Heating up the Trails: The 5 Best Hikes Around Atlanta

Autumn in Atlanta means many great things: football, festivals, holidays, and cooler weather that makes you want to get outside and explore Georgia’s scenic parks and hiking trails. While many Atlantans travel hours to escape the urban bustle for a weekend, you don’t need to take a vacation to have an outdoor adventure. Locals can find plenty of stunning scenery just within the city’s reach.

That’s why we asked our customers and Facebook fans to nominate their favorite Atlanta-area hikes. Spend less time in the car and more time on the trail as you heat up the 5 best hiking trails with SCANA Energy:

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Cochran Shoals Trail

Trail Length: 3.9 miles
Sandy Springs, GA
Nominated by Phillip W.

This riverside gem is accessible year-round and great for all skill levels, making it an Atlanta favorite for hikers, runners, bikers and weekend wanderers alike. Conveniently located just north of I-285, Cochran Shoals is one of the most popular parks in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The wide gravel trail winds through lush marshland and offers many photo-worthy views of the Chattahoochee River. Another plus? Dogs are welcome companions!

iStock-176004502Vickery Creek Trails at Roswell Mill

Trail Length: 3.5 miles
Roswell, GA
Nominated by Debra S.

History buffs will love exploring the network of Vickery Creek trails at Roswell Mill. Although Vickery Creek is part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, the trails don’t follow the banks of the river. Instead, trail-goers will experience the historic ruins of the Roswell Mill, a wooden covered bridge and a rushing waterfall created by the mill’s dam spillway. Winding through the rolling forest, the Vickery Creek trails offer a moderate-level adventure and beautiful scenery.

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Arabia Mountain Forest and Mile Rock Loop Trail

Trail Length: 2.4 miles
Lithonia, GA
Nominated by Caldonia L.

Looking for a kid-friendly hike you can enjoy with your whole family? Look no further than the Forest and Mile Rock loop trail at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. The park’s diverse landscape features a tranquil lake, granite rock structures and a gentle elevation change, making this trail perfect for beginners and easy afternoon excursions. Arabia Mountain has miles of additional hiking trails – and even more miles of paved biking trails – if you want to add a little more time to your trek.

iStock-1018290262Kennesaw Mountain East and West Trail Loop

Trail Length: 10.7 miles
Kennesaw, GA
Nominated by Bruce T.

Many Atlantans have visited Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park at least once, but there is more to the park than the signature summit views. If you are feeling ambitious, try completing the nearly 11-mile loop of the East and West trails from the visitor’s center to Cheatham Hill. But you don’t have to be an expert hiker to enjoy Kennesaw Mountain! Many smaller loops wind leisurely through the park, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the battlefields, historic monuments, cannon emplacements and natural beauty of Kennesaw.

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Reynolds Nature Preserve Trails

Trail Length: 1.6 miles
Morrow, GA
Nominated by Rodney L.

The Reynolds Nature Preserve shelters 146 acres of rolling hills, pine forests and spring-fed natural wetlands just southeast of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The easy 1.6-mile perimeter trail winds around unspoiled woodlands and secluded ponds, and an additional two miles of trails connect the loop to the Back Mountain summit. Reynolds Nature Preserve is a perfect outing for families, natural history lovers, aspiring ornithologists or anyone wanting a scenic escape for an afternoon.  

Phew – you did it! Congratulations on bringing the heat to our local hiking trails – just like SCANA Energy brings the heat to your home. Now kick back, relax and treat yourself to a nice warm shower (courtesy of your natural gas water heater, of course!).  You earned it.

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