Featured HIKING TRAILS
Southwest of Atlanta near Warm Springs in the Roosevelt State Park, the 23-mile Pine Mountain Trail follows the contours of its namesake peak across the state park. Passing through hickory-oak forest on the ridgetops, the hiking trail descends to mixed stands of sweet gum, yellow poplar, and red maple in the moist coves.
Near Blairsville in the Cattachoochee National Forest, the yellow-blazed Coosa Backcountry Trail is a 13 mile hiking trek through rugged terrain with great vistas. Follow the green blazes from the Visitors Center to reach the trailhead, which is marked by a sign. The Coosa and Bear Hair share the same footpath briefly.
Near Elijay in the Cattachoochee National Forest, the Panther Creek Trail passes through the Cohutta Wilderness and has gorgeous views from atop the falls and surrounding cliffs. The unspoiled beauty of the Cohutta Wilderness provides an excellent source of peace and serenity. The Panther Creek Trail is only 3.5 miles long, however, the best access route to the trail is along a 4.5 mile stretch of the Conasauga River Trail.
North of Elijay and Blue Ridge in the Cattachoochee National Forest, the 16 mile Jacks River Trail is a scenic route. The best part of this trail is, of course, the river and the lush vegetation it feeds. According to The Hiking Trails of North Georgia by Tim Homan, there are 42 fords on this trail that get you wet.
North of Atlanta and Woodstock east of Allatoona Lake, the Little River Trail is a 15 mile network of hiking trails along both sides of the river. There are 3 sections to the network of out-and-back trails. Each section is also shared with mountain bikers and an occasional ATV rider. The red-clay tread can be soft and sticky when wet.
Northwest of Lafayette in the Cattachoochee National Forest, an 11 mile hiking loop can be formed by combining the Cane Trail, North Pocket Trail, and the Mine Trail. There are many great views, big waterfalls, and old tunnels. The best place to start is at the Estelle Trailhead.
East of Trenton in the Cattachoochee National Forest, the West Rim Loop Trail is a 5 mile hike on the rim above the 1,000 feet deep sandstone gorge. This trail provides access to side trails leading down to the Sitton Gulch Creek below.
North of Atlanta and east of Cartersville on the western shore of Allatoona Lake, the Vineyard Mountain Trail is a challenging hiking trek traversing the forests of the namesake mountain and offering scenic vistas of the Etowah River Valley. The trail was constructed by the regional Eagle Scouts.
Southwest of Athens and north of Rutledge, the 5,800 acre Hard Labor Creek State Park has a 22 mile trail. Hiking on the 22 mile trail network is only permitted on weekdays, while the weekends are reserved for horseback riding.