Hike & Bike Trails in Atlanta
Home to over 6 million people, Atlanta city is a bustling cultural and economic hub well known for its role in the Civil War, the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, the birthplace of Coca-Cola, for being the 1996 Olympic host, and so much more.
But sometimes it’s nice to escape the busy concrete jungle and what better way than to explore Atlanta’s backyard. A small hop, skip, and a jump from city limits lies a gorgeous foray of mountains, forests, and lakes. The local Atlanta area plays host to rolling green mountains with endless forest land to explore, a number of picturesque rivers and lakes dotted throughout with historical landmarks cropping up, and some of the most stunning views over Atlanta.
There are miles of hiking trails for all levels sprinkled with numerous mountain bike routes for beginners to the advanced rider. So if you’re eager to leave the urban lifestyle for a moment and explore the area’s beautiful surroundings, read our suggestions below — you’ll question if you’re even in Georgia, never mind in the Atlanta suburbs!
Best Walking Trails Atlanta
Stone Mountain Trail
Minutes from downtown Atlanta lies Stone Mountain. Etched into the rock’s side is the Confederate Memorial Carving showing generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee with President Jefferson Davis. Visitors can hike to the mountain’s summit, enjoy the spectacular views, and loop back around on the scenic six-mile lake trail.
Good to know: 7-mile walk, intermediate level, required park entrance fee
Kennesaw Mountain Trails
These trails lie a short distance northeast of Atlanta and are the perfect location to learn about the several Civil War battles that happened there. With more than 15 miles of mountainous trails for beginners to hiking enthusiasts, we would recommend the 1.3-mile kid-friendly Environmental Trail for those taking it easy or the Battlefield Trail to delve into the area’s history and its summit views.
Good to know: $5 per vehicle, you can drive to the top and walk the trails, various difficulties available
Sweetwater Creek State Park
Another park a stone’s throw from the city center is Sweetwater Creek. It’s a peaceful escape into the wilderness. Dotted with various wooded trails that follow the many trickling streams, the area has a famous mill that was used during the Civil War, a popular fishing area with picnic areas, and a variety of wildlife, plants, and trees. In the summer months, visitors can also rent boats, canoes, SUP boards, and pedal boats!
Good to know: A ParkPass costs $5, guests can rent yurts or a camping spot, perfect for families
Mountain Bike Trails Atlanta
The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is built for biking. With over 33 miles of trails within its boundaries, guests can download the map from the website, plan their route beforehand, and cycle in the mountains to their heart’s content.
The Silver Comet Rail Trail starts in Smyrna, GA, and ends near the GA/AL border. Overall, this trail has a gradual incline but is perfect for beginners/those going at a leisurely pace.
Southside Park is a lovely escape into trails winding through the forest canopy and some of the routes were purpose-built so new mountain bikers and kids can enjoy the sport!
All things considered, Sope Creek’s mountain bike trails are for your intermediate-level rider. Set up in a figure of 8 loops with both an upper and a lower track, visitors can ride the trails clockwise or counterclockwise to enjoy the park’s beautiful locations and many historical sites.
Allatoona Creek totals 35 miles of various single-track runs. It has numerous intermediate-level trails that start from the Rusty Bucket (a mile-long easy/intermediate trail) to the 0.2-mile double black diamond Medusa run, Allatoona is a mountain biker’s dream. The parks also boast a host of other activities, so bring the family and make a day of it!
Boundary Waters Park is on the intermediate list because it’s the next step after the beginner trails. Warm-up on the Chattahoochee Extension or the Connecter before tackling the Chattahoochee Hill Country and finish on the Chattahoochee Trail!
The Pinhoti Trail is hailed as one of the more challenging MTB trails near Atlanta and for good reason. The Pinhoti is part of the Snake Creek Gap and depending on your experience, it can be considered to be from intermediate to black diamond level. One thing’s for sure, it will make you work but it’s worth it!
The challenging Voodoo trail, part of the Allatoona Creek Park, offers riders advanced features to make even the most experienced riders think. Rock and log crossings, drops and jumps, and steep climbs all add to the experience.
Also part of the Allatoona Creek, the Whipper Snapper is considered by many as a double black diamond run. Its 8-mile trail features rock gardens, ladder bridges, log rides, rock crawls, and various gap jumps and drops. Know your level on this one and enjoy!
If you’re in Atlanta and would like to discover the many hiking and biking trails in the surrounding area and are in need of transportation, inquire with us today and hire your private vehicle for a safe, reliable return journey.