Georgia's Best Dog Friendly Trails: Our Favorite Hikes with Dogs

Georgia’s best hikes with dogs: our top 10 favorite dog-friendly trails

Grab a leash and hit the trail! Hike our favorite dog friendly trails in Georgia, the all-time favorites of our canine hiking buddies, Amber and Jake.


We’ve always loved hiking and camping with our dogs. And their trail love is equal: touch a backpack and they’re headed for the door, ready for a hiking adventure. While most Georgia trails are dog-worthy, we’ve hiked our favorite dog friendly trails many times over with our labrador retriever Amber and our labrador/boxer mix Jake.

Georgia's best dog friendly trails: our favorite hikes with dogs

While many of Georgia’s trails are dog friendly, these are our favorite, dog-tested and dog-approved trails throughout Georgia. Grab a leash, your favorite canine hiking buddy and hit the trail for some outdoor, dog-friendly adventure! And if you’re looking for a great hike closer to home, be sure to check out our top ten favorite dog-friendly hikes near Atlanta, too.

 

OUR FAVORITE DOG FRIENDLY TRAILS IN NORTH GEORGIA

Hike the dog-friendly Raven Cliff Falls Trail in North Georgia

Raven Cliff Falls Trail
5 miles

Dog perks: Gentle rolling elevation and a deep swimming hole near the trailhead make this Amber’s all-time favorite.
Human perks: Hike past beautiful waterfalls to the main attraction: a waterfall that cascades through a 40-foot-tall cliff.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Hike the Appalachian Trail, Jarrard Trail and Slaughter Creek Trail near Blood Mountain

Appalachian Trail at Slaughter Creek & Jarrard Gap
5.7 miles

Dog perks: The awesome reward at the end of this semi-difficult Appalachian Trail hike: a swim at Lake Winfield Scott.
Human perks: Wildflowers, views and a creek-filled forest spotlight this classic Appalachian Trail hike on three dog-friendly trails.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Hike the Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls, one of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia

Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls
2 miles

Dog perks: Soft compacted dirt and a relatively short distance make this hike easy. And Long Creek’s pools offer splashing fun.
Human perks: Hike to one of Georgia’s most beautiful waterfalls on the Appalachian Trail.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Hike the dog-friendly Bear Creek Trail near Ellijay

Bear Creek Trail
5.7 miles

Dog perks: Shady, level trails cross through great swimming holes before climbing elevation to a mountain summit.
Human perks: Mossy boulders and towering old-growth trees make Bear Creek one of the most beautiful North Georgia valleys we’ve hiked.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Hike the Emery Creek Trail near Ellijay

Emery Creek Trail
6 miles

Dog perks: Our water-loving dogs love the trail’s many creek crossings as it meanders through a shady, cool valley.
Human perks: Splash through 20 creek crossings en route to a beautiful waterfall. Wet boots are guaranteed – a fun summertime hike.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Georgia dog hikes: Tennessee Rock at Black Rock Mountain State Park

Tennessee Rock Trail
2.2 miles

Dog perks: Rolling terrain through high-elevation Georgia forest offers plenty of dog-friendly fun on the trail. There’s plenty to sniff and plenty to see!
Human perks: Gorgeous wildflower filled forests, especially in spring, lead to one of Georgia’s most spectacular views from the Tennessee Rock overlook.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Best dog hikes in Georgia: Beech Bottom Trail to Jacks River Falls

Jacks River Falls
9 miles

Dog perks: There’s plenty of splashy, wet fun on this 9 mile hike. And an awesome swimming hole at the bottom of the falls is well worth the miles!
Human perks: Hike to one of Georgia’s most spectacular waterfalls and through some of the most remote wilderness in the state.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Hike the Wolfden Loop at FD Roosevelt State Park

Wolfden Loop
6.5 miles

Dog perks: Hike through wildflower fields, forest and along a waterfall filled stream with plenty of spots for a quick swim and a drink.
Human perks: Just south of Atlanta, FD Roosevelt State Park, offers miles of ridgeline hiking and stunning views from rocky overlooks.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Hike Three Forks to Springer Mountain on the Appalachian Trail, one of our favorite hikes with our dogs

Three Forks to Springer Mountain on the Appalachian Trail
8.6 miles

Dog perks: Begin with a pre-hike swim in the cool creeks at Three Forks before climbing to the rocky summit of Springer Mountain.
Human perks: Catch gorgeous views at the summit of Springer Mountain after a climb through lush river valley and forest.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

Hike the dog-friendly Bartram Trail to stunning views at Rabun Bald, Georgia's second-highest summit

Bartram Trail to Rabun Bald
3 miles

Dog perks: High elevation and shady forest usually keep the temps pleasant, even in Georgia’s warm summer months.
Human perks: The summit of Rabun Bald offers stunning 360 degree views of the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina.
VIEW TRAIL INFO & MAPS

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

What to pack?
Our favorite hiking gear

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 and in the Georgia backcountry.
HIKING GEAR LIST: LOCAL HIKES
HIKING GEAR LIST: BACKCOUNTRY HIKES

Know before you go

Before leashing up and hitting the trail, follow these quick tips to keep your dog’s hike comfortable, safe, and fun:

Hiking with dogs: trail safety & etiquette

Dehydration occurs easily on the trail in Georgia’s warm climate, whether you’re hiking on two legs or four, so pack plenty of water for both you and your dog. A collapsable dish, like Ruffwear’s ultralight and ultra-packable Bivy Bowl, makes keeping your pup hydrated on the trail easy and convenient.

Georgia's best dog friendly trails: our favorite hikes with dogs

Leash up! A leash provides safety and a courtesy to other hikers, dogs and wildlife. We love Ruffwear’s 6-foot nylon Slackline Leash: it’s durable, resists tangles thanks to a swivel hook, and has an adjustable handle that can clip to your waist when you need both hands on the trail.

Start small, and work up

Different breeds and fitness levels demand different trail distances and conditions. While our labrador retrievers are great trail and water dogs, we watch them closely to be sure they’re comfortable, capable and injury-free on the trail.

If your dog is new to the trail, start with shorter hikes on easier trails. Work up in trail length and difficulty as your dog becomes more fit, more agile and more trail savvy. And check out more tips for hiking with your dog from REI Expert Advice.

 
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.