Georgia Appalachian Trail: great Georgia hikes under 6 miles

Hike these classic Georgia Appalachian Trail hikes to stunning summit views, a gorgeous waterfall and through beautiful North Georgia forest. And under six miles, they’re a great intro to Georgia's stretch of the epic-length AT.

The Appalachian Trail travels an epic, long-distance journey to Maine, stretching over 75 miles from Springer Mountain through the North Georgia wilderness. Throughout its Georgia stretch, the AT explores some of the state’s most beautiful mountain summits, forests and shady creek valleys, and it traces a well-loved and well-traveled trail marked by iconic white trail blazes.

While options abound for long-distance AT day hikes and multi-day adventures in Georgia, every hiker doesn’t have the time – or ability – to explore long stretches of the trail. We’ve rounded up our favorite under-six-mile segments of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, including a few fantastic two-milers.

Great Georgia Hikes on the Appalachian Trail, under 6 miles

Explore the AT on these seven beautiful day hikes in North Georgia. They’re relatively short in length, but pack a ton of North Georgia scenic beauty into a short stretch. While they’re not easy (the Appalachian Trail rolls elevation over Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains, hence the name), these day hikes reward the effort with a beautiful waterfall, mountain summit view, or trek through a wildflower-filled forest.

As always, remember to leave no trace on your hike to help keep Georgia beautiful.

Appalachian Trail: Hiking Three Forks to Long Creek Falls

Appalachian Trail
Three Forks to Long Creek Falls
1.9 miles

Towering hemlock trees shade a rolling valley covered in rhododendron at Three Forks, just miles from the AT’s Springer Mountain start. Hike the Appalachian Trail from the trout-stream-filled Three Forks valley to a gorgeous, spilling waterfall. Long Creek Falls cascades over a large rock outcrop and tumbles over a boulder-filled creek bed in a quiet, shady forest. It’s a great first hike on the AT, and one of our all-time favorites.

Appalachian Trail: Springer Mountain

Appalachian Trail
Hiking Springer Mountain
2 miles

Hike to the Springer Mountain summit to visit the southernmost blaze of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, and a beautiful summit view. This moderately difficult two-miler climbs elevation from the Springer Mountain trailhead, passing a side trail to an AT shelter before summiting Springer. At the summit, views of the surrounding, rolling Appalachian Mountains extend in the distance, seen from a broad, bald rock outcrop.

Appalachian Trail: Hiking Tesnatee Gap to Cowrock Mountain

Appalachian Trail
Tesnatee Gap to Cowrock Mountain
2.25 miles

Hike just over two miles, roundtrip, climbing from Tensatee Gap to gorgeous views at the Cowrock Mountain summit. This hike climbs through a rocky, sun-dappled, fern-filled forest to summit the oddly-named Cowrock Mountain, where lofty views abound of the surrounding rolling, blue-green-hued mountains. The smooth, wide, sun-drenched summit outcrop is perfect for a mid-hike picnic. And that view! It’s unforgettable.

Appalachian Trail: Hiking Blood Mountain via the AT & Byron Reece Trail

Appalachian Trail
Blood Mountain via the Byron Reece Trail
4.3 miles

Perhaps the AT’s most-loved stretch in Georgia, this hike trails the Byron Reece Trail at Neels Gap to hike the tallest peak on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Blood Mountain. At the summit, a tall rock outcrop beside the historic Blood Mountain shelter offers stunning views and a great mid-hike resting spot. Hoping for some mountaintop serenity? Hike Blood Mountain in the early morning or on weekdays to beat the crowds.

Appalachian Trail: Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain

Appalachian Trail
Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain
4.6 miles

Hike the AT southbound from Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain, climbing nearly continuously through a towering, young deciduous forest and a thick grove of gnarly-branched mountain laurel. A wide rock outcrop at the Powell Mountain summit offers beautiful long-range views of Lake Burton nestled deep in the surrounding, rolling mountainscape. It’s a great place to hang an ENO and hang out, enjoying fresh mountain breezes and some mountaintop serenity.

Appalachian Trail: Indian Grave Gap to Trey Mountain

Appalachian Trail
Indian Grave Gap to Trey Mountain
5.25 miles

This just-over-5 miler treks the AT through beautiful forest to summit Trey Mountain, catching simply stunning views. From the Indian Grave Gap trailhead, the hike dives into a shady tunnel of twisted rhododendron and mountain laurel, trekking through a forest carpeted by large swathes of vibrant green moss. The hike makes a nearly unrelenting climb to the Trey Mountain summit, which rewards with views of Lake Hiwassee on the far horizon.

Appalachian Trail: Hiking the AT, Jarrard Trail and Slaughter Creek Trail Loop

Appalachian Trail
Jarrard and Slaughter Creek Trail Loop
5.6 miles

While this three-trail trio lacks a soaring mountain summit view or a cascading waterfall, it still abounds in natural beauty, especially in Spring, when thousands of native Georgia wildflowers blanket the AT at Jarrard Gap. Hike the Jarrard Trail from the shores of the glassy Lake Winfield Scott to Jarrard Gap, trail the AT northeast to Blood Mountain’s lower elevations, and then hike the Slaughter Creek Trail through a creek-filled valley to return to the Lake Winfield Scott trailhead.

Hiking Georgia Waterfalls: What to pack?

What to Pack?

Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our hiking gear lists feature our favorite, trail-tested gear for day hikes on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.


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.