For many outdoor enthusiasts, hiking is among their favorite pastime activities. From gently sloping hills to steep and rugged mountain terrain, the Appalachian mountains of north Georgia have an array of hiking opportunities that vary significantly in difficulty. If you are looking for the best trail for you, then this list of the top 10 hiking trails in Georgia is a great place to start!
Blood Mountain Loop (6 Miles)
This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the state of Georgia, and if you were to hike this trail you would understand why! This is a 6 mile hike that takes its participants on winding trails through the dense valley covered with ferns, streams, and boulders, leading to the Blood mountain summit (highest summit point in the Georgia portion of the AT). This summit towers above the nearby hills, reaching 4460 ft in height and has an incredible view of the Blue ridge mountains and surrounding landscape.
- Panther Creek Falls (7 Miles)
Panther Creek Falls is a very popular hiking destination located in the Cohutta wilderness portion of the Chattahoochee national forest. This well established 7 mile hiking trail clings tightly to Panther Creek and smaller streams that branch from it, leading to one of Georgia’s most beautiful waterfalls. Panther creek falls is a multi-cascade waterfall that has a swimming hole and a sandy beach at the bottom. This hiking trail is also a popular spot for camping. The trail is littered with mossy boulders, streams, and abundant wildlife.
- Mount Yonah (4.4 Miles)
Mount Yonah has recently become a very popular hiking destination because of it’s beautiful views from the top. Located near Cleveland GA, this 4.4 mile hiking loop has many large boulders, steep and winding trails, and great views at the summit with granite rock faces that are popular among the local rock climbing community (click here to see the best places to rock climb in Georgia). This hike is not for weak or inexperienced hikers. Although it is less than 5 miles, the majority of this hike is very steep and rocky, and can be difficult to navigate. To access the top, some trails require visitors to use a metal cable to aid them in their attempt to cross the dangerously steep and precarious paths, but if you like adventure (we do!) then these cabled areas can make for an exhilarating addition to the hike.
- Cloudland Canyon (2-5.1 Miles)
Located near the Tennessee state line, Cloudland Canyon state park offers several high quality hiking trails with many beautiful waterfalls, views that go for miles, and wooden bridges. A few of the most popular trails include West rim loop (4.9 miles), waterfalls trail (2 miles), and Sitton’s Gulch trail (5.1 miles). Sitton’s Gulch gives hikers a taste of everything, including waterfalls, breathtaking views spanning for miles, and wooden bridges that cross the gorge.
- Raven Cliff Falls (5 Miles)
Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Raven Cliff Falls trail is a winding 5 mile hiking trail that intersects trout streams. These streams have wooden bridges for crossing along the way. The streams lead to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state of Georgia (the poor trout have no idea what lies ahead). One waterfall in particular is 40 feet tall, and has essentially cut the granite cliff in half over time. These waterfalls are a must see for anyone in the area!
- Providence Canyon (4.9 Miles)
Also known as “the little grand canyon”, Providence Canyon state park is located near Columbus GA. This 4.9 mile hiking trail has a much different appearance than the other hiking trails on this list. Providence Canyon is the result of erosion over a long period of time. These beautiful multi-colored canyon walls make for a wonderful hike. This hiking trail gives hikers the opportunity to walk both on the canyon floor next to the shallow stream and around the rim of the canyon. With abundant wildlife and unforgettable views, “the little grand canyon” is worth a visit. It also makes a great spot to propose to your girlfriend (I proposed at Providence Canyon).
- Beech Bottom trail (9 Miles)
The Cohutta wilderness offers endless miles of trails (90 mi. to be exact). One of the most popular and our personal favorite is the 9 mile Beech Bottom Trail near Blue Ridge Georgia. This trail is the fastest and simplest way to reach Jack River Falls. Boulders, rivers, waterfalls… this hiking trail has it all, and we highly recommend it!
- Bartram Trail (37 Miles)
Located in Rabun County, the Bartram Trail is popular among the local outdoor community and tourists. The trail is around 37 miles long, however there are loops that can make it shorter for day hikers. It offers many scenic views of the mountains as well as waterfalls and rivers. Unlike many of the other trails in the area, this trail has camping opportunities. Bartram trail starts at the north Georgia/North Carolina border and continues all the way down to the tip of Rabun Bald, which is the second highest peak in Georgia (4695 ft).
- Tallulah Gorge- The Gorge Floor Trail (2.5 Miles)
Located in Stockbridge GA, Tallulah Gorge state park is very popular among Georgia residents as well as tourists from across the globe. With 20 miles of trails, this 2 mile long, 1000 ft deep gorge is one of the most high traffic parks in the state, containing spectacular waterfalls, bridges, streams, rock faces, and views from higher points along the trail. A common complaint about this location is that there are too many people and too many stairs, however don’t let these rumors deter you because it is 100% worth the visit! Our favorite personal favorite is the Gorge Floor trail (2.5 miles), but get there early because they only give out 100 permits per day for this hike. At this location, the visitor center, playgrounds, and parking lots are very well established, and the trails are kept very clean and well maintained.
- Sweetwater Creek Red Trail (2 Miles)
Located in Lithia Springs GA, this state park offers 15 miles worth of beautiful hiking trails that wind all throughout the 215 acre reserve. These trails have natural beauty such as streams, rapids, moss covered boulders, and wildlife as well as abandoned man made structures such as the New Manchester mill that was abandoned during the civil war. The red trail is our personal favorite because in only 2 miles, it gives the hiker a sense of all that Sweetwater Creek state park has to offer. This would be a great hiking location for people in or around Atlanta due to its close proximity to the city and well maintained trails.