Explore Georgia’s canyons, mountains and waterfalls on these top kid-friendly hikes, rated and reviewed by kids themselves!

My children, at just 8 and 10-years-old, are already accomplished hikers. Brett (10) and Brooklyn (8) started hiking when they were 4 and 6. Before that, they were up on our backs joining the adventure in Kelty packs. On their own two feet, they’ve trekked several miles through beautiful parks all over the country: Zion National Park, Grand Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountain National Park to name a few. Despite their national adventures, some of their all-time favorite hikes are right here in our home state of Georgia!

Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our kids hiking list features our favorite kids backpacks, snacks and safety gear for a fun outdoor adventure in the South. And don’t forget good footwear! The Keen Pagosa Boot is our favorite, comfortable kids hiking boot for cold weather adventures and tough terrain. And for summertime fun, we love the KEEN Newport ATV Sandal and KEEN Moxie Sandal: they’re rugged, grippy, and great for hikes that cross through water or visit shallow creeks.

Top kid-friendly trails in Georgia: our family’s favorite hikes

Check out seven of their favorite Georgia hikes with their own kid-rated difficulty scale, some snapshots, and reasons why they think other kids would love to visit these cool places, too.

  • Top family hikes in Georgia: hike to Panther Creek Falls, one of North Georgia's most beautiful waterfalls

    Panther Creek Falls

    KIDscale: 7   Georgia kid-friendly hiking trails: moderate to difficult

    This 7 mile hike to a waterfall will be an adventure your family will never forget! The peaceful wooded trail offers lots of scenic river views, and even opportunities to pitch a tent for the night by the water. In the summer, your kids will love wading by the falls, and your older kids can even swim to sit underneath the falls! Pack a picnic and stay awhile, because your crew definitely will not want to leave. Tip: This hike is very popular, so we recommend going on a weekday or at an early hour if you prefer a little more solitude. Also don’t forget to pack water shoes and a towel!

    Brett says:

    “Swimming to the waterfall was the coolest thing ever. Can we hike that again, Mom?”

    Brooklyn says:

    “It was mostly flat, but it was also a kind of long, and there were some narrow parts next to the river that were a little scary for me. But the waterfall was so awesome!”
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  • Georgia kid-friendly hikes at Providence Canyon

    Providence Canyon State Park

    KIDscale: 3   Georgia kid-friendly hiking trails: easy

    Southwest Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” is a terrific place to hike and get your kids’ brains stirring. There is so much to explore and discuss as you walk 4.5 miles through the interesting canyon formations. The colorful walls of the canyon boast over forty different colors of sand! During the hike, you will stumble upon some old rusty cars hidden in the woods, which will really get your kid’s imaginations churning. Tip: This hike provides a perfect opportunity to discuss erosion, and our impact on the world we live in with your kids. Start the conversation!

    Brett says:

    “I liked the colors of the canyon, and all of the old cars on the trail.”

    Brooklyn says:

    “I liked the colors. I remember that it got me thinking how cool it would be to see the bigger canyons, like in Arizona and Utah.”
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  • Hike to epic views and a suspension bridge at Tallulah Gorge: Georgia's best kid-friendly hikes

    Tallulah Gorge Hurricane Falls Trail

    KIDscale: 5   Georgia kid-friendly hiking trails: moderate

    This 2.25 mile hike on Hurricane Falls Loop Trail has a little something for everyone in the family! The more mechanical minds in your group will like to check out the dam and the suspension bridge, and the nature enthusiasts will enjoy the breathtaking gorge views and waterfalls. The hike has an endless amount of stairs, which might seem a intimidating at first glance, but your kids will likely think they are fun, and will race to see who can finish them first. Tip: The park has a great interpretive center with a fun mini-museum and gift shop. There are also some live snakes on display in the lower level your kids can ooh and ahh over!

    Brett says:

    “The stairs up from the waterfall were hard, but I liked walking across the big bridge and seeing the dam.”

    Brooklyn says:

    “My favorite part was the Interpretive Center and the gift shop where I got a stuffed animal, and I liked the big waterfall.”
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  • Take a family hike to Preacher's Rock on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia

    Preacher’s Rock on the Appalachian Trail

    KIDscale: 6   Georgia kid-friendly hiking trails: moderate to difficult

    This 3.1 mile outing will quench your thirst for mountain trails without taking up an entire day to do so. The hike follows the Appalachian Trail to a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains. Your kids will love to scramble over boulders and rocks as they make their way to the top. Tip: Head into nearby Dahlonega post hike for an ice cream cone, and to check out some eclectic shops.

    Brett says:

    “I liked the rock scrambles. It is kind of steep at the end, but it is only hard for a few minutes.”

    Brooklyn says:

    “You can see a whole lot of mountains, and it doesn’t take long to get to them! But my most favorite part about this hike is that we always get ice cream in Dahlonega afterward.”
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  • Great Georgia family hikes: Stone Mountain at night

    Stone Mountain – at NIGHT!

    KIDscale: 3   Georgia kid-friendly hiking trails: easy

    A lot of locals are unaware that you can hike Stone Mountain after night fall. The park doesn’t close until midnight, giving you many more hours of adventure to discover right in your own backyard! We like to pack some flashlights and hike the Walk Up Trail to the top of the mountain right before sunset. After dark, we love to hang around at the top to catch great views of the bustling city lights below; then we navigate our way back to the car with flashlights in hand. Once your kids do this, they’ll want to come back at night every time! Tip: bring a light jacket for night, even in the summer, as it can get a little breezy on the summit.

    Brett says:

    “Stone Mountain at night is sweet! I like that hardly anybody is up there.”

    Brooklyn says:

    “You have so much fun in the dark with your flashlight, you forget you are doing something hard!”
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  • Best hikes for kids in Georgia: Rabun Bald via the Bartram Trail to Georgia's second-highest summit

    Rabun Bald

    KIDscale: 9   Georgia kid-friendly hiking trails: difficult

    For the older kids in your crew looking for a challenge, check out the 3 mile roundtrip Bartram Trail hike up to Rabun Bald. You kids will love climbing the fire tower to 360 degree see-forever views. This view is much harder to reach than other nearby summits, so you will have plenty of peace and quiet on this hike. Tip: Pack extra water and snacks! This hike gains almost a thousand feet over a mile and a half, and might take you a little longer than expected.

    Brett says:

    “This was a tough hike! It was harder than I thought it was going to be, but I liked the fire tower at the top where you could see all the mountains around you.”
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  • Hike the kid-friendly Indian Seats Trail at Sawnee Mountain to great summit views north of Atlanta

    Sawnee Mountain: Indian Seats Trail

    KIDscale: 4   Georgia kid-friendly hiking trails: moderate

    This local hike offers a great opportunity for your family to break into hiking. The 4 mile roundtrip Indian Seats trail is wide, and easy to navigate. At the beginning of the trail, you will spot the Fairy Trail made by a local girl scouts group, and a big empty play house the kids will want to scamper through. Once at the summit, head over to the observation deck and locate the placard pointing out various peaks in the distance. You kids will love to help you identify different mountains. Tip: This route is a popular one. We recommend going early or on a weekday if you prefer to hike with more solitude.

    Brett says:

    “The hike wasn’t very hard, and I liked running around in the playhouse.”

    Brooklyn says:

    “The Fairy Trail is so cute!”
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  • Kids Hiking Gear List: our favorite backpacks, kids boots, snacks and essentials

    Our favorite hiking gear

    What to pack on a Georgia hiking adventure with kids?

    Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our kids hiking gear list features our favorite, trail-tested kids hiking gear for day hikes on local trails and in the Georgia backcountry. Our Atlanta Trails shirts and longsleeves are printed our ultra-soft tri-blend Trailful shirts, and they’re our favorite for trail adventures all over the South. Our outdoor apparel reviews feature our favorite trail-worthy hiking boots, running shoes, jackets, and layering essentials for the South. And no matter what you pack in, pack it all back out. Please leave no trace and help preserve Georgia’s beauty.
    OUR KIDS HIKING GEAR LIST

And onward!

These are just a few our favorite hikes, but there are many more wonderful places to explore with your family in beautiful Georgia! Check out our Georgia trail finder and Georgia trails map search for more of our favorite trails, and to discover some new interesting routes and adventures.

Hiking with your kids is a wonderful way to bond, build character, and create incredible memories. So, lace up, pack a snack, and go exploring!


Ashley Walsh
Author

Ashley Walsh is a fun-loving ultramarathon runner addicted to playing in the dirt. She was born and raised in Georgia, and is married to her high school sweetheart, who is a total stud. Together with their two kids they have crazy fun making memories outdoors. Ashley blogs about her ultrarunning adventures at AshRuns100s.com, and loves to post about her training on Instagram @AshRuns100s.