Hiking may not be the first thing you think of when planning a trip to the urban area of Atlanta, but there are plenty of great trails within a short drive from the city. With moderate temperatures year-round, Atlanta’s weather is ideal for outdoor activities. Pack your hiking boots and plan to escape city life for a while in the serenity of nature on these amazing trails for hiking in Atlanta.
Sweetwater Creek Loop
For a mix of hiking and history, head to Sweetwater Creek State Park, 20 miles west of Atlanta in the town of Austell. This intermediate 4.1-mile round-trip loop takes you along a ridgeline with sweeping views of Sweetwater Creek, eventually winding its way down to the water’s edge. The large boulders along the creek make for some adventurous climbing and provide a great spot to stop for a picnic. The trail will eventually take you to the ruins of the New Manchester mill, burned during the Civil War and now standing as just a partial brick building perfect for photo ops.
Hiking in Atlanta at Vickery Creek
For a tropical island feel, head to Vickery Creek in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, for hiking near Atlanta just 20 miles north of the city in the town of Roswell. The easy to intermediate 4.1-mile lollipop loop begins with a long, covered bridge across the river and meanders through the woods before arriving at the cascading man-made falls of the Big Creek Mill dam spill. Cool off in the water at the bottom of the falls. With the water rushing over the rocks above, the waterfall gives the feel of a tropical island. Choose among several restaurants in historic downtown Roswell for a post-hike meal.
Stone Mountain Walk Up and Cherokee Trail Loop
For sweeping summit views, head to Stone Mountain Park located 20 miles east of Atlanta in the town of Stone Mountain. This intermediate to difficult 6.3-mile round-trip loop with an out-and-back spur to the summit is one of the best spots for hiking in Atlanta and takes you around the base and up to the summit of Stone Mountain. Hikers wanting a shorter distance without sacrificing the scenery can take the Walk-Up Trail for an out-and-back summit view. The summit provides dramatic 360-degree views, especially beautiful at sunrise or sunset.
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