Hiking is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the greenery (and awesome weather) in Atlanta.
But I got nothin’ on my parents, who are true hiking experts. They belong to a hiking club and have been known to hike dozens of miles per week on the trails in and around Atlanta. My dad is even a designated Trip Leader.
So I teamed up with them to put together this little list of easy (and beautiful) hikes around Atlanta.
This trail is about 3 miles and will take you by the Chattahoochee River and into the neighboring forest. It has a few hills but overall is a nice tranquil walk through the woods. Don’t forget to take a rest on one of the boulders just offshore (if the water level of the river is low enough).
Once you arrive at the park, walk down the hill behind the ranger station and go left to begin the hike. Check here for the Island Ford trail map and driving directions.
A little longer at about 4 miles, this trail will also take you along the Chattahoochee River but in a different area. There are some steep hills and a few higher-elevation bluffs, which will get you some great views of the surrounding landscape. You will even hike through an incredible 30-foot high bamboo forest.
There are two parking lots: Whitewater parking lot off Whitewater Trail and Indian Trail parking lot. It’s easier to find the trailhead from Indian Trail parking lot. After you park in the Indian Trail parking lot, the trailhead starts at the edge of the parking lot. Check out the East Palisades driving directions and trail map here.
The Jones Bridge trail is a 4.6-mile hike along yet another region of the Chattahoochee River’s banks. Along the way, you’ll catch views of an early 20th-century bridge over the river. This hike is easy and beautiful with just a few rolling hills.
Drive to the end of the road to the big parking lot and there are two trailheads – you can pick the one that goes towards the river next to the payment kiosk. Grab driving directions and see the trail map here.
Vickery Creek is a 3-5 mile hike through the ruins of an old mill and neighboring forest. Highlights of this trail include crossing a wooden covered bridge, seeing the Roswell Mill ruins, and stopping by the dam waterfall.
Vickery Creek has several parking lots. You can try the Old Mill parking lot, which is free. Then the trail entrance is the one that goes down to the covered bridge. You can find driving directions and a trail map here.
Hike to the top of the weirdest and most random intrusion of igneous rock around: Atlanta’s famous Stone Mountain. It’s about a mile up to the top and some parts are very steep but there are handrails. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Atlanta at the top.
You have to pay to park in the park (around $20), or you can park for free in Stone Mountain Village and walk ten minutes into the park. The trail up the mountain starts near the bathrooms. Stone Mountain driving directions and the trail map.
*Be prepared to pay at least $3 for parking unless otherwise noted.
Where do you go hiking in/near Atlanta?
More hiking resources:
For more trail info check out AtlantaTrails.com, a great resource for all things hiking and trail running in Atlanta.
If you want to get involved in hiking but are feeling shy/unsure, check out the Atlanta Outdoors Club. You can join up with one of their small group hikes, which are guided by experienced trip leaders (like my dad!).
My favorite hiking gear: