Best Places to Hike in Georgia for Active Travelers

The U.S. state of Georgia is known around the world for its Southern hospitality, fresh peaches, and well-preserved nature parks. While many first-time visitors head straight into the state’s capital of Atlanta, adventurous hikers will find plenty of wonderful summits to conquer around the state.

Indeed, there are so many national parks and mountains in this state that it can be difficult for newcomers to decide where to go first. If you’re looking for some of the best places to hike in Georgia, fear not. This article will list a few of the best places to hike in Georgia so you’ll be prepared for your next trip to the “Empire State of the South.”

Top 5 Best Places To Hike In Georgia


1. Blood Mountain Trail

Man on the peak of the Blood Mountain Trail

Blood Mountain is a high peak in the Appalachian Trail that offers great views from its summit. Measuring at 4,458 feet, this mountain probably got its name from the red-colored lichen that grows on the mountain’s summit. Most hikers start at the Byron Reece trailhead near Neels Gap. This is a blue-blazed trail, and although it has an intimidating name, Blood Mountain is currently considered a moderately challenging hike.

The total hike is 4.3-miles to the summit of Blood Mountain. There’s a famous stone shelter you can take a look at located at the top of Blood Mountain. This stone shelter, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), was completed in 1934 and in now officially a part of the National Register of Historic Places.

For those not interested in hiking to the summit of Blood Mountain, there’s plenty more to see in the Blood Mountain Wilderness area. This 7,800-acre territory has approximately 10.75 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Since this area is so popular with tourists and locals, Forest Service officials remind all campers to be on the lookout for black bears and have all the requisite safety equipment.

2. Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge State Park Canyon

The mighty Tallulah George State Park is located in the heart of this 2,689-acre state park. Tallulah Falls is one of the top natural tourist attractions in the entire “Peach State.” Once you see these falls for yourself, you’ll understand why so many people travel here every single year.

Tallulah Gorge is about 1,000 feet deep and 2 miles long, and visitors can take in six marvelous waterfalls along Tallulah Falls. A few of these falls are named l’Eau d’Or, Hurricane, Oceana, and Lovers Leap. In addition to admiring Tallulah Gorge, guests can walk across a suspension bridge, visit an interpretive center to learn more about the area, whitewater paddle, hike, bike, picnic, and fish.

The Appalachian Trail remains one of Georgia’s top summer destinations. Again, after you see the powerful Tallulah Falls, you’ll instantly know why this is one of the best places to hike in Georgia.

3. Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve

Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve vegetation

Geologists, ecologists, and general nature lovers really enjoy a trip to the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Located only a 25-minute drive away from central Atlanta, a trip to this nature preserve is extremely convenient for a day-trip if you’re staying in the capital city.

Ecologists consider Davidson-Arabia a major natural treasure in the region. Numerous rare plant species flourish here, including the red diamorpha and yellow daisies. The entire park measures about 2,550 acres, and most people who visit here hike up the Arabia Mountain to get the best views of this region. Arabia Mountain’s peak is 954 feet above sea level and there are many endangered plants spread out around this region.

There are also numerous hiking trails and a PATH bike trail clearly laid out in this nature preserve. Visitors interested in fishing can legally do so if they want to. The unique ecology of this region makes it one of the best places to hike in Georgia.

4. Brasstown Bald

Brasstown Bald mountain trail

At an elevation of 4,784 feet, the Brasstown Bald mountain is one of the tallest peaks in all of Georgia. Named by settlers after a mistranslation of the local Cherokee language, Brasstown Bald is especially popular with tourists during the autumn season when trees start changing colors. Hikers can expect a steep half-mile climb from the parking lot up to the Brasstown Bald Visitors Center. Inside the visitors center, guests will get some stunning 360-views of the area.

On a clear day, you’ll even be able to spot a few towering buildings in Atlanta from the top of Brasstown Bald. The hike up Brasstown Bald is extremely steep, so you should be in good physical shape. There is also a shuttle service for guests who feel they need to use it. Brasstown Bald is officially a part of the northern Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.

5. F.D. Roosevelt State Park

F.D. Roosevelt State Park leisure area

History buffs and hiking enthusiasts alike will love a trip to the F.D. Roosevelt State Park. This 9,049-acre park is located close to the western town of Pine Mountain.

The reason why this park is named after former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is because Roosevelt visited the nearby city of Warm Springs to find a cure for his polio in 1924. Roosevelt apparently liked the area so much that he built what was later dubbed his “Little White House” here in the 1930s. It was also in the Little White House that FDR passed away in 1945. Today, the Little White House serves as a museum that teaches guests all about FDR’s life and legacy.

As people walk through the F.D. Roosevelt State Park, they will instantly feel close to the legacy of this towering American figure. You can actually walk on many of the trails FDR enjoyed during his own lifetime here. There’s also a memorial statue clearly showing his leg braces. Indeed, it was in this area that FDR felt most relaxed and wasn’t so concerned with hiding his physical handicap.

Adventurous hikers will have plenty to do on the Pine Mountain Trail system that extends 23-miles throughout this park. The blend of history and natural beauty makes this one of the best places to hike in Georgia.

As you can tell from this list, there are plenty of great hiking destinations in the state of Georgia. Although you can get great views any time of year, the most popular time to visit is in the fall. The colorful leaves that appear during the autumn season are particularly stunning and make for great photo ops. No matter which trail you choose from on this list of the best places to hike in Georgia, you’re sure to have a spectacular vacation.

IMAGE SOURCE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5