Atlanta a hiking destination? Moreso than you might think. Just a 20-minute drive will take you to hikes that meander along some of Atlanta’s favorite waterways such as the Chattahoochee River and Sweetwater Creek. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area offers more than65 miles of trails that are both dog and kid-friendly. And located in Roswell, Vickery Creek is a hike that treks alongside Vickery (Big) Creek with modest rolling hills and a few historic sites, including two historic mills.
Look for nature on the Gold Branch Trail, where the singletrack path rises and falls in a roller coaster fashion alongside Bull Sluice Lake in a 3.5-mile loop. Many hikers enjoy the cliff overlooks on the East Palisades Trail.
Don’t forget Stone Mountain, one of Georgia’s most iconic mountains. Take the 1.3-mile summit trail over the exposed graphite surface and you’ll get a view of Atlanta’s skyline. On the other side of the city, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park offers a forested hike to its 1,808-foot peak. There are 16 miles of trails here, and along the way you’ll see historic landmarks such as cannons and statues from the Civil War.