Best Kid-Friendly Hikes in Atlanta
Hiking with kids can be a real challenge. You may imagine a walk filled with fascination and views only to find yourself trudging uphill with never-ending groans from your little ones. Regardless if you love spending the weekend in the town or want to get away from the city noise, there are plenty of possibilities for hiking within the Atlanta city limits and beyond. Plan your hiking adventure ahead of time and pick the right hiking trail that will help make sure your family makes the perfect memories on your hiking journey. Here’s where to kick off your future mountaineering adventure around Atlanta.
Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
2580 Pine Bluff Dr.
Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve (formerly South Peachtree Creek Nature Preserve) is located in the Medlock Park neighborhood of DeKalb County. The entrance is located at the intersection of Wood Trail Lane and Pine Bluff Road. The 28-acre nature preserve opened in 1995 under the management of South Peachtree Creek Nature Preserves, Inc., (SPCNP) a non-profit, neighborhood organization to preserve natural spaces in the South Peachtree Creek watershed. SPCNP Inc. maintains the property to protect wildlife and the enjoyment of our neighbors and other visitors. – cshepherdpreserve.org
Lullwater Preserve at Emory University
1463 Clifton Rd.
Decatur, GA 30329
Run or walk the scenic trails at Lullwater Park, following the banks of a serene lake and crossing a span bridge to explore the ruins of a 1920s powerhouse. Lullwater Preserve offers many scenic walking and running trail loops nestled within Emory University’s North Decatur campus near Atlanta. The Lullwater Trail passes the Lullwater House mansion, skirts Candler Lake, and crosses a span bridge to explore mill beside a tumbling spillway waterfall in a beautiful, wildlife-rich forest. – atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/lullwater-walking-running-trails-emory-university-atlanta
Freedom Park Trail
Moreland Ave NE & North Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Designated as Atlanta’s Art Park by the city of Atlanta, Freedom Park is home to numerous temporary and permanent installations of influential art created by artists of international status. The park is at once the treasured legacy of hard-won civic activism and a cherished 210-acre green space. Freedom Park Conservancy works to protect this much-beloved public space. The Conservancy is a donor-funded non-profit organization that works in partnership with the city of Atlanta to preserve Freedom Park as a vibrant asset to the fabric of Atlanta. With the dedicated support of our neighbors and communities, Freedom Park will continue to bring world-class experiences to the heart of Atlanta. – freedompark.org
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
2852 Cascade Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30311
Hike Atlanta’s Cascade Springs Nature Preserve to a beautiful waterfall, a moss-covered historic spring house, and mounded earthworks from the Civil War battle of Utoy Creek. Departing from a chain-link-fenced parking area, the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve seems an unlikely venue for the natural beauty that borders its trails. The preserve’s tranquility is surrounded by the urban buzz in a southwest Atlanta neighborhood dotted with 1970s plazas and historic Craftsman houses. – atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/cascade-springs-nature-preserve
Doll’s Head Trail
1305 S River Industrial Blvd. SE
Atlanta, GA 30315
Constitution Lakes Park is a nature preserve but a distinctly urban one. The abandoned 19th-century brick factory site is a birder haven, thriving wetlands, and wildlife refuge. And cutting a path through it all is a short hike known as Doll’s Head Trail — created for and dedicated to founding art. – atlasobscura.com/places/dolls-head-trail-2
2020 Lenox Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30324
Hike or run the Morningside Nature Preserve to a sandy beach and tall swing bridge on South Peachtree Creek, and visit Atlanta’s popular “dog beach.” Tucked into the northern fringes of Atlanta’s upscale Morningside neighborhood, the Morningside Nature Preserve is hidden. Yet, a well-loved matrix of hiking, walking, and running trails traverse over 30 acres of rolling forest. – atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/morningside-nature-preserve-atlanta-walking-and-running-trails
Roswell Trail System and River Walk at Old Mill Park
821 Atlanta Street
Roswell, GA 30075
We dare you to go bored in our city. Step back in time on the Roswell Manufacturing Company Mills ruins when you take your family out on these trails. Hikers can enjoy a covered pedestrian bridge over the creek that connects the walking trail that begins in Old Mill Park to the Chattahoochee River trail system. The bridge and waterfall make a great place to take pictures. visitroswellga.com
Sweetwater Creek Park
1750 Mt Vernon Rd.
Lithia Springs, GA 30122
Sweetwater Creek State Park is a peaceful tract of wilderness only minutes from downtown Atlanta. A wooded trail follows the stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views of the beautiful rapids below. Additional trails wind through fields and forest, showcasing ferns, magnolias, wild azaleas, and hardwoods. Park rangers lead informative hikes to these areas throughout the year. – gastateparks.org/SweetwaterCreek
Chattahoochee Nature Center
9135 Willeo Rd.
Roswell, GA 30075
For more than 40 years, the Chattahoochee Nature Center has inspired naturalists and citizens to build one of the unique places on the Chattahoochee River. Founded by local citizen activists in the mid-1970s, the Chattahoochee Nature Center has been nurtured by hundreds of people who have worked to build a strong grassroots environmental learning center, touching the lives of more than 130,000 children and adults each year. Explore metro Atlanta’s nature destination. Enjoy trails, exhibits, programs, and events on 127 acres of forest, wetland, and river habitat. An experience unlike any other Atlanta attraction. – chattnaturecenter.org
The Atlanta Beltline
100 Peachtree Street NW Suite 2300
Atlanta, GA 30303
A combination of multi-use trail and linear greenspace, the Eastside Trail was the first finished section of the Atlanta BeltLine trail in the old rail corridor. The Eastside Trail, funded by a combination of public and private philanthropic sources, runs from the tip of Piedmont Park to Reynoldstown.- beltline.org/places-to-go.