Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Atlanta Hiking Trails

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Trail

Hike Atlanta’s Cascade Springs Nature Preserve to a beautiful waterfall, a moss-covered historic springhouse, and mounded earthworks from the Civil War battle of Utoy Creek.

georgia hiking trails: 0-2 miles 1.9 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
georgia hiking trails: easyeasy to
?Our difficulty estimate, based on distance, terrain, elevation change, & ease of wayfinding. May vary daily due to weather, trail reroutes, downed trees, etc.
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:in Atlanta, Georgia

PACK:our Osprey day pack and our hiking gear list

Departing from a chain-link-fenced parking area, the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve seems an unlikely venue for the natural beauty that borders its trails. The preserve’s tranquility is surrounded by urban buzz in a southwest Atlanta neighborhood dotted with 1970s plazas and historic Craftsman houses.

But inside the park’s 120 acres of green space, a wide trail network explores a tumbling waterfall, a wildlife-filled forest, and trickling springs that feed the park’s many streams. The hilly forest is a retreat from the surrounding city, and home to wildlife including deer, birds, and turtles.

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve: hike to a tumbling waterfall in urban Atlanta

This trail packs in a whole lot of natural beauty into a short length, visiting the moss-covered remnants of a stone spring house, a beautiful waterfall, and a rocky, sunlight-dapped creek. There’s a whole lot to explore at this beautiful nature preserve in Atlanta – and with surroundings so beautiful, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the heart of a concrete-covered metropolis.

Hike Atlanta's Cascade Springs Nature Preserve to a beautiful waterfall, a moss-covered historic springhouse, and mounded earthworks from the Civil War battle of Utoy Creek. #hiking #running #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve: the hike

The Cascade Springs Trail departs the parking area trailhead (view maps and driving directions). The trail meanders on a boardwalk to skirt earthworks dug by Civil War troops as a line of defense in the battle of Utoy Creek.

The trail meets a moss-covered, historic stone-and-mortar springhouse over a trickling spring, turning right to hike a paved trail to the east.

Hike the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve to this moss-covered historic spring house in Atlanta, GA

The hike departs the pavement, following a dirt trail through rolling forest westbound toward Utoy Creek and meeting the creek at .3 mile. The trail turns southbound, following the creek’s deeply-cut banks upstream along an old gravel roadbed. The hike reaches a side trail at .55 miles, turning left here to climb and wind through switchbacks in a boulder-studded forest.

The trail crests elevation on a ridge. Civil War earthworks are faintly visible on the rolling forest floor, covered in a dense blanket of ferns and ivy. The hike turns right at a trail intersection on the ridge’s crest, hiking due east before turning left onto the northbound Terrace Trail. English Ivy drapes the landscape in deep emerald as the trail descends, passing an old building at just under 1 mile.

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve: top hiking and running trails in Atlanta

The hike meets the Spring Trail junction at just over 1 mile, turning right and trailing beside several small streams. The trail approaches a boulder-strewn valley, the sound of falling water amplifying through the forest, before meeting the Cascade Springs waterfall at 1.3 miles. The waterfall cascades under an often-traffic-filled bridge, English ivy draping the large rock that terraces the falls’ three tumbling cascades.

Departing the waterfall, the trail runs a boardwalk and follows the meandering banks of the creek westbound toward the trailhead, reaching the stone springhouse and park entrance at 1.6 miles and completing the hike.

Note: Slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Do not climb, stand above, swim near, or jump from any waterfall. See more water safety tips.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Trail Map, Directions & Details

This map shows our approximate route while exploring this trail, but does not replace an official trail map. Please refer to the official trail map for the most current and accurate route.

Love the trail?

This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of Park Pride. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!

Driving Directions


Free. The park's hours are limited, and gates are locked at closing time.
Summer: Mon-Fri 7:30a - 3:00p, Sat-Sun 7:30a - 7:30p
Winter: Mon-Fri 7:30a - 3:00p, Sat-Sun 7:30a - 6:00p

GPS Coordinates

33.719350, -84.480733     //     N33 43.161 W84 28.844

Elevation Profile

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Trail Elevation Profile

Eric Champlin is a creative director and photographer who loves to explore southeast. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.