Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Atlanta Hiking Trails

Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats Trail

Hike the Indian Seats Trail to the summit of Sawnee Mountain, an outstanding overlook with beautiful, long-range views of the North Georgia mountains.

georgia hiking trails: 2-4 miles 4 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: moderaterelatively
?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: no dogs allowed No dogs
?Due to park regulations, no dogs are allowed on this trail. Check out our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:north of Atlanta, near Cumming, Georgia

PACK:our Osprey day pack and our hiking gear list

It’s easily one of the best views in North Georgia. The Indian Seats Trail hikes over and around the sheer face of Sawnee Mountain, exploring breathtaking views of the distant rolling ridgeline of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And sunsets from the mountain’s towering overlook are simply spectacular.

Hike the Indian Seats Trail at Sawnee Mountain, just north of Atlanta, to stunning mountain views

The trail is part of the 5+ mile network of hiking, walking and running trails at the Sawnee Mountain Preserve, a 900-acre stretch of beautiful coniferous and deciduous forest just 40 miles north of Atlanta.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve Indian Seats Trail

The mountain’s history spans from a sacred site for the local Native American Cherokee and Creek tribes to a mining site in the 1800s search for gold in Georgia. Today, the mountain preserve offers a number of fantastic hikes and running trails – and this view-packed loop is one of the park’s most popular, named for the granite, carved seat-like depressions on the mountain’s summit.

Hike the Indian Seats Trail to the summit of Sawnee Mountain, an outstanding overlook with beautiful, long-range views of the North Georgia mountains. #hiking #running #camping #backpacking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats Trail: the hike

The adventure begins at the park’s visitor center on Spot Road (view maps and driving directions). The hike reaches the Indian Seats Loop, turning left at the intersection to follow the loop trail counterclockwise, immediately gaining elevation and winding through several wide switchbacks. The trail rolls elevation as it swings south of the mountain’s summit, hiking past a now-gated gold mine entrance, carved deeply in the exposed rock outcrop, at just over 1 mile.

Hike to an abandoned gold mine at the Sawnee Mountain Preserve just north of Atlanta

The hike follows a well-marked side trail to the mountain’s summit, reaching the overlook at 1.9 miles. Carved in the lofty, sheer face of the mountaintop are several natural depressions in the rock, were used by local tribes as seats for lookouts and meditation centuries ago.

The overlook offers gorgeous, expansive views of the valley stretching below, and the southernmost range of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains rise to the north on the distant horizon. Windswept conifers line the rocky ridge, with excellent views extending along its east-to-west length.

Sawnee Mountain Trail: hike to gorgeous sunset views from Sawnee Mountain at the Indian Seats near Atlanta

The hike departs the Sawnee Mountain summit overlook, rejoining the Indian Seats Trail to continue the counterclockwise loop, meandering as it winds down the mountain’s southern expanse. The hike reaches the intersection of the Yucca Trail at 2.4 miles, turning left.

Looping back to the trailhead

The trail passes the southern visitor center and parking area and a second mine entrance at 2.9 miles before turning northward, ascending a small knob at 3.4 miles before descending towards the Spot Road trailhead. The hike reaches the trailhead and visitors center at 4 miles, completing the adventure.

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.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve Indian Seats 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.

Driving Directions


Free. Dogs are (unfortunately) not allowed in the Sawnee Mountain Preserve, so please leave your four-legged hiking buddies at home.

GPS Coordinates

34.254750, -84.138933     //     N34 15.285 W84 08.336

Elevation Profile

Sawnee Mountain Preserve Indian Seats 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.