Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Top Georgia trails & how-to

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 retrievers Amber and Jake.

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! 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. Or score some seriously epic summit and waterfall views in the mountains of Western NC on our favorite dog-friendly hikes near Asheville.

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. #hiking #backpacking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Where ever your adventures take you, please always remember to hike with your dog on leash at all times. And after your hike, please check your buddy’s fur for sticky Japanese chaff flower seeds. This invasive species is spreading quickly through Georgia’s trails, often by sticking to dog fur. Learn how to identify the plant, and how to help prevent its spread, in our guide to the Japanese chaff flower in Georgia.

Dog-friendly hikes in Georgia: our favorite trails

Hiking with dogs: before you hit the trail

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

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 collapsible dish, like Ruffwear’s ultralight and ultra-packable Bivy Bowl, makes keeping your pup hydrated on the trail easy and convenient.

Leash up! A leash provides safety and 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.

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.

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.