view of green mountains with clouds in the sky

7 Of The Best Walks In Atlanta

Atlanta, the state capital of Georgia, is known for being cool and creative. But did you know it has incredible walking trails that even California would be envious of? And out of all of the major cities in the US, Atlanta comes in at number one for having the most green space per person. With fascinating Native American history, vast mountain ranges, and beautiful waterways, there’s so much to explore in and around the city. Here are seven of the best walks in Atlanta.

Best Walks in Atlanta

1. Sweetwater Creek Red Trail

Length: 2 miles
Duration: 45 minutes

This is one of the most popular walking spots near Atlanta, and for good reason. There’s something for everyone here. It’s nice and hilly, so a good challenge without being too difficult. It takes you through diverse landscapes with incredible views of waterfalls, the forest, and the creek. Plus, history buffs will love the Civil War mill ruins. And it doesn’t end there – hikers also get the chance to spot some of the creek’s wildlife, including snakes and alligators. There’s so much to see along on this well-maintained walk, just be sure to wear appropriate shoes as there is hilly terrain and some stairs.

2. Island Ford Trail

Length: 5.4 miles
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

You wouldn’t think that this luscious oasis of wildlife and nature would be just thirty minutes away from downtown Atlanta. It’s totally transportive, with visitors getting the opportunity to see meadows covered in wildflowers, as well as turtles, deer, and a variety of birdlife. And the trail is nice and shaded, perfect for those hot summer days. This moderately steady loop takes you past cascading waterfalls and gives you the chance to take a look at the Chattahoochee River’s mirrored waters.

Chattahoochee River near atlanta

3. East Palisades Trail

Length: 2.6 miles
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

This trail has a bit of everything. Forests, hills, the Chattahoochee River, and the city. This moderate trail takes you on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, with rugged scenery all around. Tall, thin bamboo trees line the path and spread out into the deep forest, juxtaposed by the expansive hills on the other side of the river. It’s a good trail for all levels of walkers, with a few ascents that get the heart racing. The main event is scaling the hill that overlooks the river and the Atlanta skyline in the distance. It’s rocky and steep but you’re rewarded with a lovely view – you’ll want to snap a photo here.

4. Indian Seats Trail at Sawnee Mountain

Length: 3.1 miles
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

If you’re looking for a hike with outstanding views, this trail is a brilliant choice. It leads you to the summit of Sawnee Mountain, with an elevation gain of 593 ft. The mountaintop offers some of the best views in Georgia and served as lookout spots and meditation points for local tribes centuries ago. The reward doesn’t come without some work, taking you through some rugged terrain and dense forestry, but all of it is beautifully scenic. Despite the incline, this walk is accessible to all levels – as long as you’re up for the challenge, you can do it!

sawnee mountain near atlanta

 

5. Stone Mountain Walk & Cherokee Trail Loop

Length: 5 miles
Duration: 2 hours

This walk is split into two – the Stone Mountain Walk takes you up there, while the Cherokee Trail takes you down, circling the mountain and learning of its historic past. This is one for the adventurous hikers. This trail isn’t without its challenges, with steep inclines and some portions requiring less than a walk and more of a scramble. However, it’s a totally exhilarating walk with incredible, expansive views from the summit of Stone Mountain, which has an elevation of 1,043 ft. To get to the summit, you traverse through beautiful woodlands and pass by historic ruins, including a former mill. If you can get past the Confederate monument, it’s a beautiful walk.

stone mountain in georgia

6. Tennessee Rock Trail

Length: 2.2 miles
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

Located in Black Rock Mountain State Park, this is another hike with incredible, lofty views. Winding its way through dense Blue Ridge forests, this hike is mostly shaded, perfect for the hot summer months. When you reach the clearing at the summit, you’re met with sweeping views of the Appalachian Mountains. After the summit, the trail continues to the Tennessee Rock Overlook, so there’s ample opportunity to get in some beautiful pictures and capture the memory. From the overlook, have a guess which state you’re looking towards.

7. Amicalola Falls via East Ridge Loop Trail

Length: 2 miles
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Amicalola Falls is Georgia’s tallest waterfall at 729 ft and one of the most beautiful walks in all of Georgia, let alone near Atlanta. The word Amicalola actually derives from the Cherokee dialect and roughly translates to ‘tumbling water’. This trail is the best of both worlds – hike to the top of the fairytale-like Amicalola Falls and catch incredible mountain views. With the chance to see wildflowers, fungi, and plant life, it’s a nature lover’s wonderland. Bear in mind that it can get slippy after it’s rained and the inclines might be challenging for beginners, but totally worth it.

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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