Best Kid-Friendly Hikes at Georgia State Parks
Enjoy time outdoors and in nature at Georgia State Parks. All Georgia Department of Natural Resources managed Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites remain open; updates can be found here. These are some of our favorite hikes to enjoy with your kids.
Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge
Amicalola Falls State Park boasts 829 acres and 729-foot falls, the third-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The park has 10 trails, including one that is part of the 2,193-mile Appalachian Trail. Activities include ziplining, fishing, guided hikes, scavenger hunts and 3D archery. 418 Amicalola Falls Rd., Dawsonville. 706-344-1500. GA State Park Pass, $5.
Black Rock Mountain State Park
Black Rock Mountain State Park is Georgia’s highest state park at an altitude of 3,640 feet and offers spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With five hiking trails, you’ll see wildflowers, streams, small waterfalls and forests. The Black Rock Trail is an easy .85-mile loop along the 17-acre lake, where you’ll see Taylor Creek, Greasy Creek and Cricket Cove. The new Norma Campbell Cove Trail is a .10-mile trail with views of the cove and Stekoa Creek. 3085 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy., Mountain City. 706-746-2141. Parking, $5.
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
With 2,910 acres, Chattahoochee Bend is one of Georgia’s largest state parks. As part of the Chattahoochee River, the park has five miles of river. Enjoy boating, fishing, paddling and kayak and canoe rentals. The park has 12 miles of trails, and you also have the option to bike. 425 Bobwhite Way, Newnan. 770-254-7271. Parking, $5.
Cloudland Canyon is located on Lookout Mountain and boasts thousand-foot deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, caves, waterfalls, creeks and woodlands. Go hiking or biking along the 64 miles of trails. The Overlook Trail is a 1-mile loop offering views of the canyons and woodlands. They also offer horseback riding. 122 Cloudland Canyon Park Rd., Rising Fawn. 706-657-4050. Parking, $5.
Fort Mountain State Park
With 27 miles of biking and more than 25 miles of hiking and horseback riding, Fort Mountain State Park offers beautiful and exciting trails for everyone in your family. View hardwood forests, blueberry thickets, streams, a lake, a stone fire tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and more. 181 Fort Mountain Park Rd., Chatsworth. 706-422-1932. Parking, $5.
Fort Yargo State Park
See a 1792 log fort built by settlers for protection against Creek and Cherokee Indians. With a 260 acre lake and opportunities for swimming, fishing and boating, this park is a beautiful location for a getaway. Mountain bikers and hikers can try out 20.5 miles of trails. Easy trails include the Bird Berry Trail, a paved trail suitable for wheelchairs and strollers and the 1.2 mile Winder Connecting Trail. 210 S. Broad St., Winder. 770-867-3489. Parking, $5.
Panola Mountain State Park
Panola Mountain State Park offers archery, geocaching, orienteering, birding and tree-climbing programs with a paved trail for biking, roller blading, jogging and dog-walking. Part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Panola Mountain is a 100-acre granite outcrop. The park has 25 miles of trails, including the .75-mile Outcrop Trail and 1.25 mile Watershed Trail. If you and the kids are up for it, hike part of the 31-mile PATH Foundation Trail connecting Panola Mountain with Arabia Mountain and DeKalb and Rockdale counties. 2620 Hwy. 155 SW, Stockbridge. 770-389-7801. Parking, $5.
Pickett’s Mill Battlefield State Historic Site
A preserved Civil War battlefield, see constructions built by Federal and Confederate troops and an authentic 1800s pioneer cabin. The site has four miles of trails, which retrace the events of the battle with the 1.4-mile Red, White and Blue Loop. 4432 Mount Tabor Church Rd., Dallas. 770-443-7850. $5.50; ages 6-17, $3; ages 5 and younger, free.
Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area
Nicknamed the “Little Grand Canyon,” this area has gullies as deep as 150-feet, which were caused by poor farming practices during the 1800s. The canyon soil ranges from pink, orange, red and purple. Enjoy views of the canyon with more than 10 miles of trails. 8930 Canyon Rd., Lumpkin. 229-838-6202. Parking, $5.
Sweetwater Creek State Park
Sweetwater Creek State Park has a wooded trail leading to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. With 15 miles of trails, see views of the rapids, fields and forest. Go fishing, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding or pedal boatings on the George Sparks Reservoir. 1750 Mount Vernon Rd., Lithia Springs. 770-732-5871. Parking, $5.
Tallulah Gorge State Park
Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. You can hike rim trails to several overlooks, and very experienced hikers can obtain a permit to hike to the gorge floor. Walk along the suspension bridge for sensational views of the river and waterfalls. This park’s trails are better for an experienced hiker, but the Shortline Trail is a 3-mile paved trail following an old railroad bed. 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr., Tallulah Falls. 706-754-7981. Parking, $5.
Unicoi State Park & Lodge
With the 53-acre Lake Unicoi, this park has beautiful trails, offering views of the lake, Anna Ruby Falls and Helen. Activities include archery, target shooting, fly fishing, paddle boarding, boating, ziplining, mountain biking and more. This park has 1,029-acres of wilderness and gorgeous mountain views. 1788 Hwy. 356, Helen. 706-878-2201. Parking, $5.
At this time, National Parks are also open. Find National Parks and Sites in Georgia here. Check out DNR’s suggested hiking list and join their Canyon Climbers Club here.