ATLANTA
Reynolds Nature Preserve

Big Trees Forest Preserve Trail
Created by the Southeast Land Preservation Trust in partnership with Fulton County and the state of Georgia, The John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Preserve is home to the Big Trees Forest Preserve Trail. At 1.2 miles, this 45 minute trek takes hikers along a river and is suitable for all skill levels. Most visitors enjoy hiking and walking, but many have enjoyed nature trips and birding in the area. The trail is accessible throughout the year and is dog friendly as long as they’re on a leash.
For more information, visit: http://www.bigtreesforest.com/

Island Ford Trail
This trail takes hikers on an exploration of the floodplain and watershed of the Chattahoochee River in the vicinity of Island Ford, one of the river’s first commonly used fords. For those who are not familiar with this type of ford, it refers to one of two options that settlers had when crossing the Chattahoochee River: you could use of the ferries, which cost money, or one of the free fords, where animals, carts, and people made their way across a high, relatively flat area in the river. This practice could be dangerous due to high, fast-flowing water that could easily drag your cart or passengers downstream. Today, it’s almost impossible to see the former ford, but the scenery of the river provides spectacular views of lush plant growth. This hike is considered fairly easy, but there are a few climbs to get to the Chattahoochee River watershed that could be considered challenging.  
For more information, click here.

Midtown Romp

Who says all hikes have to be in the woods? The Midtown Romp offers hikers a bit more concrete as they trek through 6.3 miles of downtown Atlanta. Starting on Atlanta’s first road, Peachtree Street, hikers will pass through Piedmont Park, around several famous Atlanta landmarks, and through the campus of Georgia Tech before returning back to the start of the trail on Peachtree Street. A moderate difficulty level, heavy traffic, and full sun make this an excursion for those who don’t consider themselves beginners. Most hikers usually spend about 7 hours on this hike.
For more information, click here. 

Reynolds Nature Preserve
Built on donated land from William Huie Reynolds, a Clayton County judge, this just under two mile hike offers hikers multiple lakeshore views, forested wetlands, and a 17-foot-circumference white oak that was felled by a storm. This trail is considered easy to complete and most hikers spend about one hour on the hike going through mostly shaded areas, except for parts in the vicinity of the lakes and dam, which are sometimes fully exposed. Visitors can see smaller animals on the trail, like turtles, tortoises, and a family of beavers.

For more information, visit: http://www.reynoldsnaturepreserve.org/

NORTHWEST ATLANTA
Chattahoochee Nature Center

Iron Hill Loop
Visitors of the Red Top Mountain State Park are offered a reminder of Georgia’s iron heritage with the Iron Hill Loop, an easy, 3.8 mile loop configuration that gives hikers stunning views of lakeshore and historic open-pit iron mines. The trail is open daily, year-round, but requires a $5 park fee for entry. Partial shade and some areas of full sun combined with a slightly varying incline gravel trail make this two hour hike the perfect way to spend a Saturday in the fall.

For more information, click here.

Pickett’s Mill Trail
The Picket’s Mill Trail allows hikers to explore the site of a decisive Confederate victory during the Atlanta campaign of the Civil War. Travel down the path that Union soldiers took as they advanced down a valley toward the Confederate Army’s right flank. At 3.1 miles with several inclines, this trail offers a moderate difficulty level which could be a challenge for beginner hikers. Take in creekside settings with cascades and portions of the Pickett’s Mill Battlefield on this two hour trek on a mix of gravel and historic roads.
For more information, click here.

Chattahoochee Nature Center Trail
The Chattahoochee Nature Center Trail allows hikers to explore the Chattahoochee River above Bull Sluice before climbing into the watershed. This hike is unique because it offers a deep-woods experience while in an in-town setting, The hike ends at the Discovery Center, which allows visitors to learn about the natural world. The 2.5 mile loop takes hikers along the Chattahoochee, several ponds, the Chattahoochee watershed, and offers great views of Bull Sluice. An easy hike to complete under two hours, the Chattahoochee Nature Center Trail is suitable for all ages and is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving and December 24-25. Admission for the trail is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children ages 3-12, and free for children ages 2 and under. Sadly, your four legged friends will have to sit this one out as no pets are allowed.
For more information, visit: http://www.chattnaturecenter.org/trails-horticulture/trails/

Wildcat Creek Trail
Following along Wildcat Creek, the Wildcat Creek Trail climbs into the Amicalola Creed watershed through remote areas where it is possible to see a wide range of wildlife. Part of the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area, the trail is technically under the control of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and was developed by the nonprofit Mountain Stewards who have developed the multiple-trail complex in the area. Difficulty on this trail varies from easy to moderate with the trail being mostly shaded throughout. Rather than a loop configuration, this trail is an out-and-back trail, meaning once you reach the end, you’ll turn back and exit where you started; the trail is 3 miles roundtrip. A Georgia Outdoor Recreation Pass is required for visitors 16-64 (buy online at georgiawildlife.com/recreational-licenses; transaction fees may apply.)
For more information, click here. 

NORTHEAST ATLANTA
Stone Mountain Walk Up Trail

Amicalola Falls Loop
On this 2.8 mile loop, hikers will explore the watershed of the Amicalola Creek in the area of Amicalola Falls. In an impressive 729 feet in a series of free falls and large cascades, Amicalola Falls is clearly the focus of the trail. Hikers can experience full sun at the falls and visitor center as well as along the upper third of the East Ridge, but the remainder of the loop is shaded. Visitors should expect heavier traffic during peak leaf season as well as a $5 state park fee for entry. The park is open daily, year-round from 7 a.m. – sunset. The loop is considered to be difficult due to steady moderate climbs and several sets of stairs. Pro Tip: the best views happen after a winter rain when the river is high and there is no tree cover.
For more information, visit: https://gastateparks.org/af-trails

DeSoto Falls Trail
Combining two wonderful out-and-back trails, the DeSoto Falls Trail offers a 2.5 mile round-trip stroll with views of waterfalls and a babbling brook in the North Georgia mountains. Cost of admission to the park is a $3 day-use fee and the park is open daily, year-round, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. The trail is considered easy, but the climb to Lower Falls is slightly more difficult. Visitors can expect full shade throughout the trek and can enjoy views of mountain streams and two waterfalls on this hike that normally takes hikers a little under one and a half hours to complete.
For more information, click here.

Stone Mountain Walk Up Trail
On this trail, hikers travel on solid granite and through boulder fields to the top of Stone Mountain, nearly 780 feet above the surrounding Georgia Piedmont. By climbing up the Walk Up Trail, you can take in 200 years of American history, 400 years of European history, thousands of years of American Indian history, and millions of years of geological history. Don’t expect any sort of shaded path, because this trail is in full sun for the duration of the hike. This out-and-back trail finishes at 2.4 miles round-trip and have proven to be difficult for most hikers, but once you make it to the top of the mountain, there is a small loop with a 360-degree vista of the Georgia Piedmont that includes long-distance views of central Atlanta, Buckhead, and Decatur. Hikers usually spend about 2 hours completing this hike. Admission pricing information can be found at stonemountainpark.com; and the park is open daily, year-round 6 a.m. – midnight. Pro Tip: stick around for the laser show that Stone Mountain offers starting in April and lasting through mid-October.
For more information, click here. 

Indian Seats Trail
Named for a Cherokee chief who lived near the headwaters of Vickery Creek, Sawnee Mountain has long been rumored to hold the chief’s gold as well as the final resting place of his body. No one has found the latter, but the gold was discovered in 1895 but mined unsuccessfully. This trail takes hikers to the top of Sawnee Mountain to provide beautiful, long-distance views of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a 3.75 mile loop trail. When hiked clockwise, the trail is moderately difficult, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge, consider going counterclockwise to add some extreme difficulty. The park is open daily, year-round, 8 a.m. – sunset and hiking admission is free.
For more information, click here.

SOUTH OF ATLANTA
Cochran Mill Trail

Cochran Mill Trail
To many hikers, the Cochran Mill Trail is always enjoyable because it’s full of unexpected bonuses. Carrying a rich history, this 3 mile loop provides hikers with views of 3 separate falls along with large rock outcrops and boulders. This trail is meant to be an easy hike with a few slight inclines and some full sun coverage until you cross over Bear Creek, then it’s mostly shaded. The park is open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m – 3 p.m. and cost of admission is $3 for adults, $2 for kids ages 3-12, and free for children under the age of 2 and for Cochran Mill Nature Center Members.
For more information, visit: http://www.cochranmillnaturecenter.org/trail_map.html

Panola Mountain Trail
Nestled in Georgia’s first state conservation park, the Panola Mountain Trail offers hikers a 1.75 mile double loop trail with very low difficulty. Perched on a massive granite rock outcrop, the purpose of the preservation park is to protect the environmentally sensitive areas, both biologic and geologic. Much of the trail lies in direct sun light, so make sure to bring your sunscreen so you can fully enjoy the long-distance views from the Rock Outcrop Trail or on the Watershed Trail. The park is open every day from 7 a.m. – sunset and requires a $5 state-park entrance fee.
For more information, visit: http://gastateparks.org/pm-trails

McIntosh Reserve Trail
The McIntosh Reserve Trail explores the banks of the Chattahoochee River and the inland area before it climbs to check out the adjacent watershed. Hikers can enjoy views of the Chattahoochee River, extensive forested wetlands, a beaver pond, and historic log cabin on this moderately difficult 5.2 mile trek. Expect full sun in the Chattahoochee floodplain, but the trail that climbs into the watershed has decent shade cover. The park is open daily, year-round from 8 a.m. – sunset; closed January 1, Thanksgiving, and December 25. Admission to the park is a $3 day-use fee for non-Carroll County residents. 
For more information, visit: http://www.carrollcountyga.com/293/McIntosh-Reserve-Park