The 10 Best Hiking Trails to Explore Georgia’s Magnificent State Parks

Eva Hagan - Author

Dec. 28 2023, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

A lush grassy field with golden sunlight and a mountain range in the background.
Source: iStock

You may associate Georgia with peaches or the Atlanta airport, but the state is full of nature to explore. With a lush mountain range and beautiful beaches, Georgia has a trail for every level of hiker.

Georgia is also home to the northbound start of the famous Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain. So, if you plan to do some hiking in the spring, you may see some thru-hikers at the beginning of their 2,198-mile Appalachian Trail journey.

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Six hikers walk along a forested trail during the daytime.
Source: iStock

White Trail, Sweetwater Creek

This is a 5-mile trail just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta. It runs adjacent to Sweetwater Creek, so you get to experience the sounds of rushing water as you trek along, per the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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Mount Yonah Trail

Located in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, this is a challenging 4.1-mile out-and-back hike that takes about two hours and 45 minutes. Almost the entire hike is on an incline, that offers beautiful summit views, per AllTrails.

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West Rim Trail, Cloudland Canyon

This is a five-mile hike with several overlooks and viewpoints along the way. This is known as a lollipop hike, meaning part of the trail is a loop, but you have to hike a bit to get to that part first. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, at the end, you will be rewarded with views of Cloudland Canyon.

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East Palisades Trail and Bamboo Forest

This 3.9-mile moderate loop hike is in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest and takes an average of one hour and 40 minutes to complete. It’s known to be a muddy hike, but you get views of the Chattahoochee River along the way.

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Canyon Loop Trail, Providence Canyon

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, this 2.5-mile loop trail is a geological masterpiece you don’t want to miss. It offers an overlook of the variegated canyons in Providence Canyon State Park as well as a downhill descent to see the canyons up close.

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Tallulah Gorge and North and South Rim Loop Trail

In Tallulah Gorge State Park, this 1.8-mile loop is just over an hour long and offers some of the best Georgia waterfall views. However, AllTrails cautions to be prepared for a climb, this trail is known for its stairs.

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Amicalola Falls Loop Trail

This trail loop is just over two miles and is another stair climb. However, there’s an opportunity to cool off at the bottom of the 730-foot Amicalola Falls. At the beginning of this hike, you will walk through the stone arch that marks the start of the Appalachian Trail, per the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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Indian Seats Loop

Located in Sawnee Mountain Preserve, this is a 3.6-mile moderate loop that takes just over an hour and a half, per AllTrails. At the top is an overlook at the Indian Seats Rock formation which offers beautiful panoramic views.

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Vickery Creek Trail

This is an easy 3.4-mile loop hike in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. It takes an average of one hour and 20 minutes to complete and offers an experience of Georgia’s lush woodlands and vegetation, per AllTrails.

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Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls Trail

This moderate 1.2-mile out-and-back hike is located in Cloudland Canyon State Park and takes most people around 45 minutes to finish, per AllTrails. You will see some beautiful forested canyon views, but just be aware you have to take a lot of stairs to get there.

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