Atlanta, GA

Best Trails to Hike In and Around Atlanta

DIY Active

Looking to escape urban life? Try hiking around Georgia's mountain and coastal plain.

Atlanta's hiking trails are ideal for both short-day and all-day outing. The hikes will take you through historic factories and mills as well as scenic waterfalls and stone formation.

Atlanta might seem like a big city, but there are plenty of outdoor adventures if you look close. It is fuelled by fresh air and the spectacular power of nature.

Moreover, many of the best trails are less than two hours from the city.

Some of the Atlanta hikes are visually stunning. It will leave you guessing if you are even in Georgia.

Therefore, if you are looking for the best trails to hike in and around Atlanta, here are our top picks.

1. Island Ford North Loop Trail

This easy 2.8-mile hike offers plenty of views. For starters, there is the slow unwinding water of the Chattahoochee River. Birds and turtles often flock to this place.

This trail is perfect for hikers who loves exploring wildlife and nature. Additionally, you will find waterfalls and wildflower alongside the Chattahoochee River.

However, the trail gets muddy after rain, so make sure to wear waterproof hiking boots.

Plan an early morning hike if you want to enjoy a peaceful setting. However, the trail is not usually crowded. Pets are allowed in the trail but keep them on a leash.

2. Vaughters Out and Back Trail

Perhaps the most striking feature of this trail is its lunar-like landscape. The landscape makes this place identifiable as well as memorable.

The hike starts at the base of the hill and gradually heads towards the summit. Moreover, this area has geological significance. Such as its exceptional granite formation.

Vaughters out and back trail is filled with rare plant species. In spring, you will find a small red plant with white and red flowers. It is a rare diamorpha plant. You will find it in the pools of water that collect granite depression.

Additionally, there is a granite quarry from the early-mid-20th century. Here you will find a variety of lowland lakes and streams.

Moreover, if you love woodland creatures, this place offers plenty to see. You will often find hares, turtles and deer roaming around.

3. Freedom Park Trail

This path offers a unique view to visitors. You will get some of the spectacular views of downtown Atlanta.

The trail starts from Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. You can visit MLK Jr, their birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church (where he was baptized) and his tomb.

The MLK Jr. National Historic site alone is worth the visit. After that, the trails lead to the east/northeast.

There are series of green spaces and parks, including the 200-acre Freedom Park. The park highlights well-maintained greenway and art sculptures.

If you follow the sidewalks south and then east, you will reach Chandler Park. It is a shopping district. Have a drink, unwind or go shopping- there is plenty to do.

However, being in the residential district, this trail won't offer the same sense of solitude as the other parks.

4. East Palisades Route

It is one of the hidden gems of the Atlanta metro area. This trail is generally uncrowded and family friendly.

The trail starts from the Chattahoochee River and then gradually goes half a mile to one of the amazing lookouts in the area.

Therefore, make sure to pack a snack and take a break on the wooden observation deck. You will find breath-taking views of this place.

Did you know there is a hidden bamboo forest in this trail? It is located along the water's edge at the northern point. It is the perfect place to take a stroll or listening to the forest's whispering breeze.

5. Vickery Creek Trail

It is one of the popular hiking spots for a good reason. Vickery Creek is easily accessible and has great amenities. Moreover, it is located close to Roswell.

Roswell is a historic place with several restaurants. Here you can get a quick post-hike bite.

This is a great route if you like a substantial hike in the woods. One of the major attractions includes the Big Creek Mill Dam Spill. Moreover, there is a long bridge that connects the trail to the Dam Spill parking area.

This trail is one of the popular visiting spots for families during the weekends.

6. Indian Seats Loop Trail

This trail winds around the Sawnee Mountain that leads to the Indian Seats lookout point. You will get a panoramic view of Blue Ridge Mountain from this location.

Different rock formations and a wooden observation deck is a popular resting spot for hikers. Therefore, if you are looking for a break, you can try this place.

Additionally, if you get the time, try swinging by the visitor centre and its surrounding grounds. The visitor centre offers interactive exhibits and educational materials about Sawnee Mountain Preserve.


Therefore, if you are looking to escape the city and don't mind sweating, try some of Atlanta's hiking trails. These hikes are gorgeous, and you will get to explore some of the gorgeous, historical, and scenic views of Atlanta along the way.

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