor activities, here are a few ideas for outdoor family outings within an hour of the I-285 perimeter (which includes some links where the author/website may earn a fee for advertising):
Whether walking, hiking, biking or boating, there are lots of outdoor options within a hour of the Atlanta perimeter.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Lullwater Preserve

Inside the Perimeter and tucked quietly between Emory University and the Atlanta VA Medical Center, nature blends with abandoned infrastructure in this natural oasis among urban surroundings. Walk along scenic Peachtree Creek to find a hidden suspension bridge and ruins of an abandoned powerhouse.
This hidden suspension bridge at Lullwater Preserve inside the perimeter is a treat for all ages.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

East and West Palisades Recreation Areas

Part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, these forested preserves straddle Interstates 75 and 275 in Cobb County north of Atlanta. Paths at both East and West Palisades follow the Chattahoochee River, offering frequent views at riverside and from high above on the neighboring hills. Away from the riverbanks, hardwood forests and small streams are home to a variety of wildlife. A bamboo forest also is a hidden surprise at East Palisades. Other areas within the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area also offer great riverside walks and exploration opportunities.
Iconic Stone Mountain offers lakeside and mountain top adventures, with other fun choices, too.Photo: Dean Land / Our Travel Cafe

Stone Mountain

With trails ranging from under one mile to five miles, Stone Mountain east of Atlanta delivers on family-friendly hiking experiences. The Walk-Up Trail is most popular, climbing nearly 800 vertical feet to the top of the granite monolith. The Loop Trail circles the mountain, through the woods and along the lakes, delivering on great views with less climbing. For the less-adventurous, try the Nature Garden trail, a .75-mile route around creeks and gardens.

Marietta Mountain-to-River Trail

This is a perfect blend of outdoor time, physical activity and small-town fun. A multi-use recreation trail, we often bike this route. Around Marietta Square, walking is best, plus there’s lots of history and easy access to shopping and dining. Stop in at the Gone With the Wind Museum along the way for a break and some entertainment nostalgia. Plus, the on-trend food hall, Marietta Square Market, is adjacent to the trail, great for meals and snacks.
For walking or walking, Mountain to River Trail runs near Marietta Square, with access to the Saturday market, a food hall and more.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Kennesaw Mountain

The most-visited national battlefield park in the US, the locals consider KeMo a premier hiking spot for mountain-top views, wildlife sightings and trail variety. Sunrise and sunset hikes feature colorful panoramas. Our favorite loop hike travels up KeMo’s backside, through “the big zig,” over the saddle and back down to the visitor center. There are quieter, less-traveled walks on Noses Creek that start at Pigeon Hill.

Walking in Woodstock

No, not THAT Woodstock, but, rather Woodstock, GA. Located just up I-575, park downtown and enjoy the Noonday Creek greenway trail, a three-mile round-trip out-and-back walk. Or drop in at the Woodstock visitor’s center on Main Street in the historic Dean’s Store and pick up the map for a 1.7-mile self-guided history hike. If you choose to do both, you’ll want to leave time for refreshments in the wonderful downtown.

Red Top Mountain State Park

With multiple trails and lots of lakeside access for cooling your feet, this is a family favorite north of Atlanta off I-75. We like the Iron Hill Trail. Though shared with mountain bikes, the wide trail winds through pine forest before reaching the shores of Lake Allatoona. Whether walking through the forest accompanied by Georgia songbirds or wading in the cooling lake waters, this trail is perfect for all ages.
Boat rentals are available at multiple marinas around Lake Allatoona and Red Top Mountain State Park.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

More Distant Options

If you have more time, North Georgia offers a plethora of outdoor options, some featuring spectacular waterfall walks and hikes. For a full range of outdoor ideas (and a few for indoors, just in case it rains!), check out the Georgia Small Plates section at

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I'm a trained journalist, global marketing executive and experienced business leader who has run successful enterprises spanning five continents while serving customers who are among the world's best and largest restaurants. I've left the corporate business world behind, now living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm now a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA

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