Explore Atlanta’s outdoor beauty, and hike our top 10 favorite Atlanta hiking trails within 40 miles of the city. These hikes explore gorgeous, rolling forest, scenic rivers, historical remains and catch the best, most stunning mountaintop views near Atlanta.

Spectacular hikes fill Georgia’s rolling mountains and coastal plains, offering a great outdoor escape from Atlanta’s urban life. Fueled with a hunger for fresh air, nature, and the chance to unplug from technology, we’ve trekked many of Georgia’s best trails, eager to find the best hikes to waterfalls, mountain summits, and mossy, whitewater-filled trout streams.

Many of the most popular Georgia hiking trails are less than two hours from Atlanta, including the famed Appalachian Trail and the beautiful waterfalls at Panther Creek Falls. But busy weekends don’t always allow time for a drive to the Appalachians and time on the trail. The local Atlanta area has many hiking trails that equal the adventure on the fantastic hiking trails in the North Georgia mountains. And some local Atlanta hikes provide scenery so visually stunning you’ll be left guessing if you’re even in Georgia, let alone an Atlanta suburb. These are our top ten favorite Atlanta hiking trails. All are within a 40-mile drive of Midtown Atlanta – and a few are even within the I-285 Perimeter loop.

Explore Atlanta's outdoor beauty, and hike our top 10 favorite Atlanta hiking trails within 40 miles of the city. These hikes explore gorgeous, rolling forest, scenic rivers, historical remains and catch the best, most stunning mountaintop views near Atlanta. #hiking #running #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure
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Top places to hike near Atlanta: our favorite trails

Bonus hikes: a few more of our favorite Atlanta trails

Crossed off our favorite Atlanta hikes on your bucket list? Congrats! Here’s a few more of our favorite Atlanta trails:

  • Iron Hill Loop Trail at Red Top Mountain

    3.8 miles

    Hike the Iron Hill Trail to beautiful, reflective views of Allatoona Lake on a peninsula at Red Top Mountain State Park, north of Atlanta. The hike grabs nearly continuous views of the lake’s glassy, calm inlets and crosses multiple wooden boardwalks while following the Allatoona shoreline.

  • Hiking the Yellow River Trail at Yellow River Park

    3.2 miles

    Hike through rolling forest on the banks of this smooth, wide-flowing river on the Yellow River Hiking Trail. The trail hikes to scenic overviews, following the river’s meandering contours at Yellow River Park near Stone Mountain.

  • Cochran Shoals Trail: hiking to Sope Creek

    8.5 miles

    Grab some great intown trail miles on this two-trail combo stretching from the popular running and walking trails at Cochran Shoals to the mill ruins and pond at Sope Creek. A connecting trail spans the two popular parks, passing by weather-worn headstones in a small, old cemetery in the middle of the forest.

More great outdoor adventures near Atlanta

Escape sidewalks and crosswalks on our top ten Atlanta running trails – they’re equally great for walking or a weekend stroll with the family. Visit Georgia’s rolling southern Appalachian mountains on a hike to a stunning summit in our list of top ten hikes in North Georgia. Love waterfalls? Hike to our favorite falls on our top ten list of Georgia waterfall hikes. Up for a road trip? Hike to some seriously epic views from some of the tallest mountains east of the Mississippi River on our favorite Asheville hiking trails, all within 40 miles of North Carolina’s favorite mountain town.

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Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

Eric Champlin

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, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.