North Georgia Hiking Trails Our Top 10 Favorite Hikes

North Georgia Hiking Trails – Our Top 10 Favorite Hikes

Our top 10 favorite North Georgia hiking trails explore soaring mountain summits, waterfalls and mossy creek valleys of Georgia's Appalachian mountains.

Moss-covered boulders line the cool, rolling waters of a trout stream cutting swiftly through dense backwoods forest. Sunshine streams through the mixed pine and deciduous tree canopy, illuminating a carpet of brilliant green fern below. Birds of prey soar in rising uplifts, hugging the rugged peaks of a craggy mountain summit slicing through the horizon. These are the rolling foothills and mountains of the southern Appalachians in North Georgia – and winding through them are a network of fantastic hiking and backpacking trails and outdoor adventures.

These are our top ten North Georgia hiking trails, many within a two hour drive of Atlanta, if not less. Grab your hiking boots, backpack and hiking gear and head to any of these trails for a weekend adventure and some fresh air in the great outdoors.

North Georgia's best hiking trails: our top ten favorite hikes

Love waterfalls? Check out our top ten list of our favorite North Georgia hiking trails to waterfalls. Love mountain summits? Check out our list of our top 25 hikes on Georgia’s highest mountains. Hiking with a buddy that walks on all fours? Check out the list of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia, Amber and Jake’s favorite hikes.

What to pack?

Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Check out our hiking gear list for hikes in the North Georgia mountains, a list of our favorite, trail-tested gear.

Our top 10 favorite North Georgia hikes

Blood Mountain Loop: hiking the Appalachian Trail and Freeman Trail in North Georgia

Blood Mountain Loop: hiking the Appalachian Trail and Freeman Trail
6 miles

Summit Blood Mountain, the highest-elevation summit on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, on this three-trail loop up, over and around the summit. It’s one of the most classic, and most popular, North Georgia hikes – and for good reason: the views from the summit are outstanding, stretching far and wide over the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, and it visits a historic Appalachian Trail shelter along the way.

Hike the Sliding Rock Trail at Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge Sliding Rock Trail
3.4 miles

Tallulah Gorge’s towering sheer walls and deep waterfall-filled depths are simply stunning. Our favorite hike at Tallulah Gorge State Park catches stunning, soaring views from the gorge’s rim before plunging to the gorge floor by way of a swinging suspension bridge and catching up-close views of the thundering Hurricane Falls. After climbing to the opposite rim, the hike plunges once again, scrambling over boulders to visit the Bridal Veil Falls waterfall, a natural rock slide and the only place swimming is allowed within the gorge. It’s a tough hike, and requires a free permit from the park’s ranger office – but the adventure is oh-so-worth-it.

Hiking Raven Cliff Falls Trail in North Georgia

Raven Cliff Falls Trail
4.9 miles

The Raven Cliff Falls Trail hikes through a waterfall-filled valley in the Chattahoochee National Forest to one of Georgia’s most unique waterfalls, Raven Cliff Falls. These gorgeous falls cascade 400 feet down through a towering cliff, slicing the massive cliff in half.

Hike the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia from Woody Gap to these stunning summit views at Big Cedar Mountain

Appalachian Trail: Hiking Woody Gap to Big Cedar Mountain
11.6 miles

Hike the Appalachian Trail from Woody Gap, trailing a ferny, shady ridgeline to Big Cedar Mountain. Catch open views from the mountain’s expansive summit at Preacher’s Rock before hiking the AT northbound to Jarrard Gap near Lake Winfield Scott.

Hiking to Panther Creek Falls, one of North Georgia's most popular waterfalls

Panther Creek Falls Trail
7 miles

Hike the banks of Panther Creek to one of the most beautiful, rushing waterfalls in Georgia. The trail visits the upper, multi-tiered cascades of Panther Creek Falls before dropping to a sandy beach to visit the lower waterfall. The trail is enormously popular with day hikers, backpackers and campers.

Hike the Grassy Mountain Tower Trail to a historic steel fire tower in the Cohutta Wilderness near Lake Conasauga

Grassy Mountain Tower Trail from Lake Conasauga
5.5 miles

Hike from the shores of the glassy Lake Conasauga, Georgia’s highest-elevation lake, to a historic steel fire lookout tower on the summit of Grassy Mountain. The hike explores scenic forest in Georgia’s remote Cohutta Wilderness, the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, and climbs to incredible views of nearby Fort Mountain.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain in North Georgia

Appalachian Trail: Hiking Three Forks to Springer Mountain
8.6 miles

Hike the Appalachian Trail southbound from Three Forks to the southernmost point of the AT in Georgia, Springer Mountain. The hike treks from the shady, creek-filled Three Forks valley to the lofty Springer Mountain summit, packing a ton of terrain variety along the hike.

Hike the Conasauga River Trail in Georgia's remote Cohutta Wilderness

Lower Conasauga River Trail
13.2 miles

Hike through remote, lush forest deep in Georgia’s Cohutta Wilderness, following the Conasauga River Trail as it dives through river crossing after river crossing on this fun but challenging hike. The trail’s namesake river runs nearly crystal-clear, and is home to a staggering variety of freshwater fish. It’s a gorgeous, remote, scenic hike – and a great, splashy, cool hike for Georgia’s scorching summertime months.

Hike the Cloudland Canyon Waterfalls Trail and West Rim Loop to visit two gorgeous waterfalls, and catch stunning canyon views

Cloudland Canyon: Waterfalls Trail and West Rim Loop
6.9 miles

Plunging deep from the rim of Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia, Cloudland Canyon offers some of the state’s best and most scenic hiking trails. Hike this two-trail duo to visit Cloudland’s duo of plunging waterfalls deep within the canyon, and then follow the West Rim Loop for soaring views from the canyon’s east and west rims.

Yonah Mountain Trail: Hiking near Helen, Georgia

Yonah Mountain Trail
4.4 miles

Hike the Yonah Mountain Trail near Helen to outstanding summit views, scaling Yonah’s elevation at a quick pace for a great workout. The trail hikes the boulder and wildflower-filled lower elevations of this iconic mountain before cresting at the summit and grabbing incredible views.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail from Three Forks to Long Creek Falls

Appalachian Trail: Hiking Three Forks to Long Creek Falls
1.9 miles

The Appalachian Trail reaches Three Forks in Georgia 4.3 miles from Springer Mountain. It’s from here that classic North Georgia hike starts an Appalachian Trail journey to a beautiful, rushing waterfall in a forest of hemlocks and rhododendrons.

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.

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.

Get outside, Georgia! #atlantatrails

Find the best outdoor adventures in the southeast! Our Georgia trail map search highlights our favorite adventures on a searchable map. Or check out our favorite Atlanta hiking trails, our favorite North Georgia hiking trails, the best hikes to Georgia waterfalls, and our favorite Atlanta running trails for more great ideas on how to get outside.

Snap a selfie on your favorite Georgia summit, a group shot from the Appalachian Trail, a morning sunrise with your favorite trail pup, or your favorite Georgia waterfall... we'd love to see your adventures! Share your photos with us! Tag them #atlantatrails on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We'll share our favorites, as well as our own favorite shots!