Atlanta's best dog-friendly trails: our top 10 favorite hikes for dogs

Atlanta’s best dog-friendly trails: our top 10 favorite hikes for dogs

Leash up and hit the trail! Hike our favorite dog-friendly trails near Atlanta with your favorite four-pawed hiking buddy.

Let’s hike! There’s nothing our dogs love more than a walk in the wild: there’s just so much to sniff and see and do! Grab a leash and hit the trail on our favorite dog-friendly trails near Atlanta. Don’t forget to share your adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by tagging #atlantatrails in your shots… we’d love to see them!

Atlanta's best dog-friendly trails: our top 10 favorite dog-friendly hikes

Looking for an adventure in the mountains instead? Check out our top ten favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia to explore mountain summits, lush river valleys and more!

Dog-friendly hikes near Atlanta: our favorite trails

  • Dog friendly hiking at Sweetwater Creek State Park near Atlanta

    Sweetwater Creek Trails

    2-6 miles

    Dog perks: Four hikes at Sweetwater Creek State Park follow dog friendly trails of different lengths and difficulties, and the park’s lake offers a post-hike swim.
    Human perks: Forest landscapes and a whitewater-filled creek offer North Georgia beauty just outside Atlanta’s perimeter.

  • Dog friendly hiking trails at Arabia Mountain near Atlanta

    Arabia Mountain Trails

    1-30 miles

    Dog perks: Wide-open expanses of granite, golden meadows, lakes and forest offer hours and hours of dog-friendly exploration.
    Human perks: It’s one of our favorite hiking and cycling spots near Atlanta, with over 30 miles of incredible trails.

  • Hiking the dog friendly Morningside Nature Preserve Trail in Atlanta

    Morningside Nature Preserve

    2 miles

    Dog perks: A sandy beach on South Peachtree Creek that’s earned it the nickname “dog beach”.
    Human perks: Two miles of dog friendly trails tucked inside Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood offer a intown walk in a quiet forest.

  • Hiking the Cochran Shoals Trail and Sope Creek Trail Loop on the Chattahoochee River

    Cochran Shoals to Sope Creek

    8.5 miles

    Dog perks: Three drinking fountains on these dog friendly trails offer a mid-hike water bowl refill, and Sope Creek is a great swimming spot.
    Human perks: Grab some decent in-town mileage on this hike spanning two Chattahoochee River parks, and check out Civil War mill ruins.

  • West Palisades Trail

    West Palisades Trail

    3.6 miles

    Dog perks: The sandy shore of Rottenwood Creek offers a shallow mid-hike swim.
    Human perks: Paved and dirt trails follow the Chattahoochee River and wind through beautiful forest against an urban backdrop.

  • Hiking the Cheatham Hill & Kolb Farm Loop Trail - dog friendly hiking near Atlanta

    Kennesaw Mountain Cheatham Hill / Kolb Farm Loop

    5.8 miles

    Dog perks: Compacted dirt and sandy trails are easy on the paws, and a fountain with a built-in dog bowl offers a mid-hike drink.
    Human perks: Hike these dog friendly trails through beautiful meadow, forest and Civil War battlefields near Kennesaw Mountain.

  • Hiking the dog-friendly Henry Mill Falls Trail at Cochran Mill Park

    Henry Mill Falls Trail

    5.2 miles

    Dog perks: Much of this trail’s length is creekside, offering many chances for a dip in Bear Creek.
    Human perks: Hike to a beautiful waterfall south of Atlanta at Cochran Mill Park, and sight a beautiful waterfall at the trailhead, too.

  • Hiking the dog-friendly Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill

    Vickery Creek Trail

    3-5+ miles

    Dog perks: Over 5 miles of trails wind through pine and hardwood forest. A sandy swimming beach at the bottom of the spillway waterfall makes a great spot for a mid-hike swim.
    Human perks: A covered bridge. Two Civil War-era mills, now in ruins. And a towering, cascading spillway waterfall. What’s not to love? Don’t forget the hammock!

  • Hiking the Homestead Trail at Red Top Mountain near Atlanta

    Homestead Trail at Red Top Mountain

    5.3 miles

    Dog perks: A water dog’s dream: miles of trail along a calm lake shore.
    Human perks: The Homestead Trail offers nearly continuous lake views on this gently rolling trail at Red Top Mountain State Park. And be on the lookout for a chimney, mid-hike: it’s all that’s left of an old homestead.

  • Hiking through beautiful forests at Cascade Springs Nature Preserve west of Atlanta

    Cascade Springs Nature Preserve

    1.9 miles

    Dog perks: Wide dirt paths, a natural spring and a small waterfall provide hours of doggy fun in a cool shady forest.
    Human perks: Nestled in southwest Atlanta, Cascade Springs Nature Preserve offers a quick escape from the bustle of the city. It’s home to one of the prettiest in-town waterfalls, the site of a Civil War battle and a photo-worthy, mossy, historic stone spring house.

  • What to Pack Hiking? Our hiking gear lists feature our favorite, trail-tested gear.

    Our favorite hiking gear

    What to pack for an Atlanta hiking adventure?

    Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our gear lists feature our favorite, trail-tested hiking gear for day hikes on local trails near Atlanta.

Hiking with dogs: before you go

Leash up! Keeping your dog leashed helps to keep the trail enjoyable for other hikers, runners and dogs, and helps prevent unwanted encounters with wildlife. Our favorite leash is the Ruffwear Slackline Leash: it’s a high-quality adjustable lead with a padded handle that doubles as a waist harness, and a swivel clip to help prevent knots and tangles. And don’t forget the water: Atlanta’s warm weather can cause dehydration, quickly, so don’t forget a water bottle (or two) for your pup. Our favorite, trail-friendly dog water dish is the collapsible Ruffwear Bivy Bowl: it’s lightweight and folds down to save room in our backpacks.

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Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.