Summer is nearly upon us, which means you’re probably starting to think about ways to enjoy The Great Outdoors! Hiking is one of the most rewarding summer activities – you explore new areas, get in touch with nature, and get great exercise. While Atlanta might not be the first place people think to take a hiking trip, if you find yourself there and want to get out on the trails, we’ve got a list of awesome hikes you can do in the Greater Atlanta area.
This one is for beginner hikers or families with young kids who don’t yet have the stamina for long hikes. It’s only just over a mile long and makes for a great brief jaunt into nature. The trail is located in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area about 25 minutes from the city.
Despite the trail’s short length, you get stunning views on your way up and panoramic views at the summit. The summit also has a crater containing shallow pools of water seasonally, which adds some interest to your hiking photos.
Does your dog like to hike with you? A great dog-friendly trail in the area is the East Palisades Trail, located on the Chattahoochee River less than a 20-minute drive north of downtown Atlanta. It’s also a perfect route for trail runners.
The trail is a perfect balance – at 4 miles it’s a solid hike but not a full day commitment. It’s rated moderate in terms of challenge, but still gives you great views from bluffs above the river. The river sections you’ll hike next to have rapids frequented by daring kayakers, which can be fun to watch. You’ll also get to hike through a bamboo forest!
If you’re able to go further afield, the Indian Seats Trail on Sawnee Mountain is worth the 45-minute drive from Atlanta. It’s a loop trail that runs just over 3 miles. It’s a perfect place to birdwatch and look for wildflowers.
The trail has a nice amount of challenge with some mild rock scrambling and lots of uphill and downhill sections. There’s a fantastic view from the top of Sawnee Mountain.
If you’re looking for something a bit more extreme, head about an hour and 40 minutes Northwest to Tallulah Gorge State Park. There, you’ll find the Hurricane Falls Trail which offers a fairly challenging hike. It’s still doable for most people and at just under 2 miles won’t take you the whole day, but the challenge comes from the hundreds of stairs!
The hike is stunning and will take you down into a 1,000-foot-deep gorge to view a waterfall. To get there, you’ll be climbing down lots of stairs along the side of the gorge. To complete the hike, head across a suspension bridge and then back up more stairs. Make sure to stretch out your calves before this one!
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