4 Places To Hike In Atlanta That Isn't Stone Mountain
Since moving to Atlanta, I've heard that I had to make it Stone Mountain. Coming from The Bahamas, I've never been much of a hiker but I do enjoy a good walk, so Stone Mountain was on my list.
Needless to say, it's been a year and a half since living here, and I still haven't made it up the mountain. BUT I did make it to 4 other locations that are pretty incredible.
If you're also in Atlanta and looking for a hiking spot that's not Stone Mountain...you have to check out these locations.
1) Sweetwater Creek State Park
This state park is a short drive from the city and very rural. At Sweetwater, you'll find nicely laid out trails to choose from. There is so much greenery and scenery to see in addition to a lake (which if you're adventurous... you can swim in). There is also the bonus site - the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill that burned during the Civil War.
Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views of that beautiful lake below. Other than hiking, guests can enjoy fishing, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, pedal boats, picnic tables, and yurts for camping. There is also an award-winning Visitor Center—one of the most environmentally responsible buildings in the country—which features exhibits on the area’s history, wildlife displays, trail maps, snacks, and a renovated gift shop.
Parking is $5 so be sure to bring cash.
2) Arabia Mountain
Arabia Mountain is truly a gem. It's about 45-50 mins from the city but totally worth the drive. Note that after finding parking, mapping out the trail, and locating the markers identifying each trail requires keen attention.
Though Arabia Mountain is the main attraction, there are quite a few trails to enjoy. I've come to love this site simply because there's always a new discovery!
3) Northside Trail (ATL Beltline)
Northside, this isn't a true hike in terms of "needing skill" but it's still a fun quick walk that can be done in the city. There's tons of scenery and a few playgrounds if you wish to venture out with kids. Not to mention...due to the fauna, the trail is not excessively hot like other locations that may not have the same kind of foliage.
The Northside Trail connects Ardmore Park and Atlanta Memorial Park, and links to the Northwest BeltLine Connector Trail, developed by the PATH Foundation.
4) Vickery Creek Falls
Vickery Creek is a unique hike where you are able to hang out at the stunning lake near the parking lot. Unfortunately, in order to get to the trails, you're obligated to climb a butt load of stairs so be prepared for a workout.
Just like the trails at Arabia Mountain, it's important to take note of trail maps and markers. Though there isn't a mountain view at Vickery, the hike is still very enjoyable and perfect for a weekend activity.
Parking can be hard to find in the designated lot, however, you can find parking by the nearby neighborhood!