9 Best Hikes Near Atlanta

You may not think of Atlanta as an outdoor destination. Surprise! Among the countless things to do in Atlanta, the metropolitan area is close to some spectacular scenery, parks, and trails. Why not get outdoors and enjoy the wonderful Atlanta weather? Try these local Atlanta trails when you need some nature therapy. 


1. Stone Mountain

With different trails to suit various fitness levels and time allowances, Stone Mountain Park is just 20 miles east of Atlanta. The top’s 360-degree views will reward you with downtown Atlanta in the distance. The view is particularly Instagram-worthy at sunrise and sunset. The easiest and shortest option to the top is the Walk-Up Trail, a short out-and-back hike. 


2. Pine Mountain Trail

This 4.5-mile trail is close to Atlanta and is near Lake Allatoona. Hike through pine tree forest to the summit. You may catch the Atlanta skyline on a clear day. 


3. Constitution Lakes Park

If escaping the city isn’t in the cards but you still want to spend time outdoors, try Constitution Lakes Park. The former brick manufacturing site and its pits have been transformed into wetlands. A short 2.25-mile round-trip hike, this urban Atlanta trail is packed with interesting visual curiosities, like urban folk art displays along Doll’s Head Trail. 


4. Sope Creek Trail

The 1.5-mile Sope Creek Trail is located in the nearby Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Explore a ruined Civil War paper mill, meander along a boulder-filled creek, and circle around a serene pond.


5. Sweetwater Creek State Park

Choose your own adventure on three different trails or combine to create a loop at Sweetwater Creek State Park. The white trail descends to Sweetwater Creek. The historic Civil War ruins of New Manchester Mill are halfway on the red trail. Cross the bank to the yellow trail. Follow along as the sandy bottomland turns to clay and stone. While ascending the ridge, hikers are treated to rushing whitewater and waterfalls along the bluff-lined creek. Hikes range 2-4 miles in length.


6. Arabia Mountain Top Trail

At 1.3-miles and around 30 minutes from Midtown, Arabia’s Mountain Top Trail is a beginner-friendly hiking adventure. Hikers feel a world away from the city in this diverse landscape. The trail is a rolling path that leads through the forest, past a small lake, and out onto an exposed granite landscape, called a monadnock. This summit is the park’s most striking feature. Other trails take hikers into the nature preserve’s wetlands, forests, steams, and lakes.


7. Island Ford North Loop Trail

Treat yourself to winding views of the Chattahoochee River just 23 miles north of Atlanta. The Island Ford North Loop Trail is an easy 2.8-mile round-trip hike with pets allowed. Catch glimpses of river shoals and listen to the calls of waterfowl along the way.


8. East Palisades Route

Another trail on the Chattahoochee River, this 4.2-mile loop treats hikers to a great lookout. From the observation deck, admire sweeping river views and spot Sandy Springs in the distance. There’s also a hidden bamboo forest along the trail. 


9. Hike Inn Trail

For the more adventurous, try this 10-mile round-trip hike to the Len Foote Inn. Reserve a night in the bunk room and wish hikers heading for the Appalachian Trail good luck. The forested trail treats visitors in all seasons: stunning wildflowers in spring and summer, fall leaves and open winter views. Even if you don’t get past the trailhead, a visit to Amicalola Falls State Park and Georgia’s tallest waterfall is a treat.


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Contributed to Your Home blog byCasey McKenna-Monroe

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