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4 Scenic Day Hikes in Georgia

  • Waterfall at Cloudland Canyon

    Candy Cook

Plan day hikes at these trails and experience Georgia's natural beauty from mountains overlooking Atlanta, shady rock gardens and enchanting waterfalls.

Cloudland Canyon

Two challenging trails at Cloudland Canyon State Park lead hikers on an impressive journey to the waterfalls at the canyon floor. One of Georgia’s top scenic hikes, West Rim Loop, winds along the plateau, offering magnificent views before descent into the canyon. The 5-mile trail includes several entry points, including the campground and yurt village, as well as seamless connection to Sitton’s Gulch Trail via The Waterfalls Trail. Hikers can join Georgia’s Canyon Climbers Club by completing Sitton’s Gulch Trail. Following an array of staircases and natural paths, Sitton’s Gulch features hemlock groves, overlooks, and amazing rock formations for 2.5 miles.


Panola Mountain


Panola Mountain State Park is a hidden gem for day hikes.
Panola Mountain State Park is a hidden gem for day hikes.

A true hidden gem just 15 minutes from Atlanta, Panola Mountain State Park invites hikers to explore a pristine monadnock on guided tours to the top. The moderately strenuous hike presents a gorgeous blanket of colorful moss and lichen as hikers ascend and loop the summit. Several scheduled group hikes coincide with nightfall, offering hikers a fantastic view of the sunset over Atlanta.


Little Kennesaw Mountain


Little Kennesaw Mountain
Little Kennesaw Mountain

Hikers find a quiet, out-and-back trail that fills the senses with magical mountain rock gardens, wildlife sightings and tree-framed views. Beginning at the Pigeon Hill Trail in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Little Kennesaw Mountain is a great escape to nature that connects to the higher elevation Kennesaw Mountain for hikers hoping to extend the trek.

 

Providence Canyon

Providence Canyon photo by Candy Cook.
Providence Canyon photo by Candy Cook.

Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” is a testament to the power of man’s influence on the land. Providence Canyon’s massive gullies were created by poor farming practices during the 1800s, yet today they make some of the prettiest photographs within the state. The canyon soil’s pink, orange, red and purple hues make a beautiful natural painting at this quiet park. Backpackers can even stay overnight along the backcountry trail, which winds through the canyon and mixed forest.

 

Candy Cook

Candy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

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