Hiking is one of the ultimate ways to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll out in nature or something a little more strenuous, or even something that might require excellent hiking skills, Georgia has something to offer you. The only tricky part you might have is deciding which of Georgia’s multiple trails you will choose to suit your hiking requirements.
Highly-rated hikes in Georgia include:
- Anna Ruby Falls
- Sandpaper, Avian & Big Ferry Loop
- Canyon Perimeter Loop
- North & South Rim Loop
- East Ridge Loop
- Brasstown Bald Trail
- Pine Mountian Trail
- Raven Cliff Falls
- Waterfalls Trail
- Mount Yonah Trail
- Panther Creek Falls
- Appalachian Trail
With incredible sights and differing skill levels, hiking in Georgia will be a fantastic experience no matter which trail you choose. Now that we have a list of a few of the more spectacular or popular routes Georgia has to offer, we can look at some of the more critical information about these trails to help you decide which one you will choose.
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What Makes Hiking In Georgia So Special?
One of the primary reasons Georgia is such a great hiking state is its mild weather, which means that one can happily go hiking all year round. During winter, the lower latitudes are still pleasant for a lovely hike, and in the fall, the deciduous trees create spectacular scenery. Spring is a beautiful season to take a stroll, and summer also has its specialties.
Whether you are looking to hike up mountains for the spectacular views or hike through colorful canyons, or maybe you wish to be wowed by cascading waterfalls, Georgia has something to offer everyone. As well as having an abundance of trails offering tons of eye candy along the route, Georgia has trail options of differing difficulty levels, meaning there is an option for everyone.
All of this adds to Georgia’s exceptional nature and makes it an excellent hiking destination choice for hikers of any skill level and entire families.
Easy Hiking Trails In Georgia
Hiking can be fun for the whole family if you choose the right trail to suit your needs. The routes listed below are a few examples of the least strenuous hikes available to you in Georgia. These less-strenuous routes are excellent choices for families and everyone who wishes to have a more relaxed, easy walk in nature.
Anna Ruby Falls, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
You can find the Anna Ruby Falls trail in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests near Helen. The route to Anna Ruby Falls is only 0.8 miles long and typically takes around 30 minutes to complete. This out-and-back trail is heavily trafficked and is accessible to the public all year.
The mostly paved trail leading to the spectacular Anna Falls is perfect for the whole family and those with little to no hiking skills. Dogs are welcome on this trail as long as you keep them on their leashes.
Hikers can expect spectacular views of the twin falls of Anna’s Falls and can also expect to see an abundance of wildlife, mossy boulders, the bubbling creek, and plenty of wildflowers.
Sandpaper, Avian & Big Ferry Loop, Skidaway Island State Park
Located in the Skidaway Island State Park close to Savannah, you will find the Skidaway Trail Loop, made up of Sandpaper, Avain, and Big Ferry Trails. This loop is approximately 4.2 miles long and typically takes around an hour and 45 minutes to complete. This trail is often heavily trafficked and is accessible all year.
This easy low-lying trail is excellent for the whole family and people with little to no hiking skills. The loop meanders through pristine salt marshes and maritime forests. You can expect a bit of mud along the path if it has recently rained. Your dog is welcome to accompany you along this route as long as it remains on its leash.
You can expect to see incredible birdlife variety along this loop, as well as raccoons, fiddler crabs, and deer, among other wildlife.
Canyon Perimeter Loop Trail, Providence Canyon State Park
Situated in Providence Canyon State Park near Omaha is the Canyon Perimeter Loop Trail. The area is dubbed ‘Little Grand Canyon.’ The 2.1 mile-long trail loops around the entire perimeter, allowing visitors to view canyons 1 – 9. This loop should take around one hour to complete.
Suitable for the whole family, this relatively easy loop with only a 253-foot elevation is typically heavily trafficked. Your dog is welcome on this hike as long as you keep it on a leash. Other than the fantastic views of the canyons, the other eye candy would be the different soils of the canyons, ranging from orange, red, purple, and pink hues.
North And South Rim Loop Trail, Tallulah Gorge
Situated in the Tallulah Gorge State Park near the Tallulah Falls, the North and South Rim Loop is a heavily trafficked 1.8-mile long trail that typically takes around an hour to complete. This loop is rated easy to moderate, with the most strenuous aspect being the multitude of steps along the way.
With spectacular canyon views, this loop is an excellent activity for the whole family and those not skilled at hiking. As mentioned above, the steps can be challenging to traverse, especially if you experience knee issues, although there are numerous rest areas along the way. Dogs are welcome along this trail as long as they remain on their leashes.
Views of the rugged terrain include boulders, the Tallulah River, a series of waterfalls, rocky cliffs and outcrops, and the deep-cut canyon.
Moderate Hiking Trails In Georgia
Georgia has plenty of moderate hiking trails on offer for those looking for hikes that are a little more strenuous. Below is a list of a few hiking spots on the intermediate level that hikers can check out in Georgia.
East Ridge Loop Trail, Amicalola Falls State Park
Located in Amicalola State Park near Marble Hill is the East Ridge Loop Trail. This trail is a 2-mile long loop that takes approximately an hour and 20 minutes to complete. You can expect an abundance of foot traffic, starting at the falls base before heading upwards for spectacular views of the falls in all of their glory before heading down again.
The East Ridge Loop Trail is accessible year-round, so if you feel like having spectacular views and getting a bit of a workout, this loop is for you. This trail can be fun for the whole family but keep in mind that you need to climb around 600 steps up to the Falls. Your dogs are welcome to accompany you on this trail as long as they remain on their leashes.
The highlight of this trail is the Amicalola Falls which are spectacular. Plunging 729 feet downwards, they are the tallest cascading falls in the South.
Brasstown Bald Trail, Brasstown Wilderness
Located in the Brasstown Wilderness near Young Harris, the Brasstown Bald Trail is a1.1 mile out-and-back trail that takes approximately 50 minutes to complete. The route is paved along the way and has an elevation gain of 426.5 feet.
The paved trail starts going upwards, with quite a few switchbacks all adding to giving this route its moderate status. The best time to hike this trail would be between March and October. This route is suitable for the whole family, but it isn’t advisable to take along more minor children unless you are ready to carry them uphill. Your dogs are also welcome as long as you keep them on their leashes.
The spectacular views from the lookout deck are the main highlight of this trail. The top of Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia, situated at 4284 feet elevation. You can see panoramic views of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee from up there. The trail also meanders through a rocky and lush forest that offers amazing wildflowers sights and beautiful green moss.
Pine Mountian Trail, F.D. Roosevelt State Park
Located in the F.D. Roosevelt State Park, near Hamilton, is the Pine Mountian Trail, an out-and-back 22.1 miles long hike. If you decide to complete this entire route, it should take around 11 hours.
This hike is an excellent one for backpacking and is ideal for families with older children and those who have moderate hiking experience. Accessible all year round and moderately trafficked, you can take your dogs with you as long as they remain on their leashes.
Some great things to see on this hike include trickling streams, mountain laurel tunnels, Big Rock Falls, Csonka Falls, and Slippery Rock Falls, among other minor falls.
Raven Cliff Falls Trail, Raven Cliffs Wilderness
Located in the Raven Cliffs Wilderness, near Helen, is the Raven Cliff Falls Trail. This trail is a 5.8 mile-long out-and-back hike that takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete. Accessible all year, the area is popular for those who like to camp, fish, and backpack.
Family-friendly this trail is considered moderately complex and is best suited to families with older children and hikers with moderate skill levels. Your dogs will also enjoy this hike as long as they remain on their leashes.
You can expect to see running streams and cascading waterfalls along your route, as well as an abundance of wildlife. Raven Falls are spectacular and unique, with the waterfall rushing out of a crack in the side of the cliff. A small swimming hole at the bottom of the falls provides an area for hikers to cool off after their hike.
Challenging Hiking Trails In Georgia
If you would like a hike that requires a higher skill level, look no further, Georgia has something to offer you. The following trails are considered more complicated than most and provide more of a challenge to those who choose to hike them.
Waterfalls Trail, Cloudland Canyon State Park
Located in the Cloudland Canyon State Park, near Trenton, is the Waterfalls Trail, East Rim Loop Trail, and the Overlook Trail. Although this trail is accessible year-round, winter hiking is spectacular. Combining all of these trails for one loop would be roughly 6.2 miles, which should take approximately 3 hours to complete.
This trail, especially in winter, is not for the faint-hearted. You can expect to find stretches of gravel along the pathway, and at another section, there is a 600-step staircase you will need to traverse. You can consider this trail a more moderate one in summer, but it requires an extra level of skill from the hiker in wintertime.
The West Rim Loop is the more moderate section of this walk. You can expect rewards of maple and oak forests, scenes of mountain laurel and rhododendrons, and the fantastic sights of the surrounding mountains and canyons. You can expect to see two waterfalls on this route, the Cherokee Falls and the Hemlock Falls, plunging into the canyon below from 60 and 90 feet heights.
Mount Yonah Trail, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
Located in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest near Cleveland is the Mount Yonah Trail. This 4.5 mile-long trail is extremely popular and takes around 2 hours and 50 minutes to complete. You can consider this out-and-back trail a challenging route.
This trail requires the hiker to have a good hiking skillset as it has an elevation of 1466 feet. The pathway is partially paved and considered dog friendly as long as your furry friends stay on their leashes.
The rewards of this hike include spectacular views from the top of Yonah Mountain and the path winds through rocky boulders and patches of wildflowers.
Panther Creek Falls, Cohutta Wilderness
You can locate the Panther Creek Falls Trail in the Cohutta Wilderness near Blue Ridge. This route stretches about 9 miles and should take approximately 5 hours. If you are looking for a strenuous, moderately trafficked hike, then this is the one for you.
Panther Creek Falls trail is best suited for those who can take the physical exertion of a long and strenuous hike. Your dog is allowed to keep you company on this hike as long as it remains on its leash.
This trail meanders through a dense forest, going past a series of lovely waterfalls until it reaches its final destination, the Panther Creek Falls. When taking this route, one thing to keep in mind is that it goes to the top of the falls. If you wish to get to the bottom, a path coming off this trail will take you down for a better view of the falls themselves.
The Appalachian Trail
This 78-mile out-and-back section of the Appalachian Trail stretches from one end of Georgia to the other and is one small part of the 2,200-mile long Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine. You can expect this challenging hike to have high hiker traffic, and it is best to travel from February to September.
This incredibly scenic hike takes you up and down the summits of Blood Mountain, Springer Mountain, and Tray Mountian. You can select to hike the whole 78 miles or divide this trail up into multiple day hikes between landmarks that include Slaughter Mountain, Gooch Mountian, Woody Gap, Neels Gap, Hogpen Gap, and Tesnatee Gap.
With such various trails to choose from, hiking in Georgia can only be described as a spectacular pastime. Between mountain views and rivers, creeks, and waterfalls deciding which route to hike will be tricky. Luckily, you can rest assured that it will offer you some excellent eye candy no matter which tracks you choose.